I like to picture myself as this self-sufficient adult. Growing up I wanted to be a balanced mix between an educated and respected employee and perfect housewife. The type of person described as "I don't know how she does it all." That person that can not only throw a beautiful dinner party, dressed in those divine 60's dresses of course, but the person people came to at work to fix their problems. Then, of course, dressed in a well-fitting pantsuit, sporting a pixie cut and fierce cheekbones.
Then life happened. I can still whip up a delicious 3-course meal and prance around in a dress. And I keep my hair short. But things sort of stop happening at sunset.
In the past few years, I've developed night blindness and it destroyed that perfect ideal goal I had for myself. Without the ability to drive past 5 pm, I've had to make some changes. Granted, my hermit tendencies have limited the number of changes that have actually occurred. But now I feel bound to my recluse ways.
From now on, any job I have I need to make sure I'm able to get home before the sun sets. From now on, any social outing will cost extra with the price of an Uber. Being cheap, this just means I stay home. From now on, any shopping will have to be done on the weekend as my entire sun-filled day is spent at work. And from now on, any travel done after dark will be forced upon my companions.
My housewife side could still flourish, bread baking and cleaning are most efficiently done when stuck at home. Any other part of me though was quickly boxed into short weekend segments. Stopping by a friends house for dinner is no longer a casual free thing. I have to think about getting there and back. So either they come to me or I cough up the dough. And forget meeting friends more than 20 minutes away for dinner or drinks, I got bills to pay.
Speaking of those bills, how do you advance at work? You stay late and put in the extra effort. I can't. Come 4 pm, I'm gone, or I'll have a near anxiety attack in traffic watching the sunset. By the time I get home my eyes will be exhausted from squinting and that would be the end of my day. Assuming I get there and don't wreck.
I couldn't be counted on as a friend, a coworker, or what I thought a functioning adult. What adult can't stop by the store on the way home for toilet paper? What adult can't stick around to answer a coworkers question? What adult can't manage a dinner Wednesday night?
The thing is though, no one cares. I told my boss, coworkers, and friends and they all just took it. It was a fact that we would just have to deal with. And as soon as I saw it as such, the anxiety of the situation fell away. It's just a fact. I can't drive after dark. Forcing myself to try was a horrible solution. And stressing about looking like a failure was just pointless. It's just a fact and I don't give a fuck what it could say about me because there's nothing I can do about it and no reason to fret over it.