As i near the age of twenty-five, i could feel the frustration gradually seeping into my life before i finally find myself at the lowest ebb. My business seems rather boringly monotonous and hanging out with friends feel like a chore. It is not to say that my life is falling apart, rather, it is doing just fine. I could laugh, i could be happy, i have everything an average person could wish for; for that, i am eternally grateful and there is no absolute reason to be petulant but whenever i give a thought about my life in its entirety, i could feel a cloud of emotions starting to hover over me. I know life is simply enigmatic and baffling; and i understand the beauty of not knowing but just a little glimpse of my future would be brilliant? With the bulging curiosity, it feels like I will self-combust. It is like i am standing in the darkest abyss, fumbling for a rope in hopes that it could bring me to the light.
Is this life i am living good for me? Will i be able to have the success that i once thought i would have? Should I be opting for an escape route or should i remain? Is this the right career for me? Should i have accepted the job offer? Somehow, the quarter-life crisis came to light because i was reading a book and it wasn’t relevant three years ago, but it is now. Fortunately, I am not alone.
According to the Guardian, 86% of millennials are affected by the quarter-life crisis, who reported being bogged down by insurmountable insecurities, disappointments, loneliness and depression.”
I have completed the socially-sanctioned path to education and yet, i still feel empty and lost. I am in a desperate attempt to hold onto every bit of my last youth that i could feel slipping through my fingers and all i want is to have the fabled stability adulthood brings.
Here are a few signs that you are going through such crisis:
You are starting to question the purpose of life.
I did question the purpose of my existence a lot but when i did look at the faces of people i love, i instantly knew, they are the purpose of my existence. I also believe that God put each and one of us in this very world for a reason and it is up to us to unravel that bit. I reckon, my purpose is to do as much good as I can in this world until my time finally runs out. But then again, that is just me.
You are starting to realise that your best years have left you far behind and you feel as though you haven’t accomplished anything significant in life
Growing up, i used to think by the age of 25, i would at least have my life sorted out by then. I would be in a stable relationship with stable income, and i could afford living in an apartment that i would call my own. I could afford buying a car without being enslaved to the bank. It might seem far-fetched but i have always been encircled by successful people since i was little so it seemed realistic and inevitable.
Seeing people your age getting their life together and doing great and there you are, still struggling to keep up. You fear you have failed.
I don’t fancy competitions especially among peers. And yet, you find yourself comparing yourself to your successful parents when they were your age and consequentially, find yourself falling short too. I am truthfully very delighted to see people my age doing so well with their life but sometimes, i can’t help but to think that this is it, this is all there is, isn’t it? This is what life has in store for me. It is an utter absurdity but the thought keeps on creeping through my mind every now and then.
And here are a few things that we can do:
TELL YOURSELF IT’S NORMAL
This is a transient stage of life. Being in the 20s, this is where it gets from being a little kid who is always being told what to do and how to do it — to an adult who now has to figure out their life, who has to make great decisions and pay the bills. This is where you find out who you are. This phase actually represents a grand opportunity to live better on so many levels. It is the time where you could snap out of the conventional way of how society expects you to live your life.
Also, many people from all walks of live have experienced such crises. Perhaps, so were you parents. I find it to be rather soothing to talk to people who have experiences. Talking to my friends about this, we thought we knew what we want out of life but we are uncertain how to get there and we don’t know when it will happen or if it will happen. But to know that you share such thoughts and feelings with your friends, it is a great feeling. It is almost like a collective effort; knowing i am not the only lost child in this group of adults who have their life figured out is oddly encouraging. And It is great to know that legions of people have made it through and so will you.
CONFRONT THE REASONS YOU FEEL TRAPPED
Often, people would think that escaping would be the solution; taking drastic changes like leaving the job, or moving into another city only to find later on that the grass isn’t greener on the other side and you are back to where you were, feeling trapped. The right way is to acknowledge the reasons, give in and rip off the bandaids so you could begin the recovery process. So before you quit your job, it’s best to find ways you can make the most out of the job you have. If your relationship is what is making you feel trapped, fix the problems that are contributing to your unhappiness before you pull the plug. For instance, if you have a partner who acts like an anchor to your freedom, try to speak to your partner and find ways so you could reach a consensus and if you have failed to do so, if things are not meant to be it’s not meant to be.
DON’T LET YOUR DEGREE DEFINE YOU, YOUR PATHS OR WHO YOU ARE
I guess, some of us had to decide on doing a specific degree because that is what we thought we wanted to do only to find out later that it is not. You find yourself being drawn to something that is inapt and distinct and that is okay.
DON’T DWELL ON OTHER’S PEOPLE’S LIVES, THEIR HIGHLIGHT REELS
I see this as great importance — to not compare yourself to other people too much especially to those who have their life figured out or their conspicuous success; even if they are brandishing their success in your face. I know i am very much in a struggle with this but i keep on reminding myself that everyone has a different path in life and i should focus on mine, not anyone else’s. This is also the time where you would be aware of what your interests are rather than the interests others might have in you. So if you have found something you like, go on with it. It is best to relinquish what others expect of you.
MARRIAGE DOES NOT SOLVE ANYTHING
I am well aware that once you’re in your mid to late twenties, you have a strong urge to get married and have children by 30. At least, that is what the society is making you do. But I can’t truly say but as for me, I reckon, marriage doesn’t solve anything. You’re just beckoning other problems and commitments into your life when you barely even have your life sorted out.
I reckon, until i get to where i want my life to be, days like this will always resurface. But then again, we are all a work in progress and all we have to do is just to keep on trying.