Monday, April 7, 2014

Adulthood Means Making your Own Decisions, Standing By Them

Dear Tazi:

I am 25 years old and have moved out into my own apartment after finishing my Masters degree in Finance this past spring.  I have a great job, a great apartment, and great friends, but life is not all that great.  While I lived at home, my parents took care of everything for me.  I never had to worry about cooking dinner - it always just appeared on the table.  Cleaning was done by the maid and I paid a laundry service to take care of my dirty clothes and bed linens.  The cat was always fed if I did not have time to feed him, and all I had to do was concentrate on school.

Now that I am living on my own, I am discovering that life is a lot harder than I realized!  If I forget to take something out of the freezer for dinner, I still have to make dinner or pay to eat out; either that or make a sandwich or grab a bowl of soup.  I never realized how much energy it took to keep a household running - grocery shopping, bill paying, and the like all must be done on a regular schedule.  I always knew this needed to be done - I do have a graduate degree in Finance - but I also thought it would be a lot easier than it actually is.

My problem is with my friends.  None of them have really grown up yet.  None of them are married and they all either still live at home or in bare-bones apartments with each other, where they can't afford furniture but have a sweet 80" flat-screen HDTV.  Because my apartment is the nicest and most well-maintained, they all want to hang out at my place.  Having my friends over once in a while during the week or on weekends is nice, but Tazi I have both work and the responsibilities mentioned above to manage!  I would like to explain this to them, but every time I try I break down and join them in having fun; after seven years of college (undergraduate and graduate school) I think I deserve a little fun.

Unfortunately, the "fun" has been interfering with my sleep schedule, and it has been showing at work.  My supervisor is a really nice man, and he asked me if I was having problems in my personal life to cause the kind of stress I am exhibiting...I lied and told him that my mother has been sick and that I have been spending my nights at home assisting her.  Tazi, I felt like such a jerk lying to my boss but I didn't know what to say!  I was afraid I would lose my job if I told the truth!

I realize what I have to do to get my life back on track: Tell  my friends that the party is over, start getting enough sleep at night so I can do my job properly in the morning, and end the lie about my Mom being sick. I am planning for her to make a quick recovery, so I can leave the lie in my past, but how can I get my friends to straighten out and see that I am serious about being a professional?


Dear Financier:

I would say that Step 1 should be to call your Mom and apologize for dragging her name into your lie.  Your desire to cover your butt is how rumors get started; squash them immediately and resolve to never lie again!

Step 2 is to get your friends back to their apartments and end the weeknight partying.  This is a lot easier than you think; you simply explain to your friends what you have told me: that living the live of a professional is tiring, keeping a clean and organized apartment is time consuming, and you simply do not have time to party with them during the week.  Then, you lock the doors to your apartment and do not open them should your friends be ignorant enough to come knocking.  I realize this course of action will not be an easy one to take, but adulthood means making your own decisions and being responsible for the consequences.  The decisions you have made thus far are not working out for you, so it's time to try a different path.

Step 3 is to realize that you cannot force your friends to "straighten out" any more than they can force you to party with them; all you can control is your own behavior and your own boundaries.  This may put some distance between you and your friends because, sad to say, it sounds as if you have outgrown them, which brings me to Step 4:  Cultivate some new friendships.

The field of Finance is a large one, where networking can help you get ahead in the world.  I suggest that you  try joining some professional organizations and attending the events they sponsor.  You will meet new people whose lives are more in tune to your own and you will be able to promote your career at the same time.  In time, as your current friends start to grow up, they will understand your position and may or may not decide to reach out to you again.  If they do, give them a second chance; some people take more time to mature than others.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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