What to Expect During a Quarter-Life Crisis
Today, I turn twenty-five years old.
Depending on who’s judging, I’m either super old (as per my brothers aged 7 and 8) or “still young”. It’s like I’m living in some strange purgatory-like life. Even professionally, I’ve been too ingrained in the “real world” to be considered a recent college graduate, and yet I’m nowhere near experienced enough to be considered mid-level. It’s a weird in-between that feels reminiscent of my mid-teen years—not young enough to be a kid, not old enough to make my own choices legally (or hold a job).
Couple that feeling of impotence with the quarter life crisis I’m currently facing, and you know it’s all gold with me. /sarcasm
The past few months have forced me to reflect on what it is I want in life and what success means to me. I 100% know it’s not about having a lot of money, though it can certainly help with anyone’s situation. Happiness? Sure, but by what means? What am I willing to do, and what am I willing to sacrifice, to get there?
It sounds almost laughable that I’m having a quarter-life crisis right now, but I entered college having no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Unfortunately for me, the crisis was bound to happen.
I remember attending a TEDxRutgers and sitting through one of the talks about finding out life’s recipe, about identifying what makes you, well, you. And the recipe is vastly different for each person. Like, for some people, friends and family take precedence over career, but for others, the opposite may be true.
Out of all the talks that day, that one stuck with me the most, because I don’t think I have that recipe down quite right yet. It’ll definitely take me time to work out all the kinks and to add all the seasonings to make this life perfectly mine, but I think I’m finally ready to get moving on that process.
As long as I’m continually seeking out success, to always try to perfect the recipe of life, I think I’ll be okay.
In the past few months, in all the darkness and self-loathing I’ve stumbled and tripped through, I’ve regained something that I realize I lost sometime ago—my humility. I’m not arrogant, but there was definitely a lack of awe, a lack of uncertainty that made life’s little celebrations seem dull. I insisted I was ready to tackle on more, when in reality, I needed some time to slow my roll and bring myself back within the speed limit.
And it took me a particularly shitty year and seemingly infinite obstacles to realize that I haven’t been stopping to enjoy what I have, that I’ve been taking everything I’ve achieved up to this point for granted. A small part of me feels like I was being too greedy too early.
I don’t know everything, but I also don’t know nothing (I mean that in the non-double negative way).
Sometimes knocking yourself down a peg or two is helpful with reflecting. At least for me, it’s what allows me to accept the mistakes I make, learn from them, and move on.
Humility is about seeing yourself as one part of the vast puzzle of life. It’s about understanding that the world is not perfect and that you are not perfect. It’s about being good to one another in spite of the imperfections we may see in one another.
“There’s 7 billion, 46 million people on the planet, and most of us have the audacity to think we matter.” —Watsky, “Glowing Screens, Part 2”