A few days ago I was driving in to work at the crack of dadgum dawn, when it hit me:


It was surreal, and depressing, to face the day like that, just exactly as I’d faced the day before it and the day before that. And the same way I would be facing the next day. Every day for five days a week. For the rest of my life.

In a flash I saw those days stretched out like the long flat road before me, lined up in a row from midnight to noon, noon until midnight, over and over and over. I wake, I drive, I work, I drive, I sleep. I wake.

I think the catalyst for this particular crisis comes, if you can believe it, from finally being done with school. I never thought I’d say it (Heaven knows I never thought I’d say it), but in some ways I do actually miss it. I miss the deadlines, the goals, the lights at the end of the tunnel. The something to shoot for. I cannot remember a time I wasn’t in school or preparing to be in school. My entire conscious life has centred around it and solely it. My days, my years were broken into semester-long portions, each one its own mountain with final exams the summit and holidays the descent.

It was stressful, yes. But it was also satisfying. I was always on the brink of some great accomplishment—some exam aced, some essay nailed. School was me. I was school. Together, we worked.

But now? Now it’s different. Unsettling. Now my life is divided into those traditional eight-hour units: sleep, work, leisure (though truthfully my leisure time is more like three or four hours).

I appreciate the fact that I’m making money now instead of burning through it with tuition fees. I respect that for the first time in my life I’m doing it—I’m really doing it: I’m working the 8 to 5, holding down a job, answering to superiors, pitching my ideas.

But at the same time I can’t seem to shake this underlying belligerence toward my new reality, like I shouldn’t just meekly accept my fate; like I should fight it or something. Stand up to The Man, embrace my inner bohemian and stick it to them all. But what’s there to fight, really? This is just what everybody does, right? Go to school, graduate; get a job, make money; live, die.

What’s the point of fighting it?

I’m sure you find this all annoying. Like, can’t she ever be happy with anything? She hated school when she was in it, thought of nothing else but finally getting out of there, and now here she is just months after the conclusion of her final class waxing all sentimental about those glory days. I don’t blame you. I’m even annoying myself.


About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in change, failures, I hate change, in all seriousness, introspection, looking back, my edjumacation and me, oh brother what next, woe is me. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Bedtime

  1. Cristin says:

    This is the sad reality. I was the same way. So eager to graduate (I got my B.S. at 20 – who does that???) and then once I started working, all I wanted to do was go back to school. Real life is hard, monotonous, and kind of boring.

  2. Rachel says:

    To a point, your life is what you make it. I felt the same as you a few years ago…like life was just passing me by. So I decided that I would make the most of every opportunity to come my way. It took effort but it really made me feel like life was fun again. Life is always going to be boring at times, but if you are joyful about the small things then it helps put it in perspective.
    If you’re missing the routine of college why don’t you set yourself some goals? A list of fun things you want to achieve or something? At least that would give you something to aim for when you’re not working.

    Anyway…I’m problem solving, sorry.

  3. Joel says:

    I’m in the same boat. Just finished school. Just got my first job that is the sole focus of my efforts (i.e. not just a job to do while my REAL job is school). It is different for sure. I am finding that I really enjoy this life though. The lack of things such as homework, preparing for exams, feeling broke all the time, etc. is quite nice. Of course, the worries are different now, but they seem less to me, especially after the pressure cooker that is grad school. Hope all is well. Sorry I haven’t “been around” more!

  4. Maureen says:

    It’s a weird transition. With school, there is a definite beginning and end. An ultimate goal to achieve. But after that… well, it’s like you said, a long flat road before you. That’s how I’ve though about time ever since I started working, and it’s hard to explain to people who are still in school, with their deadlines and shiny bright futures. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a change. A shift in thinking, if you will.

  5. Whitney says:

    I have a solution to your problem…. have a baby ;) Because all moms do is leisure. and eat Bon Bons aka left over sandwiches. and… change diapers. and play all day.

  6. Dutch girl says:

    Try working for yourself, as in being self-employed. Much more gratifying! You don’t feel like a slave and you can set your own working hours, hopefully you won’t have to commute in the early morning (depends on what you’re doing).
    Or get a divorce and find yourself a very wealthy man… drink cocktails by the pool and eat chocolates all day…… aaaaaah….. wish I’d never fallen in love with an astronomer (kidding!! he’s the best! and we’re not poor, but I still have to work and I like it – it keeps me from thinking too much and getting depressed).
    But yes, for the majority of people life’s basically the same: work, eat, leisure, sleep… makes you wish you were living forever in one of those movies with happy endings, because the part after the happy ending is too boring to tell.

  7. irene says:

    it’s like that. I miss school when I’m not studying and here I am with another Master’s… am I crazy or what? I’m scared of getting a real job =(

  8. Granmama says:

    I love you Millie, no matter what you do, where you are, or how you get it all figured out. Do things in ways that work for you.

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