My husband normally goes to bed between the hours of 3am and 5am. Last night, he came to bed at 7:30am - I cant really call it "coming to bed" because I was already up and leaving the house for work at that point. But he pulls all-nighter's - or what I would call all-nighters since I go to bed at 9pm - regularly.
He's a Ph.D. student, so he teaches a few classes on campus during the week, and he takes a couple of classes during the week. But, for the most part, he gets to set his own schedule, seems care free, and isn't really accountable to anyone but himself. He just does his own thing, and most of the time that means that by the end of the semester, he's got multiple seminar papers to write, presentations to create and forty or so student essays to grade - ALL IN ONE WEEK. Now, if it were me, I would have spread that out and done it over a month (or here's a crazy idea, over the course of a semester, because that is kind of the point of a semester schedule).
But he waits until the last minute; he does it all within the last week, with crazy all-nighters; he's exhausted, he smokes too much, he drinks too much coffee, he isn't sleeping, he isn't really eating, and it's just a horrible week for the both of us.
When I think about that, I'm like "man, that sounds AWFUL." But at the same time it's just such a young, college-kid thing to do, right? That wait-until-the-last-minute-rush-through-it-smoke-too-much-write-a-crappy-paper-when-you're-high kind of life, right?
And that is sooo the opposite of being an adult and sooo the opposite of my life right now. And it's funny because we live in the same house and butt heads over this issue all the time.
Why am I the ONLY one in this relationship that has to be an
adult? I wanna stay up late and smoke too many cloves
and drink too much coffee too!!
At the same time though, he loves it. He truly loves his life. He is in a program that frustrates him to no end, and he can complain about it like the rest of us, but he loves it! His eyes light up when he talks about it; he's so inspired and passionate; and he is working towards something that he really wants. And you can see that! He comes back from class with teaching stories, and he gets so excited to tell me about them. He spends so much time crafting reply emails to his students because he's like "I have to be funny, I have to be funny" and he puts in all of these clever little anecdotes that I'm sure I'll share with you on Twitter some time, because they are super funny.
Point is: he loves his life, and he works until the wee hours of the morning to achieve that happiness. He says that he is really efficient and really focused, and he gets all of his work done while enjoying it. Sure, he feels shitty the next day if he doesn't get to sleep - like right now during finals... Good luck to everyone in finals!
Even though it's not conventional, he actually is the epitome of an adult right now because he is living his life, doing what he wants, doing what he loves, on a schedule that he sets, makes money doing it, and is still a great husband, and a wonderful housemate - he does housework, makes the hard phone calls I don't want to make, forges meaningful relationships, etc.
He is clearly the adult in our relationship and I am just a child.
And yet, he stays up until 5am and plays video games more than I do.
So, if you are still reading, please remember this:
Just because your life doesn't fit into this 9-to-5-pant-suit kind of life, doesn't mean that you aren't a total rock star as an adult. And let's (myself included) stop thinking that we have to fit into the cookie-cutter idea of what it means to be an adult.
We are all adults, even if we don't feel like we've got our shit together.
Now go be empowered, people!