I’ve become a creature of habit, waking up at the same time every morning, eating the same breakfast every day, going to the same restaurant for lunch, and sleeping at a reasonable hour. An hour of missed sleep, someone taking my usual seat on the subway, or a slight delay of the train were once considered to be trivial manners and are now signs that the universe is out to get me. Something as simple as no plain bagels left at the deli upsets me and I’m led to believe that it foreshadows a dreary and mundane day.
The spontaneity of my life has exponentially declined.
Gone are the days of staying up until 3am reading a novel, lying down on the grass looking up at the stars just because it’s a beautiful night, and late night, meaningful conversations. I no longer actively pursue adventure on a Tuesday night or venture out of my neighborhood on weekday nights seeking new places to explore. I traded these experiences for a 40 hour work week where I fell into a routine that seems too much of a hassle to do anything besides what I’m accustomed to.
I added more positions and work to my schedule due to my innate fear of not being able to find a suitable job for myself post-college. I added an extra course that would allow me to graduate with another degree so I could “stand out” in the applicant pool. I became more concerned with what is printed on my one-page resume than with the thrill that comes with staying up all night exploring the city in the moonlight.
I succumbed to the cultural norm that was expected of me. I’ve fallen into the hands of the New York City work culture, and am following the clear-cut path that so many people carved out decades before me. I gave up nightly adventures for a good night’s sleep in preparation for work. My stories begin with “This one time at work…” instead of “Last night I…” signaling to my audience that I put myself into the “young professional” mold instead of creating my own. I traded all the excitement and adventure that summer brings for the promise of a bright future, a sacrifice that will only prove worthwhile years down the road.
I’m at the bridge that delicately strings together the carefree and spontaneous nature of childhood and the world of adulthood, and I’m beginning to take the first steps to cross it. It’s time.
It was bound to happen eventually.