Now What?

24 Jun

In May I passed the 2 year mark since completing my college education and I have to say, I’ve probably learned more in my 2 ‘school-less’ years than in my (counts on fingers…wait for it…) 17 years of formal education.  I’ve left the ivy laden halls of collegiate study, to enter ‘Adulthood, or something like it’.  Adulthood, I’ve realized, is here to stay so I better learn all that I can to become (que dramatic music swell and single dramatic tear) the best version of myself possible. Here’s some stuff (or should I say lessons – more adultish, right?) that I’ve learned. 

Unless you are a teacher, the summer is basically the same as the rest of the year except much hotter. 

As lame as it may seem, I never soaked in the reality that there wouldn’t be a 2.5-month break to relieve the relentless rhythm of working full time.  Nope, as an adult you just keep trucking past June 3rd and then on to August and then on to December and then on to…you get the picture.  I admit that it is much easier to work through these formally sacred months than it was last year, but I still qualify it as a hurdle to my new life phase.  For 22 years, I could always count on a change after 9 months of concentrated work.  4th grade would become 5th complete with a new teacher and classmates and so on.  Now I’ve learned to glean excitement and variety from something else other than a constant change in class schedules and courses, aka real life elements and interests ( involvement in church, my marriage, my dog, family time, reading, movies/TV, concerts, and even social media –  this list is in no specific order btw). So far, so good.  Now, to get used to not being graded on anything anymore…

If you are late to work, you don’t just get a tardy slip

Lest you write me off as an ingrate, I haven’t been late to work since my first week at my current job.   Oops, that was a bad day.  I left my headlights on too, murdering my car battery.  Since that event, I’ve learned that it makes a bad impression, and even suggests apathy to a boss if an employee is late or absent consistently.  Not thoughts I want my boss having.   I’ve changed my scheduling theory, and realized that there is no point to try to arrive somewhere right on time as I did for most of my classes.  Why not be 5 – 10 minutes early?  It has saved me some serious heart palpations, not to mention it stopped (most) bad driving.

Saying “Good morning!” is actually a pleasant thing

Maybe I was cynical in college, but I never enjoyed saying good morning to people until I started working in my current office.   It is not that I’m some monster in the morning, but I do like my ‘quiet while I rev up my brain time’ (Just ask my husband…).  But somehow, cheerfully greeting my co-workers as they trickle into the office each morning has become a pleasant and necessary component to my day.  Human connection, even in the form of a repetitive action, is enriching if I allow it be.  Still not convinced?  Just try saying Good Morning to 3 people and see if you can stop smiling. 

Staying Up Late is not worth dying

Although I should have learned from Seinfeld’s ‘Morning Guy’ and ‘Night Guy’ spiel , I never fully understand the need to go to sleep at a decent hour until I started waking up before 6 am 5 days/week.  No, my intent was not to make you feel sorry for me, but I do often accept heartfelt pity in the form of Starbucks gift cards.  Anyway, I may be totally into some movie that I started at 10:00 pm, but if I finish it, I will have to fight sleep all the way to work.  Hmm…finish movie or die on the way to work….  I’ve learned it is all fine and dandy to stay up late till it is 5:25 am the next morning.   Put that in your pipe and smoke it. 

I don’t think I will ever feel as mature as the number of my age suggests I’m supposed to feel

It’s probably the media’s fault for casting 30 year olds to play high school students, but I never feel I look or act my age.  I don’t know how people in their mid to late 20’s are supposed to act, but I can only be me and act accordingly.  As cheesy as it is, I’ve learned the truth in ‘Age is a state of mind’.  It is!  I will be youthful as long as my mind allows me to be.  Now, I just need to figure out when I should stop shopping at American Eagle – now that is a challenge!  

Maybe these lessons aren’t profound, but they ring true to me, and maybe you hear echoes of them in your life.  These past 2 years haven’t been easy – and maybe I wouldn’t get all A’s for pristine adult behavior, but I don’t have regrets.  Everything I’ve experienced and learned has shaped who I am becoming.  Whoa…getting too deep.  Will stop writing….now.    Feel free to leave some adult lesson from your unschooled years!

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One Response to “Now What?”

  1. Rosa Colon October 26, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    This post is very true! I’ve encountered similar feelings. It’s like I was rushing through 22 years of my life, hurtling toward adulthood and now that I’m here (and 24) I’m like wait, that’s it?

    The last two years have been the most educational and I’m still learning everyday! Some of the most shocking:

    1) I know nothing.
    2) It’s better to listen and then speak as opposed to speak before listening. (so cliche but so true!)
    3) I suck at not spending my entire paycheck every month. I should seek professional help.
    4) Learning to communicate with others can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding gifts you can have.
    5) I understand why people need to retire. And why people need vacations. 🙂 Sometimes I need vacations from my vacations!

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