Show up for YOURSELF

Happy August! Before I get into what’s been on my brain, a few crazy facts for you:

– We’re less than six months from 2020 (what?!)

– Those of us who graduated in May have been out of college for three months (how??)

– I’ve had to live with a boy (*queue Monica’s whining voice) for these past three months, but I think he’d agree that it’s going pretty well (we’re very much Monica and Chandler, what’re ya gonna do?)

– Anndd I’ve successfully completed an internship at an ad agency and had my position extended!

That’s really what I want to get into: getting used to this new 9-5 business. None of the jobs I had during college resembled a Monday-Friday, 9-5 office job, but now that’s my life.

Or is it?

I started writing this to vent about how the past months have flown by as I’ve tried to adjust to this new realm of adulthood. I’ve focused so much on the facets of my post-grad life–mainly getting used to my work routine, but also learning how to live with my significant other, making friends, and navigating/driving again–that I haven’t been writing.

While those things have compounded to make me feel pretty busy all summer, I think the heart of my frustration isn’t the fault of a time-consuming 9-5; it has been me trying to find safety amidst so much change. (For those following along, big surprise, right?)

It’s felt safer to me to avoid the writing I did for my thesis that was really getting somewhere but taking real work to get there. Safer to consume TV than to do the things I know would make me feel better more sustainably, like reading or yoga. Safer to slip into a routine with JT that involves more focus on us together than to carve space for myself because I haven’t had to before; we were hundreds of miles apart and I had all the space I could want.

These examples prove that safer is synonymous with easier. I’m letting myself take the easy way out by avoiding the work or peace-bringing activities I know in my gut I should be doing.

Sometimes I do need Netflix time with JT because my brain is exhausted, but if I don’t start setting aside the time and energy, if I don’t do the damn work, the writing won’t get done. And it’s about more than writing; it’s about personal fulfillment. My whole life can’t be based on logistics and my identity is certainly not my day job.

I have hobbies and passions and creative work that I feel like it’s my responsibility to bring into the world. I don’t want to ignore my impulses to take time doing the things I love and the things that make me feel connected to myself. I have to do better at creating space to pursue the things that enrich my life (or even just make it better for a few minutes) while also pursuing this new profession I’m trying on for size.

I don’t think I’m the only one learning how to handle showing up at a new job I’m excited about and still showing up for myself. I don’t have a magic answer, just a couple steps I’m trying out, like:

– Setting reminders on my phone. The goal is that these daily reminders become habits that don’t need reminding. And it’s super satisfying to click “completed” or whatever as soon as it pops up because I already put in the time writing or stretching etc. 

– Going to free workout sessions in my town that alternate between cardio, yoga, pilates, and even hip-hop dancing. It’s nice to have one night a week I force myself to get out of the house and just spend time being active and out of my own head.

– Visiting my library! I definitely just checked out too many books, but I want to be sucked into a good book (or three) because I find that so much more fulfilling than wasting time refreshing Instagram.

Whatever you’re struggling to prioritize in your new season is valid, but I hope this serves as reassurance that we’re in this together, and we have to focus on more than just showing up to work. Let’s show up for ourselves, too 🙂