I feel like this is going to need a disclaimer. Because I know people can get touchy when I use terms like “Grown Up”. I remember watching a Jenna Marbles and hearing her explain that to her, being a grown-up means buying stuff you hate. And I love that definition. You can probably find the video easily if you want an explanation of that statement but I think a lot of people get it.

So by grown-up, I don’t necessarily mean being a specific age, or having a full-time job or being married with kids. Although that likely grows you up real fast. I’m more thinking of the mindset that comes from not having any safety net, and in fact actually having to provide one for others.

I could be wrong in my perception but a lot of the bloggers I have spoken with still live with their parents. There are quite a few that are parents themselves but significantly less in my experience. And I have always wondered whether that affects our blogging practices in any way. After all, blogging is very time-consuming and the more responsibilities you have, the less likely it is to be a priority. However, the more structured one’s life is, the more likely they are to find time for blogging as things aren’t just constantly coming at them left and right which can sometimes be the case for students. So it’s hard to tell which would be the better environment for blogging.

this brings me back

It has been my personal experience that whenever you ask anybody how they are, they will always be simultaneously super busy and kinda bored. I’m not talking about blogging specifically, just in general. Walk up to a stranger in the street and ask them how they’ve been. There’s a pretty big chance you’ll get an answer like good but busy. If you ask what’s new, you’ll get a not much or same old. In my entire career, in every office I have worked in, you’ll always get a trove of people that are terribly overworked, regardless of what the workload actually is.

So I’m not going to make the assumption that people in school with jobs (or even those not in school with no job) have more free time. I really don’t think there’s much of a difference on that front. Both groups are going to let you know that they hardly have any time for blogging, sooner or later. I do it all the time!

There’s also this weird situation where I know for a fact that I work l longer hours than when I was in school. I regularly do 12-hour shifts or longer and often work weekends which was not the case in school at all. Yet I remember feeling way more overwhelmed and tired when I was in school. It’s not all about hours, there’s a mental exhaustion that comes with constantly learning new things, that’s tough to measure.

school can be tough you guys!

So assuming availability is just not going to be productive here. What I will assume though, is that the inherent pressures on both groups are completely different. External vs internal (although both may be self-imposed). I remember when I lived with my folks, which was quite a while ago now, I thought I had to do and be all those things. Very little was imposed on me by my family so I imposed tons on myself. But the fact is I didn’t have to do all that much. I got good grades, went to my part-time job which I didn’t need to survive. Regardless of whatever else happened, I had a roof over my head and clothes on my back.

Theoretically, I could have blogged a lot more than I do now. I had a lot more time for TV and for idle activities and if I had put effort into it, I could have had a huge blog by now. I might even have learned how to properly advertise and use SEO.

What I did do, was attend a lot more social functions. Go out with friends or lovers. Meet new people, go to bars, just generally be part of social groups and activities like school clubs and teams. The thing is, I was never a social person. I never really enjoyed any of these things. I loved my friends but seeing them every day was exhausting for me already, and then I had a sleepover on the weekend. It’s not that it was torture but there were some weeks where I really just badly wanted to stay home. I remember spending a lot of time in bathroom stalls just so I could be by myself a little.

sadly, I never met him

But at the time, I thought it was very important for me to develop a strong and diverse social life. I’m not sure why. I think it was because everyone else was doing it so it just seemed like what I was supposed to do. And to be clear, I don’t regret any of it. But I do wish I had realized earlier that it’s ok to turn down an invitation even if I don’t have anything else to do. It’s o.k. to want to do something just for me. But I didn’t and I’m pretty sure that this is what would have made it impossible for me to blog while in school. Except for Uni, I was genuinely too busy to sleep during Uni so that would have been a no-go.

Things sort of changed after I started my career. I have a job I consider challenging but not that difficult. I have been doing it for a long time and I had the right training for it, so on most days, I know exactly what I have to do and how to do it. It’s just that occasionally there is a lot of it to do. This said a lot of people would disagree with me. There are some unpredictable elements to my job and it fuses a lot of things together in an unusual way so not everybody is suited for this job. And when they are not, it can lead to a lot of stress.

Although I work longer hours than most people I know, I also don’t experience as much stress or pressure as most people I know. And the fact that I now have a clear and defined job with goals and a place in society, means that I no longer feel the need to impose anything on myself. If I do my job well, I get the files done, I don’t make the same mistakes too often, I pay my taxes and obey the laws, well I consider that I’ve done what I’m supposed to do. Everything else is because I want to do it.

I am!

Possibly because of this, I find blogging as a grown-up much easier. I want to do it and I don’t feel like I’m wasting time or that there are a million other things I should be doing instead. I have way more responsibilities than I use to but because they are clearly defined, I can easily tell when I’ve fulfilled them. As such, the only thing that’s likely to make me quit blogging all together is if I don,t want to do it anymore. If there is something else I could be doing with the time that I honestly find more useful. fulfilling or enjoyable.

I see a lot of bloggers using their blogs to practice for careers in one way or another. Not necessarily thinking their blogs are going to make their money (although that happens as well) but simply thinking that it would be useful to learn SEO or site management for their work, or they want to practice writing and maybe build up a portfolio. And I think that’s tremendous. Honestly, some of the best posts I’ve read are from people trying to bulk up professional skills in some way. But honestly, I couldn’t do it. I would probably give up in a week and take courses or work for someone else’s blog in those circumstances. That just requires so much more dedication.

