Why you should take things less seriously
How many of Us have found ourselves in a cold-sweat — running to the printer, because our boss told us she needed 5 extra copies of the slide deck Pronto?
As soon as you hear the words you’re off. Dodging in and out of colleagues, heart drumming, fingers jamming at the printer. You watch the seconds tick by and you know someone is tapping their pen on the table…waiting for you to arrive. And you do — breathlessly — faster than you could order Domino’s on a Sunday afternoon.
The pit in your stomach doesn’t disappear until the meeting is over.
It’s your own Real Life Olympics. Except this time, you don’t get a medal. Or even, a “Good Job”.
As we get older, we place an exorbitant amount of value on “Success”. We go through our robotic wakeup-work-gym-sleep medley with our eyes half open. We wear suits to work. We run to the super market and run to the laundry mat and run to the Apple Store with our broken phone from that “oh-so-fun” Saturday night like our life depends on it.
We get insulted if the barista doesn’t have almond milk.
And, as we enter this world of “Adulthood,” our definition of Fun changes from sleepovers and making weird faces in the mirror and prank phone calls into getting obliterated at the club.
We wake up saying that a night was “soooo fun” if we ended up in someone else’s bed and can’t find our shoes. It was “soooo fun” if we can barely remember it.
Quite honestly, We enter Adulthood and we morph into these Robot humans who take ourselves a little bit too seriously.
Real Life Olympics, Summer 2016
Just like any other Olympic Athletes, we prepped for the games with a Corona.
My boyfriend and I were taking a mini-vacation from the air conditioning water drips and smell of rotting garbage in NYC at my family’s house on Long Island. We spent the morning acting like Real Life Adults — drinking coffee on the patio and reading books. Starting at 8am.
Well, that got old quickly.
A couple of hours into this act, we got bored — like anyone pretending to be a Real Adult. We got in the pool. We got out. We (tried) to read a little bit more.
And finally, my boyfriend turned to me and said — “What should we do? It’s only 2 o’clock.”
That’s when I came up with my best idea yet: We could hold our own Real Life Olympic games.
We had been watching the Phelps alien and the SB girls for days on end, and thought — why can’t We do that, too? We run around enough in our regular lives.
So, we spent the rest of the afternoon Being Silly. Our Olympic games substituted the 100m butterfly for handstands in the pool, and beach volleyball for an egg toss.
Yes, we literally tossed an egg across the backyard. Thankfully, the game ended in a tie.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking — this chick is so weird. And, I’ll admit, I kind of am a weirdo. But, this Olympic Games sans drinking brought about a refreshing type of Fun. A type of Fun that makes you sort of nostalgic and sort of grounded at the same time.
Because, it was a type of Fun that was pressure free. We didn’t have to pretend to order the coolest drink or know the newest restaurant or listen to the hippest new artist to enjoy ourselves. We didn’t have to Keep up with the K’s on our instagram feed, or chug a vodka soda to have a laugh.
We were just…Us.
And plus, it made for a lot of really great stories in the coming weeks (…especially since I won).
When I finally hung up Olympic medal (right next my childhood bed) and came back to the Real World, I tried to apply this pressure-free thinking to my everyday.
It’s not that easy.
But, I realized the biggest difference between Pressure-free Fun and being a Real Adult is that — you can be vulnerable.
I realized that as Adults, we take shit too seriously because we’re Unsure. We’re still Figuring It Out. We don’t want anyone to know that we Don’t Know.
So, we act like we do. We pretend that we’re the smartest, coolest, most popular. We puff out our chests and assert our facts. We never want to show our true selves.
Because, what if they — those Real People — realize that we’re Faking It?
Well guess what? Everyone is. No one has it all figured out. And plus, the easiest people to pick out are the ones who think they know everything.
So, take a step back once in a while. Laugh at yourself. Play pretend. Stop running to the supermarket.
We all need to be a little more Fun and a little more Weird. Because, we’re not (really) Adults yet.
Take your time.