How I Keep Sane In My 9-5 World
If you asked me what my biggest fear would be in life I'd tell you it's settling for a life that doesn't fulfill me and a job that drains me. I swore I'd never settle for the mundane 9-5 life where I sit in traffic and curse at the world. Yet, I now find myself sitting in an office and watching the time until it hits 5 PM.
I caved, I had to for financial reasons, of course. Now I sit at a desk, I have a commute and I work Monday through Friday, the only difference is I refuse to let it consume my life. I refuse to only live for the weekends.
I never want work to be my life. It's not important enough for me to center my life around it because I don't believe the point of life is to work, pay bills and die. There's SO much more out there and I've experienced it.
I've climbed waterfalls and bathed with elephants in Thailand. I've seen the Sydney Opera house and scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I've seen the Eiffel Tower light up in Paris, ate Gelato in Italy and I've walked the streets of Barcelona. I've hiked a 14,000+ foot mountain and I've swam in a rain forest. That's what life is about, that's what living feels like and I refuse to work my entire life away to pay off a mortgage, drown in debt and bills only to say I'll do these things when I have the time.
Do what you have to do to be able to do what you want to do, and don't lose sight of your end goal. The timing of your life will never be perfect to travel you just have to do it. You have to make the time to do the things you really want.
The only thing I want to do in life is travel. I want to constantly experience new places, make new friends, build new connections and immerse myself in new cultures but sometimes you can't just jump on a plane and fly to a foreign destination because of a little thing called reality.
In reality, I don't have a lot of money saved up to go travel for an extended period of time. I only have 10 vacation days for an entire year. I don't get to just leave life behind anymore to escape like I used to be able to do so the only option I have is to find beauty and adventure in everyday life.
I go to breakfast with friends before work or sunrise hikes. I go to dinner with friends after work or sunset hikes. I go to MLB games or play sports. I go to the bar for a couple drinks in the middle of the week. I plan weekend trips and book midnight flights on Friday nights. I do things that I used to do, just around my 9-5 because I don't want to feel limited or stuck. I drive to work with my music blaring and singing along like I'm excited for my day. I make plans with a friend to go grab food with on my lunch break. I do whatever it takes to not let my work life consume my actual life.
I might not be jumping on international flights right now but I'm doing what I have to do to do what I ultimately want to do and during this time I'm making the most of my everyday life. I don't want to get stuck or settle and I know the only way that can happen is if I allow myself to settle.
Entering the 9-5 world that I dreaded isn't the worst thing I've ever done. Not even close. But the way I see it is that I'm doing what I have to do now so I can do what I want to do sooner than later.
Don't get so wrapped up in making a life you forget to live in the moment. Don't let work control you. Don't push everything you want to do aside just because you're spending your days in an office. If it drains you more than it fulfills you it's probably time to move on to something better and more suiting – there's always another job. You're the only one in control of your life and where you go from here so make it worth it.
Live the life you want, not the life society makes you feel pressured to have.