I never thought quarter-life crises were real things. They struck me as an excuse twenty-somethings liked to use whenever they felt like being selfish or lazy, not as a legitimate struggle faced by young adults. But after spending the past few months doubting every decision I ever made and feeling totally lost, I’m a believer.
At first I refused to accept that I was having my first quarter-life crisis, not just because I didn’t believe in them, but because I thought I was too young. I’m only 23! How could I be having a crisis? But given the average life expectancy of someone who eats as many french fries as I do, saying I’m only a quarter of my way through life is being generous. Although, the Internet is telling me that a quarter-life crisis has nothing to do with the amount of life I’ve lived, or have yet to live. It’s all about finally entering the real world after two decades of being sheltered by parents and schools. It’s about losing that safety net of my mom’s emergency credit card, and, most importantly, it’s about being afraid of the future. There’s no denying it: I’m having a quarter-life crisis.
Lately, I’ve been a disaster. It all started back in August when the company I work for started going through major corporate changes. As I turned 23, I was thrust into a scary adult world where companies merged and I was sent weekly letters full of legal jargon explaining how to collect unemployment if my job ceased to exist. Everything was way too real, and I panicked.
Thankfully, I kept my job. I actually received a mini-promotion and things started to be okay again. I moved into a new home with four of my favorite people, I was doing great at work and I finally felt comfortable after weeks of chaos. But I was too comfortable. I was so afraid of entering another period of chaos, I settled into a routine where all I did was sleep, work and eat. I was cutting myself off from friends, eating a lot of Ben & Jerry’s and taking three-hour naps on my afternoons off. I wasn’t necessarily happy, but I was relaxed. And that was good enough for me.
But I was in a rut, and in mid-October, I decided to snap out of it. I needed to get my life together, or at least get to a point where I could be happy with the way things were going. I’m still working my way through this crisis, but I am finally feeling hopeful about the future. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has felt like they’re in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. At least I really hope I’m not the only one. For anyone who can relate to my struggles, here is my advice for getting through a quarter-life crisis: