The first one happened almost two years ago, when I was 26. The second is more or less happening now. Sometimes I move fast in life and make split second decisions and if it was not for my family and friends I may have followed through with ALL of those decisions but I haven’t, at least not yet. For me a quarter life crisis looks a lot like this…
You don’t know what you are doing or where you are going. You don’t know what you should be doing. You don’t feel fulfilled and you question everything. You wonder what your future is going to look like, and feel like you should have it figured out by now, right this second. Everything you see in your path is extremely daunting and it scares you so much that you can’t put one foot in front of the other, because some days you’re afraid to start because you feel like you don’t know how and failure seems inevitable.
This summer I moved to Colorado, and while I am loving wandering around the big mountains, I’m still not sure why I came here but the adventures have been fun so far. And then I start to question myself: why did I move here, what is next in my life, why do I work retail, why would I want to sit at a desk again… these are all questions running through my mind on a daily basis. Yes, it is exhausting and sometimes I even loose sleep over it. I have learned a few things to help me get through crisis and sometimes it takes daily reminders.
We are often much harder on ourselves than we would be on a friend in the same situation. What would you tell your best friend? Tell yourself that instead. Negative self-talk gets into a loop of judgment that is not helpful. One way is to stop comparing your life to everyone else’s on social media. People only put the best parts of their lives on social media, remember everyone has bad days. Some days I feel like the world it just continuously punching me and at some point I always stop and think “what is the worst that could happen, how could this get any worse?” BUT no matter how shitty you feel you ALWAYS pick yourself back up. Don’t be afraid of failure because in so many ways that is how we learn more.
For me looking at the big picture can be both ineffective during a time when you are questioning your entire existence but also incredibly effective to setting BIG goals to look forward to in the future. My big picture plans typically revolve around travel and not work but it’s something that keeps me motivated. Sometimes I change my passwords to reflect my big picture goals, especially if they involve saving money, I need that constant reminder. I also try to hang little reminders around where I live so I don’t loose sight of my goals.
I don’t know what I’m doing, but I have ideas, and nothing to lose. Maybe it seems like I have it all figured out now, I don’t. Sometimes I sit in front of my computer wondering how to be productive or driving into work I wonder what would happen if I just kept going until I ran out of gas… where would I end up, some days not that far away. But it's all going to be ok and work out, just have some faith. For a long time I got stuck in the revolving door of life’s questions “What do you want to do with your life?” and “Is this the right thing to do?” and “What are you doing?” The answer to all of those questions was and still is: “I have no idea.”
We can’t always know if the path we have chosen will lead somewhere that makes us happy. Life isn’t about knowing for sure if it will or it won’t work out. It is okay to figure it out as you go along. That’s what this whole life thing is about. If you aren’t happy, change something and see what happens. If you still aren’t happy, change something else. You don’t need to know what you want to be when you grow up. I still don’t know. If you have a dream, do it. If you have a message, say it. If you have a goal, get it. Even if you don’t know where you are going, go in that direction. Embrace yourself, the path you are on, and the person you want to be. I have learned to trust your gut. And Learn from everything you are doing. It can be a driving force for inspiration, creativity and drive. Take your life seriously. Make goals and work towards them.
My enjoyment of life is directly correlated to my choices. So I started choosing for me, and for things that would make me grow and learn, while have the most fun possible doing it. Stop caring what other people think. If you believe in what you are doing, does it really matter what others think? Do you really value the opinion of those people? Most of the time, the answer is no.