For the last couple weeks I haven’t had work or a properly working car, so I’ve had a lot of time at home, alone. I’ve tried to keep myself distracted with Netflix and games as apparently many unemployed 20-somethings do, but it’s not really effective. In fact, I’m miserable. I want to get out there and do…anything. While it’s clear my time at my old job is over and done with and I wasn’t entirely happy there, I miss it. I miss the routine and sense of purpose.
Like everyone, I’ve always been interested in doing the least amount of work for the highest compensation possible. As a kid, that seemed like the best life possible. If you told thirteen year old me that I’d spend a month as a 22 year old with nothing on my schedule and no way to get anywhere to put things on that schedule, I would have imagined it to be a fantastic time of awesomeness (I also think 13 year old me would use those exact words). Now that it’s happening, 22 year old me is looking back at that 13 year old with a fair bit of head-shaking and pity. It’s childish, really. Now I could hate on myself (and others) for thinking childish thoughts, but that doesn’t make any sense and helps no one involved since hating people is kinda childish too. While I do want to be busy and working now, it’s not like I’ve been completely transformed.
I don’t know if I’m just an enigma and no one else has experienced this, but there is a lot of pressure to think like an adult after you pass a certain age. It’s not unfair to expect those of adult ages to act like adults. How does one learn to be an adult? I’ve stuck with doing what I saw other adults doing and hoping it works. But how does one think like an adult? Does that just come with doing adult stuff and figuring out what works? Maybe as you figure out what works, you start shaping your thought process to come to similar conclusions faster. Actually, this reminds me of algebra class with Mrs. Martin back in my freshman year.
Well, that’s quite a segue, eh? I had algebra I as my last class of the day for my entire freshman year. I remember there were many times when a classmate would ask why we were learning it, and I don’t remember if Mrs. Martin answered it, or if I came to my own answer. It’s about learning how to think. It’s about looking at a problem, not as a static, unmoving series of steps to come to a solution, but as something you might have to shift around for the solution to present itself. That’s what I learned in algebra, and I think Mrs. Martin would be happy with that. Now does that mean I approach every problem with that mindset from the beginning? Nope. Especially not large ones that seem daunting and possibly lethal.
I guess what I’m getting at (and I’m mainly talking to myself, as with all my blog posts) is that it takes a long time to learn how to think differently. For over 20 years I’ve avoided work, and while my life experiences have taught me that having a job is actually a good thing and somewhat fulfilling, I’m not fully changed from that old mindset. I shouldn’t really beat myself up over it either, because changing mindsets takes time and that’s okay. I’m getting there.