Everyone has heard of a mid life crisis but not many people know about or believe in quarter life crisis. One so “legitimately” defined in Webster’s dictionary while the other definition can only be found in places like Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary.
A mid life crisis is described as a questioning of one’s self and choices as a whole and typically occurs during the 40s or 50s. And a quarter life crisis smacks you in the head around your 20s and 30s. It is defined as a questioning of self brought on by the stress of adulthood. Of course as a 20 something year old millennial I find myself leaning toward the belief that such an event is real. And with societal pressures coming at you from all directions telling you where you should be in life and how to get there, how can your brain not overload with subconscious and conscious thoughts of failure and what ifs?
In life we all experience crisis big and small but the quarter and mid life crisis hint at a sort of reluctance of self assurance. A questioning of personality, career, choice of vehicle and friends. These moments are filled with emotions and sometimes our family, friends, and associates do not understand and tell us that we are overreacting.
Maybe the key to holding off on these crisis is not to examine those around you but to focus on examining self. Live by your own measures and standards. Just because a friend close to you in age has had more success in a particular part of life does not mean that you too must do the same.
Work with what you have. Be who you are and work at your own pace. Expect that every decision that you have made was the right decision in that moment and if the outcome says otherwise, accept it. Life is about change. It’s about twists and turns. But it should not be about going in a direction set by someone who isn’t you. Remember that once adulthood arrives it cannot be reversed. The only option is to deal.
If you just so happen to find yourself wrapped up in any type of crisis at all use your brain and better judgement. Talk yourself through it. You’ll make it out.
I had a meltdown last night. About school, among other things in my life. Completing my Associates degree was huge for me. But as soon as I had finished I knew it wasn’t enough. And then life and reality started hitting me soon after I made the decision to continue for my bachelors. Despite the many obstacles during this everlasting journey to finish school, I’ve held on. And people commend me for that. People admire my drive and my courage. That alone would be enough to keep me going were there not these little voices in my head saying “what were you thinking?” “why did you go back?” School has put a severe burden on not just my social and personal life but my financial status as well. And yesterday, that all set in. Not being able to go on our bi-weekly dates this weekend due to bills and a change in employment made me extremely angry. And the voices began to marinate in my head. As I lay there last night next to Yonna (my partner) I said,
“I have no money, why didn’t I just call it quits?” I could be working and making us tons of money. School has been nothing but struggle and burden in my life. I’ve spent so many years in school and it’s holding me back. We can’t go out when we want, take vacations when we want. I just turned 25 and I’ve never had a chance to act my age!”
And then, as any loving woman would do, she calmed my nerves by rubbing my back and said “all you put into your education will be worth it. Right now you’re in a stage of sacrifice and soon, you’ll be able to eat the fruits of your labor.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! She’s exactly right I thought. I’m getting bent out of shape because I can’t blow money and be the careless 25 year old I see around me everyday (not all, but some). I’ve been grounded. I’m realizing that getting my bachelors is a step in the right direction to reaching long terms goals. I’ll be able to afford a break, I’ll be able to write and work at my own pace without the interruption of school. School is not holding me back. It’s pushing me forward and helping me progress.
I’m thankful for the people who cheer me on. And I’m thankful to a higher being for giving me the strength and courage to push forward. Besides, I’m too young for meltdowns! I just turned 25 for crying out loud.