Learning life lessons: Year One

In my short albeit exciting adult life, I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things. A clean room is a happy room. Spoiled milk will stink up your whole refrigerator, and if you leave a cucumber in the veggie drawer for long enough, it will liquefy. Neighbors are okay with a late night dance party/ Taylor Swift Cover band practice, but will leave a passive aggressive note on your car if you happen to park in their spot just once. I like to think that I learn something new every day, even if it is only the mundane habits and handwriting of my aggrieved neighbors, though sometimes lessons come clear over a longer period of time.

Crazy as it sounds, the time I’ve spent working in Montana is the first time I haven’t been told, in one way or another, what to do. I have no required obligations to anyone other than to show up to work when I’m expected and do my job. Once office hours are over, I am completely at the whim of myself. Never before had I experienced such freedom, what with the rigorous schedule of a collegiate student athlete, then a poor graduate assistant working 2 jobs. Now, with free time and some semblance of a (limited) disposable income, The world is my oyster. Sometimes that means I actually pretend to be an oyster, bundled in sheets and attached to my bed all day, feeding off of particulates (read: crumbs) that float by.

Unfortunately, being an oyster doesn’t lead to a long and healthy life. It’s incredible how hard it can be to exercise and eat like a normal human when nobody is telling you to. Consistency is key, and it’s also the single hardest thing to accomplish in any aspect. Even I, a former all American track runner, can’t find the time or motivation to get to the gym every day without someone telling me I have to.

The important thing is that I have acknowledged this newfound freedom, and also the fact that If I embrace it too wholeheartedly and shirk my responsibilities pertaining to personal well-being, I alone will suffer consequences. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I resignedly pull on my gym sneakers, squeeze into an ungodly tight sports bra, and head to the wellness center. Don’t get me wrong, I love exercise, but I haven’t fallen in love with the routine of it just yet. Perhaps in year 2 of Being an Adult with a Real Job, I’ll learn a little more.

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