Not everything is nighttime pancakes when you’re an adult

My computer is constantly on. I think the last time I turned it off was when I flew to Oklahoma. I prefer to make it hibernate or sleep since it’s started to take longer to power up. I really just need to get rid of the files and programs I don’t use, but I never have the time for that. I have things to do – books to pretend to read, recipes to think about making, and a room to wish was clean.

I minimized all my windows earlier this afternoon because I remembered I had changed my background to a smoldering picture of Aaron Paul. To see it, I had to minimize my sticky notes which I then rearranged so his face wasn’t covered. These notes’ lifespans vary from months to days. Why I have such a hard time deleting them is a mystery. One is titled “TO READ”, a list of books I want to read. It’s only been referenced once in the last year. Other notes contain quotes intended to inspire me to write, which would probably be effective if they weren’t covered up by Facebook.

There’s one that I don’t think I’ll get rid of until my computer calls for reformatting:

“Don’t romanticize this adulthood thing just because you get to eat pancakes at night.”

Though the context escapes me, I know I heard it from a professor. At the time, it struck me as beautifully silly.  “Don’t be so eager to grow up,” it pleaded. “Stay young, silly, and still appreciative of pancakes in the dark.” It resonated well at the time –  the end of my college years was coming to an end and I desperately wanted to revert to childhood. Or at least to the point where I wasn’t realizing I should have decided on a more productive major.

When I was younger, twenty-four was incredibly mature. My life plan was basically this: Finish high school, fall in love…….retire comfortably and die in my sleep. Did I think about my twenties  the time when I’m supposed to be figuring out my life? Of course not. I just glazed over that and assumed it would all be taken care of before I got there. To be fair, for a good portion of my childhood, I just assumed I would be raptured before I turned 16, so I figured I wouldn’t have to worry about the really tough things.

(This is probably why I didn’t know what a 401k was until a few years ago. Now I have one and I’m about to change my portfolio to the high-risk/high-reward one because a six-question quiz in my 401k informational portfolio told me that because of my age and personality, I can do that. That’s probably how Donald Trump made all his money, right? His BMO Harris booklet had a quiz that told him he could handle market fluctuations and he went with it.)

So when I see this sticky note I wonder where the pancakes are. I’m only 24 and I’m already thinking about retirement –  mainly because of all the things I have yet to do. I still have to establish a career (though I think I’m on a good track). I still have to buy an appropriate car. I need to have a savings account and I should probably stop listening to Taylor Swift. I have these adult worries, so where are my nighttime pancakes?

I’d like to remember the other side of this: why spend so much time worrying about being an adult? I should be taking advantage of the freedom that comes with being un-tethered and in my 20’s. There is literally nothing stopping me from doing what I want. If I want to stay up until 1:30 reading a book, then I can. Alternatively, I can take a night drive to admire the clear sky. I can wear red lipstick all day at work and have personal victory. I can strike up a conversation with a stranger because he’s probably not going to kidnap me. I can plan a vacation with my best friend in hopes of dancing with foreign men.

Or I could just make pancakes at night.

I can have fun in whatever way I decide. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

Remember that, self. 

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7 thoughts on “Not everything is nighttime pancakes when you’re an adult

  1. Awesome post. I thrive on sticky notes when it comes to daily tasks. When it comes to the adult things in life, I’ve noticed to take each one on individually and set up goals for yourself. When I was in college, I had the same goals in mind: career, love, retirement, peaceful death. While I still strive for those things, I’ve come to accept that all of it doesn’t have to happen right away, much less whilst in your twenties.

    Once I got out of college, I realized the career I went into was one I was not happy with. Programming for an insurance company just didn’t do it for me and it made me ponder what life was really about. After battling some health issues, I realized it’s important to just live, be responsible for the things you do, be a good person, and things will hopefully fall into place. I put faith into myself rather than something higher and it works for me.

    After getting out of the insurance game, I found a job that truly makes me happy and keeps me out of a cubicle. It wasn’t easy, and it’s not something that happens overnight. It was something I aimed to do at some point, though, and when the opportunity arose, I jumped on it. That’s one thing I can temporarily scratch off my list.

    Life is much too short to worry about these things. While retirement, 401ks, and love are important things in adulthood, they will all work themselves out so long as you put a little time and thought into it and not worry.

    As you mentioned, there’s nothing stopping you. Enjoy the pancakes and red lipstick. Don’t let the world get the best of you.

  2. I think you should take this time to experience and see. You make decent money I’m sure it’s just budgeting. You could visit Italy, see some places I have take a three day trip with me to Florence or something while here, see these foreign men. I have only 9 months left now.

    • Well, I only *just* started making an actual living salary, so my options are now a lot more open. Italy is becoming much more real. We’ll skype soon. 🙂

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