Finding Motivation and Getting Comfortable with Change

It wasn't long ago that I was in my senior year of college and every single choice I made seemed like do or die.

Oddly enough, I remember that time feeling very sluggish and stuck. Now when I look back, I shake my head and think, "Oh, my dear. How free you were."

I remember chomping at the bit to start my life. To start "adulting". I wanted a job, and I wanted a house, and I wanted an income and opportunities and experiences.

Now I have those things, more or less. And I find myself reminiscing on the past. Not because I am unhappy with my present, but more because it has surprised me in ways that I couldn't have anticipated.

If I'm being honest, I would have been surprised if I didn't get a job immediately upon graduating. I had worked hard, I am smart and well-connected and I always went above and beyond. I did my research. I was competitive. So when that happened for me, I was surprised in the same way you might be surprised when you open a gift on Christmas morning and it's exactly what you asked for, right down to the colour. I was also incredibly grateful and well-aware of my privileged position. Honestly, I still am. I love where I work. It's not what I saw myself doing but I'm good at it and I enjoy the people I work with and I really couldn't ask for a better culture to work in.

What surprised me was all of the other things. Instances of crippling self-doubt or debilitating imposter syndrome or suffocating lack of drive. These had been things that I had never dealt with. I had expected my ego to take a shot since I would be starting from the bottom, but I hadn't expected to look in the mirror and see a shadow of the person I had been.

To be clear, I am aware that these feelings have very little to do with my job. Or my career.  I have come to the conclusion that these feelings are part of the whole "adulting" thing I had been working so desperately towards. As it turns out, adulting sucks. Big ones.

Time moves too fast and life-altering adventures are few and far between, while responsibilities are abundant.

There isn't enough time or money to take care of yourself, your partner, your pets, your home or your interests. There isn't enough time to read books or go to yoga and get your cardio in. There isn't enough time to see your friends and your call your Grandma and check in with your family. And all the while, people are moving on with their lives and buying houses and having babies and it feels like you are stuck in this wild vortex of inadequacy.

I know to some extent all of this is subject to perspective. But I mean, what gives? How in all of my preparation for the future did I fail to prepare for this? How in all of my many hours of podcast listening and article reading did this topic not come up? Or maybe it did. I don't know. I am certain of very few things these days.

One of the things I know for sure is that if there was ever a time to let go of the past and get cozy with the present, it is now. Because I can't go back to the person I was before any easier than I can time travel. I am different and I am new and I am learning.

Ever learning.