Quarter Life Crisis

If you are feeling trapped and dissatisfied, have recently experienced a complete change of life direction, and are in your mid to late 20’s, you might be experiencing a quarter life crisis.

10 Signs You're Having Your Quarter-Life Crisis

Common side effects of quarter life crisis include:

A sudden change of mind on career paths.
A drastic move across the country/world.
Breaking up with longterm boyfriends.
Feeling stifled, stir-crazy,  and unfulfilled in your current life situation.
Wild-eyed dreams of entrepreneurship.
Sudden indecision about your life goals.
Dramatic moments of wondering “what does it all mean?”
Paralyzing depression at all the options available to you.

——

Recently, I have found myself in the grips of quarter life crisis. Don’t think that’s a thing? Well, apparently, you have never been 25 years old.

I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I should have. After 23 months of alcohol sobriety, and 22 months of love addiction sobriety, all that inner work was bound to change my outer landscape eventually. I was bound to dig through all that shit and find out that what I’ve been striving for isn’t what I want, in the end.

When you’re in your addictive cycle, whether it be love or alcohol, all you see is the illusion. For me, some of that illusion was hard work that in my mind, I “had” to do or “should” do. It was this illusion of what I needed to be for others (or for my internal critic) that often led me to drink or to acting out with men. I was so in tune with this that I never got the chance to see who I really was outside of all my ideas of who I needed to be.

“You have to be a good daughter. You have to take care of this person all the time. You must stay married, it’s God’s will. It’s your job to just suck it up. You shouldn’t say that. You should do this.” Blah. Blah. BLAH.

I put myself in a cage. I was the small woman building cages for everyone she knows, from that Hafiz poem. I built a nice little cage for myself. One of my favorite songs for years was Simon, by Lifehouse:

“Catch your breath, hit the wall,
Scream out loud, as you start to crawl
Back in your cage the only place
Where they will leave you alone.
‘Cause the weak will seek the weaker til they’ve broken them.
Could you get it back again?
Would it be the same?
Fulfillment to their lack of strength at your expense,
Left you with no defense;
They tore it down.”

Well… recovery started doing something, both addiction recovery and the EMDR work I did. The walls became doors. Unlocked ones, because I’d found the key.

Imagine my shock, recently, when stepping outside the door I found a different world than I knew existed. Kind of like that movie The Truman Show. My life was totally scripted, and then I saw the cracks. And then I completely left that life.

So it should be no surprise I’m having a quarter life crisis, I suppose. But it still took my breath away in a slightly frightened, slightly anticipatory way when I wrote these words in my journal on the way home from Mexico:

“I think I’m going to at least defer my graduate school acceptance.”

Best gif to describe what everything inside of me did after writing that?

 bradwhat
(yes, I have used this before. my blog, my rules!)

AKA:

“If I’m not going to be a therapist… then WHAT THE F*CK am I going to be???”

I have been gearing up to be a therapist for 10 years. 10 years is a long-ass time for a 25 year old. That’s when I was 15, folks. Only a wee babe just out of the womb, practically. And now my plans for the past 10 years are suddenly just… not plans anymore?

Cue quarter life crisis.

The last two weeks have been a strange mixture of totally stoked and abso-freakin-lutely terrified. I have some ideas of what I want to do. Actually, the problem is that I have TOO MANY ideas of what I want to do.

I could be a photojournalist. I could be a life coach. I could be a cultural anthropologist. I could be a full time writer. I could be a  marketing consultant. I could be a wellness consultant. I could be a travel writer. I could learn graphic design.

Ai yi yi. With all these beautiful things, how could I ever decide? Thus, I’m trying to just sit in the space and see what happens. That’s what my sponsor told me to do, so I’m trying to take advice. Just sit with it and see what comes up.

I have 3 things I’m holding onto as a guide. I mentioned them in my Mexico post. 3 passions that make me feel sparkly and alive.

Art.
Travel.
Connection.

Whatever I do, it needs to mix these three, somehow. I don’t know what it looks like. But these are the things I love. (Suggestions are VERY welcome!)

So, despite the anxiety of feeling like I’m at the crest of a rollercoaster… I’m stoked. The world is my oyster. I can do anything, it seems… and with so many things that I love, the future looks extremely colorful.

Crisis? What crisis? THIS IS AN ADVENTURE!!!

