1. You’ve already given up on most of your travel plans.
You went from just putting it off when the tickets looked too expensive, to just generally convincing yourself that you’ll never actually get there, so you might as well stop torturing yourself by having emails sent to you when the prices are low. You don’t actually say out loud that you’re not going to take that trip through Europe that you always dreamed of, but pretty much everyone knows that you aren’t going to do it. The best you can actually work up the nerve to do this year is take a cruise with your family somewhere around Florida.
2. You took a job you don’t really like.
Although it’s definitely a positive to have a source of income that you can rely on, there is absolutely nothing about your job you enjoy, and even though you’re in your 20s and could easily change — you don’t want to rock the boat. Everyone convinced you that taking the first job that would have you was the best way to secure your future, and now you’re absolutely paranoid of letting it go. You barely get any vacation, your boss is incompetent, you have nothing in common with your coworkers, but it allows you to pay your bills. And now, everything that’s good about your life is centered around what happens after work hours and on the weekends.
3. You’re in a relationship that is going nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
If you really asked yourself, you know you’re not that in love with them. Sure, they treat you right, and there is nothing wrong with them, and you could definitely do worse. But they don’t make you light up when they walk into a room. They don’t inspire you. And you dream about other people. Yet you know that you’re probably going to end up with them, mostly because you’re afraid of being alone again and feel like you’ve invested enough in this relationship that starting over would be too much effort for little promise.
4. You’re becoming your parents, and you hate it.
You hear yourself saying something really uptight and condescending to one of your friends because they’re having too much fun on a weeknight, and you immediately want to punch yourself in the face. But you can’t help it.
5. Your friends don’t invite you fun places.
There is a free concert going on downtown and there are going to be lots of street performers and alcohol and face painting and it’s going to last all day and night, and everyone knows not to invite you. You’re not going to go. You’re going to feel kind of badly about it for a few minutes, and you’ll tell people “Yeah, maybe I’ll be there a little later, I have some stuff to catch up on and some errands to run.” They’ll play along so as not to cause trouble on the phone, but everyone knows you’re going to be passed out watching old episodes of SVU while the headliner goes on stage. So it’s not really worth asking to begin with.
6. You’re tired all the time and you don’t know why.
You are working out as much as you’re supposed to (kind of). You’re eating right (mostly). And you’re getting to bed at a reasonable hour as often as you can. And yet, you feel this general sense of fatigue so often that it’s become your default state, and you have no idea what’s causing it. It just feels like everything takes too much effort, and you have no drive to do all of the things you used to love. Your sketchpad sits unused, your friends go uncalled, and your notebook has nothing of interest written in it. You’re just tired. And it feels terrible, even more so when you realize that it would be easy to stop, if you could just find the courage to do it.