A few months ago, my quarter life crisis hit. It came in the form of a pink bedroom, a slight weight gain, and a general “oh shit” feeling in my bones. I was (and am) doing everything I should be — great home, job, masters program, faith, friends…I’ve pretty much got everything I could want at not-quite-25. And I think that’s where the minor panic came from — I have everything I want, and yet some days, I just don’t feel on top of the world. I feel boring. Well, not so much boring as…bored? “But how,” you might ask “could you be bored when your day goes from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.?” So, maybe “bored” isn’t the right word… Perhaps “unsatisfied” is more accurate, which in turn makes me feel selfish, which in turn makes me feel like a terrible person, which in turn makes me want to sell everything I own and go live in Guatemala.
I want to know what’s next and when, even though a) it is not up to me and b) I realize the importance of enjoying the here and now.
All of this in mind, I can’t help but wonder if our generation is one of quarter-life-crisis instead of mid-life-crisis. Think about it…
Our parents secured jobs just out of high school or college and stuck with them, many of them working in the same place for their entire careers. It’s no wonder that somewhere between the 10 and 20 year mark in those jobs–with the cute little home and the spouse and the kids–they began to wonder what the point is, and why they aren’t spending their time doing something they loved.
All those questions were going on in their heads as our generation grew into adults, instilling us with the “what’s my TRUE passion??” mentality. So now as WE finish college and look for jobs (correction–beg for jobs) we’ve begun saying, “well, if I can’t find a job, I’m going to do what I really want (grad school, entrepreneurship, etc) instead. OR I will flit and float from job to job until I figure out exactly what it is that I WANT to do.”
I predict that because of this, by the time we hit mid-life-crisis-time, we will find ourselves in situations that, for the most part, we like. We will have spent our 20-something years sorting out the kinks and weighing out our options. Of course, we won’t all be happy at 40, but I truly think that in general, our times of crisis are going to creep around much earlier than they used to.