Quotes Picture: it's a dangerous business, frodo, going out your door if you don't kick your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to

——

If you are experiencing symptoms of quarter life crisis, ask your doctor if New Opportunity might be right for you. Side effects may include heart palpitations, nervous tremors, adventure, drastic change, and excitement overload. New Opportunity is not for everyone. If you have a stable career that you love, a boyfriend who is a potential life partner, or feel fully satisfied in your life, New Opportunity may cause extreme mood swings, depression, or anxiety. However, if Quarter Life Crisis has recently struck you, stagnancy is optional. New Opportunity can give you that push you need to get going and change your life. Try it today!

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18 Replies to “Quarter Life Crisis”

  1. This is such a great post, Laurie. You articulate it all so well and I love that you arrive at adventure versus panic. You’re so cool, it might take some time to find the career that fits you. In the meantime, there’s no one you need to become and no place you need to be. You’re just awesome right now as you are. Hugs, H

    1. Awww Heather – thanks for making me smile! 🙂 Thank you for affirming me… I so appreciate your words. They bring me so much peace and a good reminder to just be where I am. SO need to remember that. Love you much dear friend.

    1. Hooray an award!!! My first award!!! Thank you Maurnas! 🙂 I’m not usually a list person on my blog (in real life is WAY different… lists everywhere) but maybe for you I will 🙂

  2. Let’s just talk about LOTR forever! I never had a quarter life crisis. And I’m not afraid of death anymore. But I do believe it is a thing. I guess when I was 26 I was having heart surgeries and that was enough for me. Or maybe I am having one now. In which case, I am living to 120!

    1. OH I SO AGREE! I mean fuck it let’s just go live in Middle Earth. That would solve all my quarter life crises in one fell swoop.
      And maybe some people just don’t have quarter life crises. I don’t know. I just know that I turned 25 and it really made me think. Hey and living to 120 would be awesome. Not quite Dunedain awesome, but pretty darn close. (I can pull LOTR references for years…)

  3. Girrrl, I feel ya with the quarter life crisis. I had mine at 23 and am still trying to figure things out. I think one big thing on the job front that is extremely challenging for our generation is the fact that the jobs we will have in 10, 20, 30 years are not necessarily in existence right now. Therefore we will have to seriously adapt which is kind of a hard thing to do when it doesn’t exist now. Just my two cents.

    Good luck! You’ll make it through!
    -GIllian

    1. That’s so true! I didn’t think of that, Gillian. I do feel like I might have to create the career I want. And that’s a bit daunting! Exciting, but challenging for sure.
      Thanks for the encouragement! You too 🙂

  4. Ummm, what happens when this occurs at almost 38 years old?! 🙂 I can totally relate,except I have all my grad school loans slapping me in the face every time I think about the fact that I’m not using my social work degree. It was all I thought I wanted. Now, here I am determined to become the writer I dreamed of as a young girl.

    Maybe you should give expat life a try? Live in another country for awhile, work whatever job you have to in order to go there (au pair, ESL, etc) and write about it. You definitely never know what could happen. I think Germany is a good choice. 😉

    1. Haha I think that’s called “mid life crisis”? 🙂 I mean theoretically most people live until they’re in their 80s anyway, right? 🙂 And you are a fantastic writer; so so glad you are living out your childhood dream!!!

      And girrrrrrllll… that is my PLAN! Expat life for the win. Seriously what I’m trying to find is a freelance job so that I can live in different places for 6mos or more at a time. I could do ESL, but I’ve done that before and I’m not sure it would work for me. I DO have a list as long as BOTH my arms to strike off though… and living somewhere for a bit is cheaper than just passing through. Also, the complicated part is that I really want to take my cat. I’m going to figure it out, dammit! 🙂 That’s my biggest goal for this year!

  5. Ha! Oh girl, I’ve had more quarter life crises than I can count 😉 And I absolutely relate to your three passions– you have to go after them and be intentional and not keep living a script that’s not right for you. I can’t wait to see what happens 🙂

    1. Hahaha why not pile them all on at once 😉 maybe it will get you out of a midlife one later! (one can hope…)
      Oh girl you will definitely hear about what happens because I can’t help but write about it. 🙂 My goal is to make this a trauma/addiction recovery travel blog… hell yeah 😀

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