Much Adulting, Very 22, Wow

Much Adulting, Very 22, Wow

I feel like I write one of these posts every year: looking at my life and panicking that it doesn’t match up to some arbitrary standard of maturity. But ageing is weird, and birthdays are weird, and tomorrow I turn 22.

22 on the 22nd. At least it’s a pleasing number.

I sort of designated yesterday my birthday, because I have so much work to do tomorrow and I couldn’t do it yesterday because my parents came to visit me, so in some ways I’ve already had the celebrations, but… tomorrow, I turn 22. That feels somehow more adult than 21. 21 is the threshold onto full adulthood, but there are no more legal milestones now, really, unless I’m particularly invested in driving a minibus (and I can’t even drive), so I’m just… a grown-up. A proper adulty adult.


I haven’t felt like an adult this week, to be honest. I’ve done very little of the work I was supposed to be doing, because I keep hyperfocusing on other things. For example, my book blog — I’ve been concentrating a lot on that, adding affiliates links to all my posts and trying to build a readership by engaging with other blogs, which I probably should have done ages ago. It’s been really rewarding so far, as I’ve seen a marked increase in stats, but I’ve also enjoyed it enough to reach the stage of hyperfocus where I forget to move or drink or, occasionally, blink. Which isn’t ideal for my headaches, but it’s such a rare experience that I try and make the most of it when it happens.

And I’ve been trying to make business decisions about social media, following YouTube’s announcement. I’ve decided if I want to monetise any of my content, it needs to be on my terms, not at the whims of larger corperations who can decide at any moment that I don’t deserve to treat any of this as a business, just because it’s small. This is one of the reasons I’ve been adding affiliates links to my book blogs — if people buy books via those links, then it doesn’t cost them any extra, but I get a tiny bit of money, and I decide whether or not to include those links.

I also investigated adding a few ads to this blog, but I want them to be non-intrusive. I know that most people have ad-blockers, but if you don’t (or if it’s turned off) and you find the ads on this blog extremely annoying, let me know. I’m not so desperate for cash that I’ll be a total sell-out — I just thought it might make business sense to include them if I can do so in a non-irritating manner. They’ll go the moment I hear they’re bugging anyone.

However, I have no intention of making blogging into my job, or trying to make a living from it — I think that would take all the fun out of the process, if it were even possible in the first place. So, this week I’ve been filling in a job application, for a graduate job starting from September. Which seems like a terrifyingly adult thing to be doing. I’ve had jobs before, but not the kind you actually had to apply for — the circumstances under which I worked in a library two years ago were complicated and didn’t involve a CV. My approach to this hasn’t been super mature, as it’s involved many desperate emails and a Skype call to my mum, but since she works in graduate careers she seems like a good person to ask on these matters.

Putting ‘Editor at Gesta Asnacorum’ on there makes me fear they might actually LOOK at Gesta…

So yeah, that’s all felt pretty grown-up. It went downhill on Friday, though — I had a less-than-great class with a seminar leader who taught me in second year and always made me feel super anxious, but by whom I didn’t expect to be taught again. Apparently despite an increase in academic confidence in the two years that have passed, he still manages to reduce me to tears, and I have no idea why. I’m pretty sure adults don’t come home from seminars to lie face down and cry.

But, I’m trying. I’m really trying. One day of much crying and little work doesn’t invalidate the rest, right?

And Friday was particularly bad. Right after my Extremely Unfun class, I had a crisis with room bookings for our first Irish Dance Society class of the term, which I wasn’t in the right emotional state to deal with at all. However, my flatmate managed to argue about it on my behalf and secure us our usual room (just an hour later than usual), so I’m really grateful to her. And yes, it would’ve been better if I could have sorted it out by myself instead of just collapsing in tears, but I was having a bad day, and part of adulthood is about delegating anyway, isn’t it? And accepting help when other people offer it?

That class is tonight, and I’ve planned a fun class for the start of term, so I hope we have enough people to make it possible. I do, however, really need to prioritise and get on with work between now and then. Because I’m an adult. And adults balance their responsibilities.

