We've all heard of the mid-life crisis: balding head, bulbous gut, grey hairs, and the ever looming reality that you're not as young as you used to be... the fear that maybe you haven't done enough yet weighs down on you, or maybe you're running out of time to do the things that used to make you alive. This leads to the urge to buy an expensive car to impress a young 20-something blonde with similarly expensive plastic surgery. Horrifying.
Boy I hope that doesn't happen to me... I nearly have two arts degrees. I don't think I'll ever afford a fancy car.
But what about the quarter life crisis? The lesser known phenomenon occurs around the same time someone in their 20s is facing the 2nd half of their college/university degree or even scarier: GRADUATION!!! (Dramatic braawwwwwwrrrr). Everything's fine and then suddenly... everything stops.
And it hits: What am I doing? What am I really doing? Do I want this? HAS THIS BEEN A MISTAKE? DO I NEED TO MAKE DECISIONS NOW? Oh no! I'm GETTING OLDER! A few more years and all my dreams will be over and I'll be stuck doing whatever I'm doing! (Whatever that is!)
So then you stop mid-essay and get out your laptop and start blogging about a quarter life crisis in third-person...
The nagging feeling creeps into the back of your head. Something's wrong. How do I fix it? What do I even need to fix? Am I being productive enough? Are the things that I'm doing that are productive even what I want to do? It becomes difficult to understand if things are a waste or not. Not in an apathetic sense, but an unsure fear of the future brought on by the stress of responsibility.
Did our parents feel like this when they were our age? Are we faced with the multitude of choice and are overwhelmed with the reality of *dramatic chord* ADULTHOOD? (Did you really expect answers here? I'm 21. I don't know anything! I'm irresponsible, ignorant, vain, and fear job interviews more than death because let's face it... 21 year olds are immortal and we cannot die until age 30. 27 if we choose to be musicians) That alone cannot be it (unless it is it and I figured it out! Did I win the quarter life crisis? Can someone give me money so I can afford food?) because I do not believe that human motives and issues are so simplistic as to have one basic cause. See it'd be easy to blame the warm embrace of the internet that distracts us into a world of escapism and easy fixes, where we don't need to deal with the difficulties of day to day life because hey look a cat gif! Awwww! Reblog! But that's such a simplistic scapegoat and sounds like something our parents would say so naturally we have to disregard that. Truth is the future is scary and unsure and I believe we aren't failing at tackling it because of the safety net of easy-access endorphins supplied by the internet... I think a lot of us go on the internet a lot because we need something to escape from the uncertainty of adulthood for a while. Life doesn't go away because we have a Tumblr, life continues... just now we have cat gifs and an outlet to complain about how hard taxes and washing machines are. (WHY DO THEY HAVE SO MANY SETTINGS AND BUTTONS? I only ever use one for my clothes! What do I need the rest of these settings for!?)
I'm pretty sure I know what to do. I've been wanting to do it since I was 8. I just don't know how good I'll be at it or how to be more successful. I don't know if I'm trying hard enough to learn how to get better let alone working hard enough to reach my goals. I can't seem to shake the uneasy feeling that whatever I'm doing might be wrong. What if it's a mistake?
But come on... I'm 21. I can screw up. I can do poorly and fail because I have time to get up and try again. I have plenty of time to achieve my goals, I hope. I just need to reassure myself that it's OK to be unsure about things from time to time because I'll figure it out... my parents did. Your parents did. I hope. Did they? No? Oh. Awkward. Well someone's parents has it together so maybe one day we'll be some other worried 21 year old's friend's parents and we'll have it together by then. If we have kids that is... oh gosh I hope I don't start worrying about having kids.
I need to save my fear of the future until I'm 45 when I'm really running out of time to achieve things. 45 is old. A few mores years left and that's it... all my dreams will be over and I'll be stuck doing whatever I'm doing! (Whatever that is!)