As a recently graduated 20-something enduring my first 6 months as an “adult”, I’ve unfortunately found it easy to slip into banal patterns of Netflix/snacking binges after work and minor FOMO-induced breakdowns when checking Instagram on a Friday night.
In order to satiate my tireless desire for the spontaneity, youthful abandon and passion that I once felt nearly every day as a college student, I’ve realized I need to “feed my soul” in other, more socially acceptable ways. I probably won’t be able to go out on a Tuesday and find myself staring at the stars in my university’s botanical gardens at 2 in the morning with new friends again, but I’m determined to reenact the whimsical life of a college student from my new office, middle school bedroom or local bar. Who says you can’t “feel it all” just because you now work a 9-5 and regularly fraternize with people closer in age to your dad than yourself? Don’t let taxes and rent payments get you down!
1. Cry over a book.
Discover new authors or explore the classics. Read some Jack Kerouac or William Burroughs. Let the lives and stories of others enrich your own—see life through a different lens. You can realize something earth shattering about life as you know it on a daily basis if you just let yourself. In the words of Alice in Wonderland, “believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
2. Let your inner child shine.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but letting loose and getting a little weird every once in a while (or every day) can turn an otherwise mundane day into one of smiling nostalgia. Just because you’re not that rebellious middle school kid or high school class clown anymore doesn’t mean that person isn’t still a contributing part of who you are.
***I don’t exactly recommend this behavior for the office. Leave it to the confines of your apartment/house/parent’s kitchen/happy hour.***
3. See live music.
It’s my humble opinion that there’s no such thing as a bad time at a concert. Bonus points if it’s outdoors. Even if you only know one song, the lead singer’s glory days were in 1975 and the average patron saw Jimi Hendrix live (lucky!), you can always dance to make it better. Watching people perform live—really watching them—can be like peering into a window of their soul. It’s one instance where you can watch true, uninhibited passion unfold right before your eyes.
4. Pick a muse.
Learn everything you can about them. I’ve personally done this with Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and John Lennon, and I can say that it’s been genuinely fascinating to see what made my idols tick—their likes and dislikes, their story. What can you learn from them? I recommend picking living ones if at all possible.
5. Go outside.
Nothing makes me feel more alive than feeling dirt beneath my bare feet or smelling that distinct springtime air. Sometimes this is all you need to feel completely electric.
6. Watch some jeopardy and actually participate.
This may sound nerdy but it’s like exercise for your brain. Observe how your mind operates and how you problem solve. Use TV to spark your mind instead of numb it.
7. Make art.
Even if you aren’t creative. Even if your drawing skills are on par with a 5-year-old and your metaphors are clichéd. This is also like exercise for your brain, but specifically the right side. Sometimes expressing yourself creatively is the perfect way to feel revitalized, and you don’t have to show anyone your “masterpiece.” It’s just for you.
Even if it’s just 4 hours up north on the weekend or a 2-day trip to Chicago or New York. One of the good things about being a productive member of society is that you actually make money and are no longer scraping together 5 dollars for a Hot-N-Ready on a Saturday night. Albeit minimal, each short trip will teach you something or make you experience an emotion you haven’t before. Seeing the world can be made in small strides too.