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.
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
I love this and I’m sure in a year and a half, when I’ve been working, I’ll relate even more. I know I skipped too many massages last summer because my lunch break technically existed, but I worked right through it most of the time. Plus, accounting for the time it takes to get to and from a massage and find parking again makes it almost not worth it.
I’m in major comparison mode with all the people my age going to grad school (which I don’t need to do and also don’t really want to do, at least not yet) and all the people going into 100-hour/week jobs (which I also don’t really want to do, but $$$). Working on it.
All in all, though, sounds like you’re doing well! Also, sounds like we’re both in for a typically confusing young-20s life :)
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…My Uncommon College Experience
I’m sure you’ll relate because we are the same person. I so wanted to be one of those not-confused, ahead-of-the-game 20-year-olds. Joke’s on me! Glad you’re back in the States :)
acktive life says
Those are ALL totally normal thoughts and thoughts for anyone at any age…It’s called #adulting and sometimes it just SUCKS. But I am proud of you for being honest, for working hard, for taking it day by day and just doing it. Looking forward to seeing what changes are on the horizon. And I personally like your long posts. It’s nice to get your updates. Tackle the new week like a rock star…XOXO
You never fail to make my day! I’m super proud of #adulting for a year (under my parent’s roof lol). The days can be defeating but looking back on the year as a whole feels good.
It’s all good and these are normal thoughts. After having an everchanging and weird schedule via grad school and clinical rotations, the idea of getting back to the 9-5 grind indefinitely is weird. Commutes suckkkkkk. I know sometimes in life you have to deal, but I’d really love to just find a job in the city and have a short commute next year! Also I am ever grateful for my PT and eye doctors opening at 7 & 7:30 AM because it is really terrible otherwise finding appts.
I love how you always reaffirm my working world thoughts. My PT and one of my doctors offer (coveted) 7:30 appointments but even that is cutting it sometimes. I’m excited for you and your next professional endeavor!
Kaila Proulx says
I am coming up on my year anniversary of working full time for the first time in my life so this is INCREDIBLY relatable. While our situations are a little different, there is so much here that I found myself nodding my head at the whole way thru!! Especially the whole “who works out at 10 am thing?”….bahahaha! Those people have it good! LOL
My mom teaches a noon workout class and she said most people who come work in the building and/or work for themselves. Sounds like a nice perk!
Mary Ellen Murray says
Love this! You are an amazing writer, funny, truthful, and to the point, and working your way toward your first writing contract.
This made me smile :) Thank you!
ERIN O says
Umm, I have totally thought about a stand-up desk. Let’s start the trend together in 2018!
I’ve already started looking! I think everyone could benefit from the extra blood flow.
Heather @Lunging Through Life says
Congrats on a year! That’s a great amount of time to hve under your belt in case you choose to start looking elsewhere. I also am not great at working out in the evening. I used to teach in the evening and then hated it so I stopped teaching, lol. Mornings all the way!
Thank you, Heather! I’m really proud that I have that year (it was a mile marker in my mind). I taught evening spin classes in college and can’t imagine that now…naps in college helped though :)
Susie @ Suzlyfe says
I also understand the days are long but weeks/months whatever are short. It just gets “worse.” You just realize that some days feel like yesterday and some years ago (even when it is vice versa). I’ve been lucky that most of my jobs have been flexible, so I have mad respect for those of you who have serious in and out times. And HELL YES to commute time being compensated. Or they should stipend housing or something. Or just pay you more :D
2010 will always be like 3 years ago in my mind. As much as I know I love structure and routine, I think I would like flexibility even more. Something to consider! And yeah…I’ll take that last option :)
I’m almost 4 years out now (holy cow that is terrifying). It’s amazing how fast it has gone by while some of the days/weeks drag on forever. This year as a whole has flown, but the past 2 weeks have felt like an eternity. I’m glad things started to turn around a bit for you! I remember being pretty miserable for the first several months at my first full-time job, and now I look back and miss it terribly.
I can totally relate to most of this. I’m lucky to have always had a walkable commute which to be honest is a game changer. It’s my time every morning and night to clear my head and get some fresh air, and there is no stress involved.
The stigma that more hours=a harder worker is real. People get really judgmental when you leave my office at 5. A lot of times I will log in after hours but the idea of being in the office until 7-8pm is so unappealing to me. When you’re paid for 40 hours, we shouldn’t be proud to be putting in 50-60+ hours a week, but unfortunately that’s the culture of my industry. But I have to say, liking my coworkers makes all the difference in the world.
Oh, and forget exercise after work. I don’t understand people who can do it.
It’s funny to look back and miss a time you never thought you would. I get that. I would love to live within walking distance of everything (not just work)! And yes, yes to the culture of the industry. That is a huge pain point for me and I don’t know how to (or if I can) address it.
Lindsay Edwards says
YOU ARE THE BEST. This totally made my day <3 Reading this, I was nodding my head sayings YES YES YES TO ALL. It's weird to not be in the ad/marketing/pr/communications world during this season of life. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I don't at all. And you need to get a standing desk, girl. I had one at my last job and it was fan-freaking-tastic!
I so look forward to your posts, Lindsay! Truly my favorite. I don’t really know where or what I want to be but I’m sure glad I have a year under my belt. And in 2018 the desk is happening. My hips will thank me!