One of the biggest gut checks after you graduate high school is not seeing your friends every day for around eight hours, five days a week. This can be compared to the feeling of being alone in your own apartment after the “honeymoon phase” of moving in. Something in the days, or for some weeks, following moving out you stumble upon the eerie truth of what it’s like to be an adult with essentially no obligations at home and the freedom to do whatever it is your heart desires. For me I ate it up, I loved my brand new apartment, and still do, I spent hours on my Xbox the first few weeks, ordered delivery all the time, and spent a majority of the time in my underwear. It was fantastic, I couldn’t be loving life more. That’s exactly how it feels, and then I got bored. I actually got bored, after dreaming about moving out of my parents house for twenty one years — I had moved out prior, just not independently — and not having any responsibilities, any sort of schedule minus work, or anyone to answer to, I was bored. This honestly took me a lot of time to manage.
If I thought about what’s changed in the past few months other than the fact I moved out there’s this, and I know not all parents are the same but here’s a little tidbit about how I grew up. I grew up in a relatively strict household, “yes sir”/”no sir” type deal when having a formal conversation. A’s and B’s were the only acceptable grades, on-time was late and early was on-time, and as a kid I was always pushed to pursue some sort of goal or hobby. My dad was a firefighter, my mom a nurse. Everyone had their own schedule, my dad worked every third day and my mom worked twelve hour shifts, rarely on the weekends. So naturally, every third day I slept in, provided I didn’t have school — which, let me add, was impossible to skip in my family, and hospital trips were only for things that are falling off or broken. Otherwise I was usually woken up no later than nine, and then eventually just got yelled at to wake myself up by nine. Breakfast, chores, lunch, naps, school, and dinner were all things that made up an average day at the Vets household. We all had our routine that loosely reflected those, with minor tweaks for any jobs or hobbies we may be pursuing at the time.
So what changed? I still worked, and at a job I loved, I still went through the same motions as being at my parents. Yet I felt horribly unfulfilled with my day, my morning, and to be honest my life a little bit. Then the reality of being an adult — or atleast part of what I think being an adult is — hit me. That driving force behind me, my parents, were no longer in my everyday life like they were before. I didn’t have someone asking me what I’m doing with my life, or how things are going involving any goals I might have at the time being. Then it dawned on me, all of those goals that I had before had just become routine, I had moved out, I had a job I loved, was finally done with school, and I was able to buy temporary things like a TV or brand new Xbox. These are all great things, but I had become content and complacent. I was happy, but I was bored.
So what did I do to change? Well for one, if you live with a significant other it’s important to talk to them about how your feeling because it’s easy to preoccupy yourself with someone you like to be around but it doesn’t benefit you in being an independent proactive adult. Set goals for yourself. Anything and everything can be a goal, but it’s important to know the types of goals you should set for yourself. Set home projects for yourself, if you’re not good at cleaning up after yourself and are kind of a slob, start proactively trying to clean up after yourself as you do activities around the house. Once you get good at that start coming up with project ideas for you to accomplish around the house. These projects can be DIY type activities or just buying appliances or other “quality of life” products for your home. Do you need cabinet organizers because your lacking space in your kitchen or bathroom? Could your decor use a little freshening up? A can of spray paint is only four dollars and can go a long way.
For me, I found a routine, I wake up every morning around seven-thirty —if I have the energy— and make a cup of coffee. I try to clean anything that may be left over from the night before while that pot is brewing, usually the dish washer is clean from because I try to pop it on before bed, I grab any trash that my be left around the apartment before the pot is done. Coffee break. This can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour depending on if I get bored or how long it actually takes me to finish my first cup. I usually spend the first cup thinking about the day ahead of me and catching up on any Netflix or Youtube that I may have missed from the previous day. Honestly, if I spend a majority of the day home I like to have the constant background noise no matter what i’m doing, especially if I’m alone. I set projects or little milestones throughout the day, if I have errands to run I prefer getting those out of the way after or during the second cup of coffee — note to self: it’s probably better and more fiscally responsible to eat before going out. Whatever goal I’ve set for myself for the early afternoon is usually completed and immediately followed by a nap. Naps are important, my sleep schedule is irreversibly sporadic because of my job so that’s just a fact of life I live with. I wake up, and usually I feel more refreshed than waking up that morning. I eat and once again decide what i’m doing for the remainder of my day be it miscellaneous projects around the house, hanging out with friends, perusing hobbies or interests, or simply watching TV or vegetating while playing video games. At the end of my night I loosely clean up any remnants from my activities from earlier in the day and complete my nightly routine and wrap things up for the night.
Being an adult is about being uncomfortable. Stress is good in certain applications. Boredom induced stress, rather, the constant need for stimulation in discovering new talents, new activities, and new people not being satisfied is the epitome of “the silence is deafening”. That’s why it’s always critical to explore any interests you may have, you never know who you’re going to meet skateboarding, or going to the beach — if you don’t have a beach, find a park, or a nature equivalent– bring your friends, if you don’t have a lot of friends put yourself out there and you’ll make friends. If there’s something your interested in, the internet is your best friend. You can educate yourself on just about anything that may pique your curiosity without having to pay for formal education. Go try things you’ve haven’t tried before, you never know what you’re going to end up love doing.