So just what is all this talk about quarter-life crises? Is it another moan of the “too-soft” Millennial generation, those culprits of horror stories of youngsters taking their parents along to interviews and living with their parents until they’re at least 35?
If you’re a twenty-something sailing the good ship Independence on rather rocky, stormy seas, it can seem better, beneath the superior gaze of – well, our superiors – to just keep quiet and sail blindly on, working a definitely-not-dream-job, wondering what the hell your ambitions are and worrying about when you might, if ever, be able to get a foot on the housing ladder and perhaps start a family.
Then join the club! Fortunately, there is a Crazy, Beautiful Life waiting for you. But before you can start navigating your way to success and happiness, You need to know your demons, so here are 6 signs that you are experiencing a quarter-life crisis. Which ones do you identify with?
1. You’re often bored at work.
In fact, you’re secretly procrastinating right now. You work to scrape together a living, but it’s not the glittering career you imagined for yourself. Or you’re progressing up the career-chain, barely pausing for breath, wondering how you ended up doing what you’re doing and doubting that it’s actually what you want. Either way, you spend most of your time trying to be someone you’re not. By the time you get home, you just want to flop and watch TV for an hour, then suddenly it’s bedtime and you’ll just do the same thing again tomorrow.
2. You go into physical panic mode if someone asks you what your future plans are.
If people asked you a few years ago, you puffed up your chest and gave them a grandiose answer, with naive certainty, about what you would do with your life. Now all you can do is shrug, in what you hope is a nonchalant manner, and try to change the subject. Your ambition has been lost in the daily grind, and you don’t know how to get it back.
3. Life in your twenties is so far the opposite of what you had planned at 18.
Oh, the young you was such a know-it-all, wasn’t she?! By 25, you were supposed to be happily married with children, financially stable, and working an impressive and rewarding career. Instead you’re just trying to get by, living one day to the next in a state of mild, generalised panic, feeling like you’re just going round in circles.
4. You dread the increasing influx of wedding invitations.
The heavy cream envelopes seem to increase in volume with each passing summer. You wonder how many more dresses and random gift list kitchenware items you’re going to have to buy this year, for people who seem to have their lives much more ordered and sorted than you.
5. You have this odd sensation that you’re still waiting for your life to really start.
Seriously, is there a password someone forgot to hand out, which would give you access to the shimmery, shiny world called ‘future’ in which everything is good and bright and fits your image of what your life should be?
6. You’ve realised that Bridget Jones is a scarily accurate portrayal of your life.
Apart from the super-chic, super-expensive London apartment, that is! You used to laugh at Bridget Jones; now you watch it in a matching flannel pyjama set, with a box of chocolates, running a cynical commentary in your head. A couple more bad dates and you will be singing badly along with ‘all by myself’ too.
If any of those ring true for you, don’t despair. Laugh! There are ways of dealing with each one of them, and over the next few posts, I’ll look at each of these things and many more.
But for now just know that you are still young. You still have so much potential, so much to learn, so much to experience and do. But perhaps most importantly of all, your Crazy, Beautiful Life, the one you occasionally dare yourself to dream about, can be real, and you can start it today. The first step is understanding that your quarter-life crisis is not a thing to be ashamed of, and that many other twenty-somethings are in the exact same position.
If you want to get a head start, you can buy the ebook This Crazy, Beautiful Life and begin your journey right away.
Cling on to your good ship Independence; understand that you will get through these rocky waters. Good things are on their way!
I spotted this tweet from @joshuaanderson13 – believe it!
— Joshua Anderson (@joshuanderson13) September 10, 2014