Failing at Adulting

I feel like everyone is good at balancing their lives, but somehow I just can’t seem to manage it…

Wake up by 5:30, make breakfast and lunches, out the door by 7am to be at work by 8am, work non-stop till 4pm, workout, get home by 6:30, cook dinner, clean, spend time with spouse, asleep by 9pm.

It’s all laid out, and for some reason it never all happens and I just can’t get it to work in a way where it does. Something will happen at work, or my work out class will be cancelled, or dinner will take longer to cook than planned. I don’t know where I got the expectation that it was possible to make everything go smoothly in a day, I know it’s rare for such a thing to happen, but I really wish it could. I don’t do well when things aren’t planned or change last minute.

I’ve been known to have a meltdown or two over it…

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I think my generation (generation y aka millennials) has an interesting amount of standards that many of us feel we have to live up to.

We see our grandparents, many who have had successful marriages for 60+ years, strong, opinionated, bought houses at a young age, and very family focused. We hear them talk about how hard but wonderful their lives were (my grandparents both grew up on farms) and that you make things work no matter how hard it is.

Then we see our parents, the Baby Boomers. Highly successful career wise, raising families in a time where few people had to worry about money like they do today, pre-recession. They went to college that resulted in successful, high-paying jobs, were able to afford a family and home right away in many cases, and had the outlook that things would stay this way forever many times.

We grew up hearing stories from both groups, were promised that if you work hard and go to college, your life will be good. But things haven’t worked out that way for everyone. Now, many people don’t see a college degree as enough to work for their company and won’t even give you a chance. The housing market is out of reach for many, as well as the rental market as well (at least here in Seattle). More people value free labor over well paid, loyal employees.

I even recently sat in on a seminar where the speaker stated “why hire a coordinator when you can keep hiring interns for free”. The faces of all the coordinators around the room were quite sad.

A lot of people like to say we (generation y) just want to complain and not work, but we’re set to unreachable expectations in a society that is very different then that of our parents and grandparents. For many of us, we don’t know how to deal with not being able to live up to the lives that we were told about, no matter how hard many of us try. I in no way blame the generations before us for any of this, how were they to know that things would turn out so different for our generation?

My happiness is directly linked to how successful I feel my day was very often, which is really sad. I want a specific life for myself, the one I built in my head from the stories of others that I thought would mean perfection, and I’m learning that it probably will never exist, and that has to be okay. At what point do we decide that a dream is unreachable, and thus we must alter our dream so that they can become reality?

I found this interesting video that Buzzfeed posted a few weeks ago, I suggest you take a few minutes to watch it and perhaps it will give some insight on just how much the time that we were born affects us as adults.

I Just Can’t Seem to… SQUIRREL!

I can’t focus and I’ve had a hard time doing so over the last few weeks. I’m the type of person that takes great pride in getting shit done, whether it be in my personal or professional life. I believe that everything should be earned and love when things I do and create make other people happy and make their lives easier.

Remember that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Andy pulls off the amazing Harry Potter book magic (which probably lost another person their job, lets be honest) and it fucking amazed Miranda so much that she even started to smile? Ya, I want to do that, I want to be the person who makes Miranda Priestly smile.

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But now I seem to be going down in this rabbit hole of shiny things that won’t let me keep a thought longer than 10 minutes. Even writing this post is hard and writing is my favorite thing to do! It just makes me feel like garbage.

I know that I’m way too hard on myself sometimes and its a big reason why I’ve had so many personal issues in my life, but I can’t help it, its just how I am. I want to be perfect. I don’t even know what that means honestly…. I’m so critical of myself for things that I think are wonderful in other people that I don’t even know what perfect means, just that I want to be it.

I feel better about everything when I’m able to focus. Its nice to be able to take the time to process each thought and problem, to deal with everything in a logical order and then not have to give it a second thought later. Now everything keeps coming up at once, like waves that are just crashing down on me and I’m slowly drowning. I can see myself coming closer and closer to the anxiety covered rocks and I just have to figure out which way is up.

The reason that I started this blog was to motivate myself and gain some insight on my feelings and thoughts. Sitting here now, taking the time to write something and think, I feel like the best way above the water is to just calm down and let myself float to the top. The last 2 weeks at home and work have just been insane with so much to do and a pressure I put on myself that I am the only one that can do it all. The only time I haven’t thought about deadlines, dishes, laundry, and cooking has been when my friends come over and for those few hours, I can focus. I’m able to have conversations where I’m completely present and happy.

I think I just need to find a way to get some guilt free relaxation.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

So every Saturday night, I play Dungeons and Dragons with my best friends. While attempted to actually move forward in our campaign last night, the fact that we hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks took over and we all just ended up talking the whole night. Topics ranged from YouTube videos to work to politics, and eventually, to mental health. Thus we come to my topic to today: an overview of my life with depression and what it means to me now.

While I wasn’t diagnosed with depression until I was a teenager, I thoroughly believe that I’ve had it since before puberty. Growing up, I felt a certain amount of pressure to look and act, and that I just couldn’t live up to these standards (whether I set them for myself or someone else did). While some people can come to terms with this reality and flourish from this, I was not one of these people and found myself being eaten away by these thoughts and other problems arose because of this.

A lack of self respect. Isolation. Anger. Eating disorders. Poor grades. Clinical anxiety. A desperation to feel anything.

It took me a long time to work through many of these issues that were resulting from my depression and sometimes I still struggle with them, but one major thing that I have gained from this is perspective. Looking back on my life, for as short and tumultuous as it has been (I’m 26), I’ve realized some interesting things.

While many suffer alone when they have depression, I found myself drawn to others with the same issues that I was facing and took solace in this. No one spoke of the issues that they were feeling, we were young and probably didn’t even know what was happening with us, but it was a very strong connection and brought us together. I am still close friends with many of these people to this day.¬†While my darkest days were some of the worst, moments within them with others also made them some of my best and this combination has formed me into the person I am today.

Outspoken. Driven. Honest. Loving. Happy. Unstoppable.

The thing about depression is, when you start to make it out to the other side, you realize that it forms you and makes you so much stronger than you would have been otherwise. I in no way claim to be better, I work daily to stay healthy and sane, but I understand what is happening and have the mechanics and knowledge to push through what happens, and have support from others like my mother and husband to help me on those really bad days.

I’m not sure what I hope to gain from writing this, perhaps just a better level of honestly with myself or maybe greater insight into something that has taken me over 10 years to understand. Either way, I will continue my chronicling of this ever changing me.