I can't even imagine how many people are going to read this, roll their eyes, shake their heads and tell me I'm nuts.
A quarter life crisis is a real thing. I'm 26 and up to my eyeballs in it right now. (Cue the eyerolls.)
I feel like I have been in it for the last two years, with no real end in sight.
I have bouts of "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!" moments, and a lot more of "omg what am I doing why is this happening I'm screwing everything up" moments.
I changed my major in college FOUR times. Yeah. Four. I started out as an English major, but then decided that I didn't want to teach and because I was dumb didn't think I could do anything else with an English degree (yes to all my high school English teachers, especially Mrs. S, I'm hanging my head in shame). So I changed my major to Psych.
I hated it.
This is the part of my life when I dropped out of college, got married and moved around the country. (Yes, that's for another post later.)
I went back to school as a Legal Studies major.
Decided that I really did want to write for a living, but that "being a writer" wasn't a real way to actually make money unless I was Stephen King or something. Which I am not, sorry to say.
Started the journalism major thing, which I liked and stuck with.
This is the part of my life when I got divorced, drove across the country back to my hometown by myself, moved into my own place, and graduated college.
So while all my friends are finishing graduate school, medical school, getting in promotions, getting solid careers and seeming like they have all their shit together, I'm rocking the fresh-out-of-college life with two part-time jobs because the job I went to college for isn't panning out like I hoped.
I like my jobs. I do. I like being able to work in a newsroom and be part of the news experience, but it's not what I was expecting/what my degree readied me for. (Mayhaps doing an online program for journalism wasn't such a great plan after all.)
LOOK AT ME QUESTIONING MY DECISION MAKING AGAIN.
Anyway, when I was living in California, a friend of mine went through the quarter life crisis. I watched it happen and I thought she was just being dramatic. (My baaaad.) I was in denial that it would happen to me because I wasn't like her.
Good Lord was I wrong.
Now I obviously know better.
As I'm sitting in my bedroom in my apartment that I share with two roommates (hiiiiiii) while they are off at work at their full-time jobs, I'm writing this blog post while texting with my boyfriend, while he's at his really fabulous full-time job, I am left wondering where the fuck I went wrong on my shit to get me here. (Hi regret feelings about being married and all that garbage, welcome back.)
Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?
I'm back to writing a blog, throwing myself into martial arts as much as I can when I'm not working. Which are the same things I was doing in college before I started questioning what I was doing because everyone else told me that what I was doing didn't make sense. When I was getting my degree just to have it, working toward my black belt because I wanted to teach martial arts, and I wanted to write in my spare time. And people told me I was nuts for wanting to do that.
I changed everything because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. In the end, that didn't work out so well, both personal life wise and career wise.
Right now, the personal life part is working out pretty well. So part of me is saying that if things hadn't gone the way they did, I wouldn't be here now.
However, when times get hard, I wonder what is wrong with me that I'm not in the same place as my peers, why I'm feeling like I'm spinning my wheels a lot of the time. I wonder why I never know what the hell I want to do with my life, down to the specifics.
When I was a kid, it was always "I want to be a writer."
When did that stop? When did I stop dreaming big like that? Why did I give up on that?
Some of us in our quarter life crises are trying to get back into dreaming big and doing what we can to make them real. But that fear of failure always creeps into the back of our minds. Why?
Failing is part of the American dream. Or at least, it used to be. That was part of the whole experience: taking a risk and it worked or it didn't. Now the pressure to succeed is a leaded blanket on our shoulders. Taking a chance and failing is a stigma.
It's such a throat gripping fear that if we don't succeed in a BIG and public way, we feel like all of our achievements up to this point aren't good enough. I do this all the time. I am a college graduate (like everyone else), I have a brown belt in martial arts (which took me forever to get because I was stupid and made terrible decisions) - see how we attack ourselves?
So what is the right decision? Keep on trucking, doing what we must until the big break comes, or take a chance on something else? When does taking a chance and it not working out start becoming a pattern to break?
The quarter life crisis is a real thing, kids. I'm just hoping it's a phase and doesn't just turn into a life crisis.