No one tells you when you’re a kid longingly wishing you were a grown-up that could make their own rules, that when you finally reach that stage in life, you kind of wish everyone else would make up the rules for you. I like having a bedtime, I know I need to get my chores done before I can do anything fun. The real kicker is that by the time you finish your “chores” a lot of the time you really just want to stay home anyway. Going out late, staying up past said “bedtime,” being around people for more than an hour, those now feel like chores to me.
“Sure I can meet up for a drink, what time? 8pm? Uh fuck you, that’s couch time with my dog.”
I’m a strictly happy hour or brunch kind of lady as far as meeting up for a drink, or really for any social engagement. My 30th birthday? Not a wild night out, it was brunch. Brunch is great. It’s socially acceptable to have a few drinks at 10am and then you have the rest of your day to be a grown-up and be back in bed by 9pm.
The other tricky part of being an adult is navigating romantic relationships when you’re both tired and busy. My partner and I have become a big fan of breakfast dates. Sometimes that can be tricky too. I’m a teacher so I work ALL. THE. TIME. He is in grad school and works full-time, in addition to being a member of or running several campus groups. And just when things look like they are about to calm down…I decide I’m going back to school too. We figure we will touch base in about 3 years.
And so we have developed the working/studying/homework dates. We order in food, we drink wine, coffee, or tea and we sit and I grade papers and he does homework. If we hadn’t developed this system, we would never see each other. And while my 10-year-old self would think this is the most boring thing in the universe, I really do enjoy these moments. We laugh, we help each other with any problems we run into while working, and we talk about how great it will be in the future when we can sit in a restaurant and not worry about getting back home to get things done. We talk about how all this is for our future, but we can enjoy the small moments now. That I am thankful for.
Dear Childhood Self (Tiffany Sportslender, my alter ego. That’s a story for another blog),
You may think being an adult is the most fun and adventurous thing ever. And it can be, just not in the way you were hoping. You will get so much better at adapting and being flexible. You will also find joy in the small things, like sitting at a dining room table having your partner do your taxes. And that is a beautiful balancing act that you will thrive at.