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Welcome to the Antidote to Adulting blog! Like many of you, I have struggled with adjusting to adulthood, especially after leaving the safe, incubated environment that is college. I certainly do not claim to have all of the answers, but I believe that collaboration is often a great tool for progress. In this blog, I share many of the experiences, decisions, and projects that I have committed myself to over the last few years, which have significantly impacted my lifestyle, career, relationships, and overall perception of the world. I hope that my readers will find my insights valuable and inspiring, but I am also eager to learn from others and continue to build upon the foundation I have created for myself.

green plant with white ceramic pot
Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com
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Career

It’s hard not to slightly cringe at the thought of having to work for almost 25% of your adulthood – and that’s only considering a typical 40-hour work week. Don’t worry, you’re not lazy or unmotivated. In fact, you are likely trying to optimize your time on Earth by being a well-rounded person who wants to experience all of what life has to offer.

Dedicating your life to your career is definitely a valid and admirable endeavor, which clearly results in great value to our society. I myself have tried this route by clocking in 60-80 hour work weeks as a consultant while spending my weekends traveling between coasts for my clients in the east and my home on the west. This schedule was exhilarating, exhausting, and extremely demanding, and it turned out to be unsustainable (at least for me). My relationships, health, and happiness all suffered, and the general discontentment I felt towards my work only exacerbated the issues.

So, where am I now? Well, I used my prior work experiences and the job hunting techniques I learned in college to find a position that is a better fit for the lifestyle that I want to live. Do I love what I do? Spoiler alert: no I don’t. Does my current job give me the flexibility to spend my time in ways that I want to while providing me with the financial means to support myself? Absolutely.

Stay tuned – this page will offer tips on resume building, job searching, interviewing, and networking. More importantly, I will share the benefits to finding a career that may or may not be your purpose, but nevertheless allows you the time to live a passionate and fulfilling life.

Health

When I was a kid, being healthy meant having strong bones and the ability to run fast. I’ll admit that I still held this notion until my early twenties, when I thought that I could solve all of my problems on a treadmill at the gym. As I gradually started to address the sources of my apathy and general discontentment with my body, it became apparent that my balance was completely off.

Not only was I eating terribly and avoiding any and all physical activity – I was struggling to function with the anxiety and depression disorders that I developed in my late teens. Life was confusing, my body was reacting in uncomfortable ways, and quite frankly diet, exercise, and self-care became afterthoughts. As long as I had made it through another day, it didn’t matter to me how I did it. And thus began the reinforcement of unhealthy habits.

I am not suggesting that it was an easy cycle for me to break, or that it is ever easy for anyone to achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I don’t have all of the answers, and what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Part of me is still figuring out the pieces of the puzzle, with the help of my therapist, loved ones, and community. As I am slowly regaining control of my life (and I mean really slowly; it has taken me 5+ years), I’ve boiled my progress down to making a few key adjustments: prioritizing a healthy and clean diet, which I’ve found is optimized by home cooking; exercising in smart ways that don’t deplete a week’s worth of energy; reinforcing that I have power over my mental health and coping mechanisms; and committing myself to developing a spiritual connection to the world through meditation.

Hopefully this section of the blog offers valuable suggestions and serves as a soundboard to share ideas about how to become the balanced, healthy adults that we are meant to be. Please feel free to share your feedback at any juncture of your exploration of this site!

Life and Expression

If you’re like me, indulging your creative spirit is important for balance and stability. Still, it can be hard to find time to explore an artistic side or visit a new place when keeping the rest of your life together is already a challenging task. If I had all of the time and financial resources in the world, I would paint, learn how to play a new instrument, travel, and actually start crossing off some of the items from my growing laundry list of hobbies to pick up.

Thankfully, though, I have been able to pursue a few interests (like creating this blog!) while maintaining other important aspects of my life. I make it a goal to travel internationally once a year, and to improve my skills in photography and sketching.

Feeding my wanderlust and leaving my creative footprint on the world definitely takes effort and planning. Nevertheless, I feel like there are so many words that need writing, so many voices to be heard, and so many places to be seen, so why shouldn’t interacting with our world be a priority? I am looking forward to using this blog as a platform for sharing my creations and deriving inspiration from the people and world around me.

 

Relationships

Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or something in between, a major part of our happiness and satisfaction with life is derived from our interpersonal relationships, whether it be with family, friends, or a significant other.

At a young age, many of us sought to emulate a family member or adult role model in our lives – perhaps a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, sibling, cousin, or family friend. Although we love the people that raised us, as we grow up we realize that they aren’t as perfect as we envisioned in our minds. Developing an identity that is separate from the adult figures in our lives is very important for development as an individual, but it can also be extremely challenging. This is especially true since our friends and romantic interests are also influential in making us into the people that we are. To quote this age old mantra, “we are products of the people we surround ourselves with.”

There is not a secret formula for managing relationships, although many agree that they take a lot of hard work. Still, the people we choose to keep in our lives should generally respect us, lift us up, and reciprocate our efforts. Although most of us have experienced (and possibly contributed to) a toxic relationship of some sort, the eventual goal is to develop the social maturity to set necessary boundaries to ensure our happiness and maintain our identity.

This page is designed to share ideas about how to be deliberate with the relationships in your life, and how to make sure that your social interactions are meeting YOUR needs (while being the best son/daughter, friend, and partner you can be). This area of adult development has been particularly challenging for me, so I am excited to use this page as a learning tool as well!