Urban Dictionary defines Adulting as
Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.
Do you ever feel like your life has just become about survival, that you don’t have any energy to actually invest into anything? I have been feeling like that for more than two years now. It’s not that I am busy all the time. I do have free time and spend it on some rest and recuperation. Every now and then, I go out with friends for drinks or dinner, or watch a TV show or movie. Every few weeks, I try to read a book. However, I find myself disengaged during most of these activities because I feel tired all the time. I haven’t been able to do things that require me to be sharp and focused on the task at hand. For example, I used to read a lot of blogs, opinion pieces, and news articles, mostly focused on gender, but also on other social justice issues. Now, I find myself so exhausted that my reading has significantly reduced. It bothers me that I haven’t been reading all the blogs I follow and I end up missing out on many articles on gender issues. When I was in Pittsburgh, I was volunteering for a non-profit organization for four years. I was very active and used to go to weekly meetings and also spend a considerable amount of time working on some of that stuff at home. It’s now been two years since I left that organization and haven’t been able to fill that void. I moved to Toronto three months ago and have been thinking about finding another organization to volunteer with, but I feel like I don’t even have the mind-space to think about, search, and find where I would like to volunteer. For some reason, I feel overwhelmed all the time. I used to reflect and blog more, be present in conversations with family and friends, but I find that that requires significantly more effort now. I started the blogging challenge three days ago – I am already behind by a day, and even considered quitting it, feeling that I can’t do it. Yes, this is how I am feeling on the third day.
A lot has happened in the last two years – I wrote and defended my Ph.D. Dissertation; wrote and published scientific papers; ended a really long term relationship; had my family visit for graduation and traveled with them; had parents staying with me for three months; obtained a teaching certification; mentored a research based course for first year grad students; searched for and applied to jobs; interviewed for and started a new job; wrapped up six years of work and home life in Pittsburgh; took charge of my life, took a break, and traveled for a few weeks; moved cities and countries; moved twice in three months in Toronto; have almost setup a new apartment; fell in love with someone and suffered heartbreak again; went out on more dates in two months than in fourteen years of my life; attended more wine and paint classes; read some more books; developed a habit of cooking and eating healthy quite regularly; tried to exercise and lose weight; and other things that I can’t remember right now.
On one hand, I feel that this is a lot of life changes for one person to deal with. On the other hand, I feel that most people are dealing with many big things in life. I am not a single parent or working two or three jobs to make ends meet. I have one job – yes it doesn’t pay well and it’s long hours on my feet, but I feel like I shouldn’t be feeling as tired as I do. Why can’t I just deal with things and function normally like everyone else. The problem is not that I am not functioning normally but that I feel overwhelmed all the time. I want to feel more energetic and excited about life but I constantly feel like it’s just becoming about survival, about putting one foot in front of the other just to stay afloat. I find myself thinking if it’s me or do other people also feel like this? Do you find adulting so hard?
Song on my mind – Khudi ko kar buland itna by Junoon