Five years ago, I was getting ready to graduate from college. Five years! That doesn’t seem possible. What is happening?
At the risk of sounding melodramatic (which I am), sometimes I miss that college version of myself. Mostly I think I just miss not having to wake up early – ever, but I also sometimes miss the ability to be carefree and noncommittal. I sometimes think I’ve gotten a little too adult-y, and long for the days of having fewer commitments and less structure.
As I approach this anniversary, I’m realizing how my behavior has changed over the past five years. In some ways, I’ve stayed the same, but in some ways, I’ve slapped myself in the face and said “it’s OK to grow up, Lauren! this is a thing that people do!”
One subtle change that’s happened over time is, I’ve started recognizing the importance of accepting aspects of life that are boring, or routine, or uncomfortable. I certainly don’t mean that I want a boring life – only that, there are parts of life that are boring and monotonous, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Part of being an adult is not only doing things you don’t want to do, but doing those things without being a whiny brat. And it only took me 26 years to learn that, thank you very much.
Something I’ve realized is, choosing a doctor and going for regular visits doesn’t mean that they will be the doctor for the rest of my life because of course, after committing to one doctor, you can never move or change or leave. Instead, it just means I realized I should go to the doctor every once in a while, and it’s a little immature to not go to the doctor because I feel like it ties me down, or because I hate having things I have to do.
Getting an Illinois license doesn’t mean I’m completely settled – it just means I don’t want to break the law.
Saying “no” to going out because I need more sleep doesn’t mean I’m missing out on fun, it just means I sometimes need to prioritize my health.
There are some ways I’ve embraced this lifestyle in the past five years (or, more accurately, the last year), but I still have some areas I need to work on. Maybe I’ll work on those in the next five years.
At various points in the past five years… I have started:
- going to the dentist every six months
- buying toilet paper before it runs out
- flossing (not every day, but my version of “enough”)
- getting my oil changed regularly
- not impulse-buying an expensive outfit I’ll only wear once
- thinking about the benefits of taking vitamins
Someday, I will:
- take “dry clean only” clothes to the dry cleaner, rather than throwing them in a hamper and leaving them there for six months before I finally get around to it
- start going to bed at a reasonable hour even if I don’t feel like it
- increase the frequency of my haircuts
- take vitamins
- return library books on time
- do my laundry before I only have one pair of underwear left
- buy a nicer bag of coffee beans and stop going to Starbucks, rather than buying cheap coffee beans and then going to Starbucks, anyway
- realize it’s OK to spend over $3 on shampoo
- realize that $10 nail polish might not be a necessity
Who’s with me on this? Who else is embracing adulthood?
And can you believe it’s been five years since college? YIKES.