the quarter life ‘crisis’

Track spinning | Crucial, K-OS

A wise woman once said to me on our 20th birthday, that she was having a ‘quarter life crisis’. At the time I laughed, humoring myself and thinking it was a clever thought. Little did I know that there could be some truth to this…

They say in high school, typically your teen years, you don’t really know who you are and you tend to be these superficial beings that float around from crowd to crowd looking for the coolest clique to join. You use the term BFF loosely, and you call all the boys close to you in your life your ‘brothers’ being oblivious to the fact that their view of you is far from that. You say forever to your boyfriends, and picture a perfect future and married life together. You say you won’t tell anyone, but anyone is usually your closet girlfriends. You believe you are invincible and nothing can touch you. You abuse your body and mind in different and often incomprehensible ways. And sometimes people get hurt in all the movement, but for some reason you usually bounce back easily, finding a way to quickly drift in a different direction.

Your fights, your arguments, and your relationships all seemed so serious, but in hindsight, it was all just fun and games, a little bit of laughter and some tears every now and then. It isn’t to say that we were artificial in those teeny years or unable to understand the seriousness of these aspects of our lives, but it is to say that we took ourselves lightly because we could. No matter how bad we managed to screw up at times, there was always a way to erase the past and start again on a clean slate.

We were young and free. The road ahead of us was long and bright, and as we ran towards it we didn’t always know where we were going or where it would take us, but we never feared that uncertainty. We went with the flow, and let the waves take us in whichever direction.

In our minds, the future was light years away. The word adult triggered us to only think of our parents and teachers. But the reality was that we weren’t that far from there. In just a couple thousand hours we would be 20 something’s with jobs and lives that would take different shapes and meanings then the ones we led. It was just around the corner when a new definition for the word independence would begin to surface and the road to self discovery would be at the tip of our toes.

* * *

So here I am, in my 20’s and still unsure what to label this defining point in my life. All I know is that my world has been shaken, all the energy from my once free spirited mind has been channeled into a narrow, one way tunnel. Sometimes I see the light at the end but sometimes it gets dark and unclear, and my internal compass spins in rounds as I trek along my journey… to somewhere.


4 thoughts on “the quarter life ‘crisis’

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  1. I totally know how you feel! I recall every now and then a funny moment from childhood, and sometimes I can’t even believe the outrageous, brave and stupid things that I had done when I was a kid. And I remember how serious I was too – every decision I over-analyzed. So I feel that right now, even though I’m more spontaneous and have my own money to do whatever I want, I feel like I’m constrained more than ever. So yeah – it’s scary to think that a quarter of your life is over, but at least maybe 10% of it was spent in true joy and happiness and carefree lifestyle.

    1. Well thats the thing. I think the ultimate goal is to maintain that happy and carefree attitude to some extent. Sure we can’t be fully like that our whole lives, but to know that we can be every now and then, that we’re still capable…is what will probably keep us young.. vibrant and more happy than we ever thought we could be.. even when everything seems unclear.

      More — to come on this topic! Thanks for the comment Elena!

  2. I understand – when I had just turned 27 I left my comfortable “safe” life in Chicago and went to China to teach English for 9 months. It was the right time for a change – a redefinition of me. Four and a half years later I’m still in China – now wondering (in my 30s) about the next steps. I hope that you are continuing to redefine yourself.

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