Admittedly, I will probably go and get distracted by the shiny graphs on my new FitBit (I used to have a cheap imitation, but asked for one with heartrate for my birthday, and my parents surprised me with an actual Proper Legit FitBit; the graphs are very exciting), but there’s definitely going to be some work involved, hopefully.

There’ve been some highlights this week, too. I had people over for a birthday gathering last night and that was really fun, even if that combined with a visit from my parents during the day means I’m slightly more pushed for time with work than I’d have liked. It was nice to get people together. We chatted, and played Cards Against Humanity, and it was generally a really nerdy evening because it was almost entirely comprised of ASNaCs. Plus a couple of people gave me great presents, even though I said they didn’t have to, which I really appreciated.

So that’s how I’m approaching 22. Horrendously behind on everything and trying to find the positives in a rather hectic week. As ever. Also, it’s snowing.

Any tips on approaching adulthood from any angle other than ‘dragged backwards, screaming’? I’d welcome them — and your thoughts on the ads that you may or may not be able to see on the blog. Seriously, if they’re irritating, I’ll get rid of them. You guys are more important to me than a few AdSense pennies.

8 thoughts on “Much Adulting, Very 22, Wow

  1. Being an adult is never easy. And just the other day I had a breakdown in the morning, at work, something I’ve tried to never do. My coworkers probably felt something horrible happened. Only my employee asked if I would be okay, to which I nodded, as I’ve done this enough to know I would be. my best strategy is to go somewhere quite and take deep breaths and lean on those who care. At it seems to me you have that. You understand about asking for help (there are many who don’t, even I have trouble with it).

    The biggest part of being an adult is knowing what your responsibilities are, knowing when they are beginning to become overwhelming, and knowing who to turn to to ask for the help you need. They say you can balance life, but I think its more about holding on and not falling off.

    From this post I’d say you have a great start on being an adult. I’d even hazard to say you’ve got it down a little better than I, and I’m just under 41.

    } Cathryn / Cayla / Elorithryn

    1. “The biggest part of being an adult is knowing what your responsibilities are, knowing when they are beginning to become overwhelming, and knowing who to turn to to ask for the help you need.” Maybe I should just pin this to my wall / computer monitor / face…

  2. Happy birthday! The ads look quite unobtrusive to me. I’ve been looking into doing something like that myself; do you have to have a self-hosted blog to do it?

    As for adulting, I turned twenty this month and had a mini existential crisis about it. I definitely haven’t figured out how to Adult properly yet. I don’t think anyone really has, though, everyone just does the best they can. I don’t know if you’ve read “Adulthood is a Myth” by Sarah Andersen…it’s a super cute comic collection that I read when feeling Overwhelmed By Adulthood. Maybe one day I’ll actually feel like a proper adult!

    1. Yes, I think you have to be self-hosted (it was one of the reasons I moved, three and a half years ago, but I only just got around to doing it, lol). Otherwise WordPress put ads on your blog and THEY get the money, lol.

      Glad to hear they’re not too obtrusive! I know most people have adblockers anyway, but I still don’t want to annoy those who don’t.

      Turning 20 was terrifying, I remember that feeling of “Wait… I’m not a teenager anymore” (and also letting go of my dreams of being a published teen writer 😢). But then I’ve had a crisis every year since too. Adulting is so hard.

      I haven’t read Adulthood Is A Myth, but I know of it — maybe I should check it out.

  3. I mean I turned eighteen a few months ago and I still want my parents to help with most things in my life. So I kinda get where you’re at, though you’re older than me. My general approach to adulting is to be proud ofyself when things happen because I made them happen, then be crying on the floor because my meringues melted the next day. Small steps. I still haven’t technically moved out, but that is only a few weeks away and I’m so worried I don’t like to think about it.
    But those are my issues, though I’m glad that you share them. So happy birthday! And good luck with the job, they’ll be lucky to have someone with your level of insight and compassion. I hope your next year brings unexpected delight and calableness and strength.

  4. Happy birthday! I hope you had a great day.
    I hate to tell you this, but adulting never gets any easier. There are still plenty of adulty adults who go and cry after seminars. Sometimes even the ones giving the seminars!
    The good news, though: because it never really gets easier, you can remind yourself that everyone else is winging it just as much as you are. No matter how old and settled someone seems, they’re probably just making it up as they go along, same as you.

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