A quarter-life crisis is defined as a period of life usually ranging from the early twenties to the mid twenties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.
This definition could not be a more spot on description of how life is currently unfolding for me. At the young and supposedly thriving age of just 24, I work two extremely time consuming jobs, neither of which are actually what I want to be doing with my life, I have no potential for a relationship because that would require me to have time for dating and my bank is constantly sending me emails that my account balance is low. With the amount of hours I work plus the sleepless nights plus the ugly stress pimples, why do I feel that I am accomplishing nothing towards my future?
Emotionally, physically, mentally, and even somewhat morally, I found that while I thought I was growing into this incredibly driven and hardworking woman, the truth was that I had no idea who I was anymore. And for some reason, that I still haven't been able to comprehend, I let myself believe that it was totally fine for me to continue on this way. In all of the chaos of my day-to-day life, I lost my sense of self and sense of what my goals are from any and all aspects of my life.
There is a reason for this though. I'd been so focused on how to get there without really having a "there" to get to. I've always been the jumpy type when it comes to long-term decisions. I like knowing where it is I need to get in life and then find the way to get said place. But with all the clutter of work stress and everyday life, I forgot where it was exactly that I was trying to go. Unfortunately, rather than stop and take a second to think, I kept pushing myself to get somewhere that didn't even exist in my mind yet.
It is an extraordinary realization when it finally hits you. It feels as if all those questions you've been asking yourself for months finally have some answers. But they don't have answers yet. There is still an enormous pile of shit on your lap that needs to be sorted through. Rather than let this knock me down, this epiphany instead began to motivate me to figure out what is it I wanted before jumping to the thought of how do I get there.
After picking apart all the various aspects of my life and finally pinpointing what the issue was, I felt worse. Wait, why do I feel worse? Here in this moment of utter confusion and serious depression, I felt I had hit rock bottom. This is what I believed to be the true moment of crisis. I knew what I needed to pick myself back up and start over. I knew that the job I had been working so hard at for the last six months was getting me nowhere and honestly was causing me much more stress and anxiety than happiness or fulfillment. So instead of feeling better, my life sank further into crisis mode because I knew what I had to do to get past this uncertainty. I needed to quit my job, but my bank account would argue otherwise.
Here is the moment that I've heard people talk about going through around my age. I had to make a decision that would change everything for me. A decision that will, hopefully, pull me out of my funk and get me back on the right track to there, wherever that may be. It seems easy, you quit and move forward. Find a new job that fills you with joy and satisfaction. But as my mind raced back and forth between my options, I felt numb. I told myself to sleep on it.
The next morning, I woke up and had my coffee as usual, sat down at my computer and I quit. I didn't overthink it, or even consider how poor I will be for the foreseeable future. I just did what felt right.
If this is part of becoming an adult, I'd like to stop getting older now. Having such a strong feeling of uncertainty put me in a terrible place mentally and physically. I'm not talking about the quitting part, that actually went better than expected, but the questioning my life goals and who I am as a person. I've always been a confident person, and losing that confidence in myself gave me an awful feeling of being unworthy of happiness. Thankfully, making this decision to do what is best for myself and to quit my job instantly took that feeling away from me.
Whatever it is I may be doing, I don't want to be questioning my choices. I want to be certain that am I doing what I love and what makes me happy. So if a mid-life crisis is anything like these feelings of uncertainty and unhappiness, I'll make sure to sleep through that one.