First, welcome. What took you so long? Second – jokes one you, there’s no such thing as a quarter life crisis or even a mid life crisis, apparently this is just life (or so I am told).
I’ll give you a moment.
As I creep past my fourth year in Denver with little fanfare, I can’t help but feel a little restless. Four years of high school, then college. Four years of college, the post grad. Four years of post grad, then…??!!?!? I’m residing firmly in that weird combination of exclamation points and questions marks, with a strong emphasis on the question mark. (Unrelated side note: an ex-boyfriend told me I use too many exclamation points. And now, I make a point of using them as often as socially acceptable!! I think they are nice!!)
As I watch many of my friends move on to new and exciting things, I can’t help but reflect on how I got to where I am today. Four years ago, I moved across the country to a city I had never been to with the first job that would get me there. Not because I loved the city or the job, but because I loved a boy. Would I have changed anything about my decision to move to Denver? No. Do I often think about what my life could be like if I chased my dream of being a writer in NYC? Yeah, duh.
Which brings my to this whole quarter life crisis thing. During the past several months, I have been struggling to figure out my path or if the path I am on is the right one. There have been pangs of regret for not living out my dreams of a modern day Carrie Bradshaw (although we can all agree, my closet would never fit in NYC). I have had strong, but fleeting, ideas about career or environment changes that will help quench this restlessness for change and purpose. I have talked to everyone who will listen to me about this awful, icky “quarter-life crisis” feeling and APPARENTLY this is not a feeling that ever really goes away.
I have several adult friends who I view as older, wiser, sassier sisters who have been through pretty much everything. (Yes, Mom, you can be included in this group of badass ladies. And everyone else, run and get yourself some wise friends, their guidance and perspective is endlessly powerful and as an added bonus, they will be enraptured by your hilarious dating stories.)
Even as these women are raising little humans of their own, they are still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up.
I had another coworker tell me, “Somedays I feel like I totally have it figured out. But most of the days, I’m just making it up as I go along.”
Not one, but TWO mentors told me, “It’s not a quarter life crisis. I experience this same feeling once a year. This is just part of life.”
ANOTHER coworker said “Anyone who says they have it figured it out is either lying to you or lying to themselves.” If you are one of those people who TRULY feels like they figured it out, enjoy every moment of that feeling and may it last for ever.
For a moment, the shattered idea that this feeling will only happen once or twice in your life is a jarring, to say the least. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’LL ALWAYS FEEL THIS WAY?!!!!” But once the initial shock wears off there is something comforting in knowing that all of the people that you know, respect and love are also trying to “figure life out”.
If you were looking for “10 ways to survive your mid-life crisis,” I’m not your girl. But I’ll leave you with the advice that was repeatedly given to me: If something is no longer serving you, then change it, but stop calling it a quarter-life crisis. This is just part of adulting.
And when in doubt, pour yourself a glass of whatever you’re drinking, turn the music up and dance it out.
The experiences I have had in the past four years have helped to shape and mold my “dream” into something I could have never fathomed. And to be perfectly honest, I still have no clue what the f%*k I’m doing. But neither does anyone else.