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.
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.