When I was younger, I told myself I’d never talk about two things when I was an adult: 1) time, as in “where has the time gone?” and 2) gas prices. While I won’t consider myself an adult until I’m kicked off the family cell phone plan (which hopefully never happens), I talk about those two topics more than I ever thought I would.
Last week was my one year anniversary of being employed full-time. ONE YEAR, PEOPLE. My one year anniversary of the 8-5:30/6 grind. My one year anniversary of regular 5 a.m. wake up calls (or 6 if I don’t workout). My one year anniversary of wearing socially acceptable, non-workout clothes five days a week. My one year anniversary of wearing makeup five days a week, too. And I guess my one year anniversary of sitting at a desk, working, writing, answering emails, attending meetings, and things like that.
The days are long the months are short—a saying that makes sense now. It’s still a weird phenomenon to me that one year isn’t a countdown until anything, like graduation. I guess you could say “death” but that’s morbid. A year is just another year, so finding joy in the every day and setting mini-milestones are both very important.
After my first three days last year, I didn’t think I’d make it three months. I’m the person who will always show up and #dowork (and do it very well) but the behind-the-scenes confidence and mental stuff lags behind. I’m convinced that if I knew how to channel my brain better, I could probably take over the world…or at least work the system to benefit me :) I can too easily convince myself I don’t want to be somewhere or that I’m not qualified/meant to be somewhere. Then I’ll sink down low. That was my immediate response to the working world, which made for a tumultuous first few months. Not to say everything is bright and cheery now…fake news…but it is more normal than it was at this time last year.
I’m eternally thankful for therapy sessions and vent sessions (not the same thing), support at home, the thought of really good dinners after a work day, and my faith.
My situation obviously isn’t 100% unique, but it’s easy to feel lost and alone at times. You get that, I’m sure. Enter: “I don’t have X, but so-and-so is doing this, I should be [fill in the blank with a peer comparison].” Those feelings didn’t stop at a year. They might not stop after two years…or three. But if anything, I’m learning to recognize my accomplishments and how they play into my journey.
With that, I do have some thoughts, realizations and lingering questions after a year…
I hate that doctors, salons, tailors, etc. are only open from 9-5. I remember calling a new location for acupuncture and the woman on the phone said “we’re only open from 9-4, can you come at your lunch break?” I said, “I start work before then and don’t really have a lunch break…one of the reasons why I need acupuncture.” Sigh.
Going off of that, who goes to 10 a.m. workout classes? Or any time between 9-5. Can I have your job?
I’m proud of how I’ve grown as a writer. Over the last year I’ve grown from a blogger to a writer, but hopefully one day I’ll be a good storyteller. (Lindsay is my favorite storyteller.) Granted, no one who reads my blog would know that because I don’t get to share what I’ve written (most articles are boring topics and published under different pseudonyms) and I tend to take a more lax approach when I write here. Among other things, I’ve learned that less is more (don’t use 10 words when you can use 1), fresh eyes are super helpful and em dashes rock.
Commutes should count for hours worked. It’s at least another hour every day that I’m not in sweats on my couch. I should be getting paid.
If I could wear workout clothes everyday that would be the best thing ever. Even a few times a week. I’m lucky I don’t have to wear a suit and heels (praise hands emoji) but I still hate jeans and anything not stretchy.
My hips and back can’t take sitting all day. I want a standing desk but it’s tough/awkward in an open office. I might bring back my exercise ball-seat from college.
I have a love/hate relationship with meetings. I love meetings after 3 p.m. because I’m not super productive or creative after lunch and that’s when I really start staring at the clock. Before noon, though? I’m in my prime.
Exercise (or anything semi-productive) after work just doesn’t happen. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve exercised after work this year. Hopefully one day I won’t feel so physically and mentally drained. TBD.
I don’t like the societal stigma of more hours worked = harder/better work. I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I never asked to be part of.
I’m lucky to work with people I actually like. Not just tolerate or fake-like, I really value them as co-workers and friends. That’s a big plus. It’s made me realize the importance of peer-relationships moving forward.
On that note, I still feel lucky to have a job. I’ve recently spoken with a lot of recent grads looking for jobs and even college students looking for internships. It’s a battlefield. Someone took a chance on little me, and I like to think I’ve proven some worth after a year.
I find myself comparing salaries and wondering if I’m ever going to make X. This is a really vulnerable statement. I don’t compare to peers, necessarily, but more with societal markers or friends’ lifestyles. I’m quick to regret my current/chosen industry and feel it’s an automatic disadvantage. I’m working through these thoughts.
On the flip side, being able to save money on rent is HUGE. I’m not shy about declaring that.
I still don’t know what I want to do. At all. There’s beauty in the mess, right?
There are a lot of other changes on the horizon and I plan to write about them soon. Thanks for sticking around for this long post (with clearly my young 20-something thoughts) and for my healthyish journey overall.