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5 Reasons Why I Decided to Build a Vlog Instead of Building a Life

5 Reasons Why I Decided to Build a Vlog Instead of Building a Life

If all goes well, I will be turning 30 next year. By normal social standards I will officially be in the age when people get married, reproduce or at least try desperately, and take on a mortgage to tie themselves to one place. When it comes to me, I ticked one of the above boxes. I got married to my best friend (no, literally). The one person who enjoys our wonderful weirdness and accepts me for who I really am. Other than that, I accomplished nothing.

Zero.

Nada.

No children, no savings, no capital, no real estate. I have a fair job and live in a rented house with a bunch of cats and the husband. Oh, and two cleaning robots. I dread to become one of those ‘’adulescents’’ (20+ adults living in their parent’s basements) who Professor Frank Furedi, a sociologist who has been studying this phenomenon, at the University of Kent once described in his statement as:

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“Our society is full of lost boys and girls hanging out at the edge of adulthood.”

The lost boys – and girls.

These ‘’adulescents’’ are generally defined as young people who are closing on or even passed 30 but refuse to settle down and make commitments, and would rather go on partying into middle age. While I really don’t feel like this is me, I have to admit I have nothing to show for proving the opposite. Even now, when I can count for potential savings at the end of each month. So much so, that we (as in Husband and moi) are slowly getting to the point where we can and should decide what we put our savings into. And that’s when all the scary questions pop up!

Do I start planning my adult life according to the written and unwritten social norms? Should we buy a house and settle in? Do we want children? How many? Where do we actually want to spend the rest of our lives? Do I see myself getting old here? Do I even see myself getting old?

There is so much push from society, mainly through the media. It’s overwhelming. All those ads about the best mortgage, the family car (with 0% down), the best ovulation predictor. Social media makes it even worse. All your friends are posting baby pictures, have move-in parties or complain on forums how pathetic all those other people are. It makes me feel like every second spent on not deciding is wasted. I will become the other people. The childless. The aimless. The houseless.

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After all, we women have a certain number of eggs, right? When it’s gone, it’s gone. A mortgage takes about 25 years to pay off. Will I even live that long? Time is ticking. It’s like I don’t have a purpose until I make the decision. This needed to stop before it drove me insane.

Do we need to decide?

The urge to decide, because we can decide. We have lots of choices. We are not limited to live in one country, we are not limited to one profession. Today we are living in a world where anyone can become pretty much anything. We don’t have to work towards pre-defined goals according to our class, gender or location. This gives us the widest palette of life goals and route choices. Actually, the decisions on whether to marry or not marry, start a family or not, travel or stay put, stick to your existing job or find a new one can make us overwhelmed, anxious and depressed. And this started happening to me, too. How did I shake it off?

I didn’t. But I took these steps to turn it around and this turned my life around completely, for the better. These are the reasons I went against modern day expectations and, well, started vlogging instead of starting a conventional, responsible adult life.

1. We travel.

lifewiththecats in Lanzarote
    in Lanzarote

    Last month me and my partner in crime (a.k.a. Husband) took all our savings and spent it on documenting our holiday. That’s right. We signed up for an expensive holiday, bought premium class plane tickets, bought the video gear and we left.

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    2. We keep learning.

    We learnt to use the new camera on the way out to our holiday and I learnt how to do the basics in a video editor in a hotel room. Since then, we learn with every new video we take. There is always something we don’t know how to do. We make mistakes. Every time a mistake is made we learn how to do it better next time.

    3. We made a commitment.

    To ourselves. We now spend our days gathering experiences. Instead of going straight home, we wander. Instead of saving for a car we are saving for a trip. Maybe we will see something vlog worthy, maybe we won’t, but whatever happens to us, stays with us. It becomes a part of us. It’s a shared memory to hold us together and to hold on to. So we scan events around us and we invest in new adventures. We go to places. We see something new one day after another. Our life has never been richer. Our bond has never been tighter.

    4. We have fun.

    And I think this is the most fun I’ve ever had. Also the steepest learning curve I ever had to deal with. It is really challenging and I keep making all the rookie mistakes but at the end of the day I feel accomplished. And feeling accomplished is fun. Sharing secret smiles is fun. Having inside jokes is fun. Thinking back being stuck in transit and skating through terminals, is fun.

    5. We dropped the anxiety of what’s next.

    This does not mean we don’t care, but since we have no assets there is a lot less to worry about. Also, once you decide to be this traveling-vlogging anti-adult, you set yourself up to be judged. Once you accept that, all that push coming from society won’t matter. Only what you really want to do, will. May that be travel, babies, overpriced shoes. It doesn’t matter, as long as it makes you happy, but you need to ask yourself the question if you are genuinely happy and you need to be honest. With yourself. This may be the hardest thing you ever need to do.

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    Lifewiththecats in Boston
      Boston

      As for us, instead of saving for a deposit for our forever home, we are, again, saving for a plane ticket. What will you do next?

      Featured photo credit: Anita Brayer from Lifewiththecats via lifewiththecats.com

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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