Too Young to Be Exhausted

Too inspired to feel regret

Amy
A Little Bit Better
4 min readMay 2, 2021

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Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash

You don’t know what being tired means — you’re too young!

You can’t be tired. You’re supposed to be full of energy right now!

If you’re exhausted then I don’t know what I am!

Yes, I feel exhausted. Yes, I am technically a “young” adult, but I plan to consider myself young until my tenth decade.

I’m a student who has been continuously going to school since Head Start (or preschool). I used to be proud of the fact that I didn’t take any breaks in my education after high school. I realize how silly that is now.

Today, I am “forced” to reflect on my well-being and motivations for constant movement. As I try to reach the finish line, I’m having a difficult time keeping up. My brain wants to go on a vacation and is resisting focus and attention. I can’t help but wonder when I stepped across the starting line. I will likely never find the answer, but why not dig for the root cause?

My theory is I worked too early.

At the age of 15, I wanted to get a paying job so I could spend money. I didn’t know any better. It has taken me years to self-learn about financial maturity, but better late than never, right?

Soon after deciding I wanted to work, I received my first paying job. I cleaned equipment for a local gym. I would also provide daycare for the exercising moms and dads. I occasionally worked weekends, nothing too strenuous. I was hoping to clean around more than provide daycare, but that wasn’t consistent, so I didn’t last long.

Then I received my second job as a camp staffer. During the summers, the staffers lived at the campsite and cleaned the cabins in between events, became certified lifeguards, and ran concession stands. It was a lot of work, but I got to work alongside my brother and meet other teenagers who I still follow to this day.

Since that job was only for the summers, I sought another job. I just couldn’t turn down that “independent” feeling, even though I had no concept of taxes or a utility bill. The ability to buy fast food, electronics, and name-brand shoes? Wow! I loved to make and spend money.

For my third job, around the age of 17 years, I was a fast-food server. I hope I never have to experience working at a fast-food restaurant again. Hungry people are not the nicest. Kudos to those who currently work in the fast-food industry! You have tremendous patience. I left the food industry for a better-paying job in customer service at the age of 18 years.

From the ages of 18 to 24, I had an additional 5 jobs external to my education (e.g. internships and seasonal jobs). I maintained the customer service job for 4 years. I worked full-time during my undergraduate studies and received the additional, external jobs between school years or semester breaks.

Am I exhausted because I chose to work early?

Was not working an option? The months I didn’t work full-time, rent, bills, groceries, and tuition seemed too stressful to handle. Also, I can’t ignore the feeling of pressure to prove I was fit for the next step, whether the next step meant finding another job to boost my resume for a club/organization or university admission.

Would I have developed soft skills, like adaptability, naturally had I not worked early? When I complete my education in two years, will I have finished the race, or did I just start my race early and this is life?

Interestingly, I’m exhausted, but I feel replenished already.

I am able to realize all the decisions I made may not have been necessary, but they have contributed to this moment. To this connection. I do not need to feel bitter or regretful about working early. I can’t take it back. Although, the idea of having invested my hard-earned money 10 years ago sounds nice.

I’m exhausted, but now I can celebrate a small victory — contentedness.

If you’re exhausted like me, I bet you have a story and your theory of why you feel exhausted is worth reading. Your story may help you consider that your trajectory and experiences have lead to where you are today.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a little bit better.

Photo by Migle Siauciulyte on Unsplash

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Amy
A Little Bit Better

Writes here and there | Gets more excited about reading and commenting on your creative stories | Loves cheesy jokes