An Angsty Quarter-Life Crisis
As I type this piece in my Adele jumper and leopard print pants and realizing that it’s May, the thought of graduating at the end of this year (fingers and toes crossed) scares the living daylights out of me.
I am nervous. Scared. The natural progression would be to start my career, start a family and eventually retire in California where the sun is always out to play. But at the rate I’m going with life, turning and running away seems like the better option.
But hey, perhaps you have your life somewhat figured out and that’s great! I can’t speak for everyone, but if someone out there feels the same way as I do, we should probably grab a coffee and start a “quarter-life crisis” club.
In your early 20s you’re not a teenager anymore, but at the same time, you still are. It is an awkward stage; to want people to take you seriously because you are an adult on paper, but still want to be young and free and perhaps, a little immature. On the one hand, I am drawn to being sophisticated and professional. But on the other, I know I need to have fun and enjoy myself while I still can. The time that I can be a little irresponsible will run out. The time I get to drink a little too much, dye my hair in unnatural colours, kiss that person who likes me, and not worry about the consequences, will disappear from my reach one day. The imminent deadline is coming on far too quickly. What if I do not do those things and never get the chance to again? One day, that extra drink will be forgone because of my early meeting. One day, I won’t be able to have blue hair because of the expectations in the corporate world. One day, that person will be gone forever. Perhaps I do not care about these things now but when they are gone, they are gone forever.
“The 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there”.
My life is a paradox. Although I am on a reasonably certain career path, I have no idea where my life is heading. Applying for jobs is headache-inducing. You may believe that you’re used to rejections but you still hold out hope for a possible interview. Nowadays, having experience to gain experience is a thing. No one taught me how finding a job really works. Well, how would I know? I have never been a hiring manager. I do not know what they are looking for – it is pure guesswork. With every application, I roll the dice and see that dream job ripped away.
And what about that dream job? The reality of a dream is illusive. It is illusory and a fiction. You fight tooth and nail for your career. You work exhaustingly hard and grueling hours in the hope of promotions and respect that you know you deserve. On that note, most of the time you really have no idea what you’re doing. I know I didn’t in my internship…oops.
I hope I’m not the only one who is itching to get older and get over this weird pubescent-adult phase.
Header image credit: grégoirelannoy