So kudos to all the students and young professionals blogging out there. In my experience, life might not get any easier but it does get simpler and somehow calmer. And for me, that’s the only time I could actually blog.

20 thoughts

  1. Once I graduated from bibleschool at 22, I was out on my own and working. I am so glad I got all of that stuff done in 2000. I can’t imagine starting out now 🙁

  2. It is weird to think that I have been blogging since high school, and now I’m 22 with a completely different mindset and sensibilities. Talking about anime and other media on the internet has felt like the one constant in my life, aside from my friends anyway. I spent most of my childhood in a similar position of not being particularly social, and so I definitely have put off writing to hang out with others and expand my circle. At the end of the day, though, I totally agree. I would not say I’m fully an adult in the sense that there is not a ton I have to buy in order to get through the day, but with graduation on the horizon those responsibilities do loom ever-present. This was a fantastic post, and it definitely got me thinking about my relationship to the medium.

  3. I do like your definition of grown up. By that definition, I’ve been a grown up as long as I can remember. Which is interesting, since I also think that now I am retired, and really for the last few years before that, I’m catching up on the childhood I never had. So it all sort of works in a strange roundabout way. I don’t blog any more but it isn’t so much a matter of time or time management as I’ve come to feel the world is not entitled to my opinion (and probably not much interested really) – and also I’m getting leery of putting much “out there” for the U.S. gov’t and businesses to scoop into their “big data”. And I’m really getting to a point where everything else is evaluated on how much it cuts into my gaming time ROFLMAO. That said, as always I find your mental articles quite interesting and insightful, as well as the comments from others. But I’m just a lurker in these conversations, I admit. Carry on – this is interesting 😀

  4. What is a grown up? That is an incredibly loaded question and you’ll get all kinds of answers depending on what people think is important in life.

    What do you think Peter Pan’s answer to that would be? And it is surely different from what Tennyson’s answer was. And is one definition really any more valid than another?

    My personal definition is you’re grown up when you realize that you are your own safety net. Crossing that point is a a kind of Rubicon from which you can never return. It is the end of innocence and you are a psychological grownup. In times past this happened much earlier than today. In anime how often do we see children who for all practical purposes are grown ups? That’s probably 90% of shounen, right there.

    Ideally blogging is something you do for the joy of blogging. No more motivation other than you enjoy the act itself. Life gets in the way of that kind of blogging. OTOH if you consider blogging “important” you’ll make a place for it. That’s something grownups to, they don’t think that joy is a good enough reason if it conflicts with grownup things. But if there’s “purpose” and “meaning” behind it, they’ll make space because “duty” is a very grown up concept.

    I am retired and I don’t have the resources to explore the world and my joints are too bad to allow for great adventures, so I blog. Blogging is cheap or free, depending on what you’re looking to do. Most of my blogs, whether they are anime or running around naked, are all about letting my inner child come out and play. There’s no deep meaning about most of them, just me enjoying the things I enjoy.

    The grownup in me may come out to blog about COVID or Ukraine but I tried to keep that little kid alive in a corner of my psyche for all my life. Now I allow him an ever larger area of my mental property to play in. I can do it because the grownup in me has an ever decreasing future to worry about. Often I have nothing better to do. Retirement is the perfect time to blog.

      1. No you aren’t. I could get started on all the downsides of being old enough to have retired but it would be too much of a downer.

        Do the fun things and have your adventures now. Tell yourself you can do it later, that there’s plenty of time, and you’ll discover you physically can’t anymore and you’ve run out of time. You may be fortunate to have wealth and health after retirement but that is far from certain and it won’t be for long.

  5. So, I do live with my parents, partly because I’m blind, and I’m probably gonna live with them for the rest of my life, and second, because living with your parents has no stigma in India.

    Honestly, though I am tired of getting rejected from interviews, getting a job is the most terrifying prospect for me. Will I lose my spark? Will I be able to write after that?

    I have no answers for these questions for now.

    1. I don’t thin living with your parents has much stigma anywhere these days. The economy isn’t great for moving out. But it does make the every day dynamic different.
      I have a few blind friends that live independently. Is it harder in India?

      1. Yes, it is harder here. In particular, you can get training in US to live alone, with cooking and movement (though that one is a hit and miss, I rather not go out on the streets alone as a blind person.)

        But here, there’s no such training offered. Not to mention all sorts of crimes which can happen to you, which you won’t be able to explain because you’re blind. Anyone thought how hard it would be if a blind guy is the sole witness of a crime?

  6. Yes, a very interesting post! I got a real kick out of the definition for “Grown Up”, and it’s totally right. Once you’re a grown up, you really do end up paying for things you don’t even want.

  7. Great post and very relevant. I just resurrected my old WordPress blog yesterday and I’m going to try and keep up with it again. I don’t live with my parents anymore, but I’m a freelance writer and I’m constantly trying to to sell myself, so I feel like I don’t have time for anything else.

    1. Freelance sounds exhausting. I know a few people who do it and they essentially work all the time.

      1. I can vouch for that. I love how the business world often tries to project that working for yourself means laying on the beach while the money rolls in. Not only in my own experience, but even looking back at my parents who had their own business, working for yourself generally means you never have a moment off – 24/7 work or on call at a moments notice and constantly being on the look out for a connection, that next commission or client. Its kind of … hell.

Leave me a comment and make my day!