Typically around my birthday, I find myself retreating and getting all wrapped up in nostalgia. I would look back on the past year and start overanalyzing every decision I’ve made and beat myself up over what I consider to be my shortcomings. Sometimes it results in nothing but a trip down memory lane but there have been instances where it became a full existential crisis.
25 is one of those milestone ages. Half way through your twenties, there is no longer any doubt that you’re an adult, or at least you’re supposed to be. People generally expect you to have achieved something by now and have your priorities straight.
These expectations are bolstered in the age of over sharing when every time you open a social media platform, you’re hit with the news of another one of your friends getting engaged, landing their dream job and jet-setting around the world. As happy as you are for them, you are constantly reminded that you need to get your shit together! I know life isn’t a competition and I should trust the timing of my life but still there is a sense of urgency to start fulfilling all those ridiculous goals you set for yourself when you were younger.
In the months leading up to my 25th birthday, I could sense my impending quarter-life crisis so like a real adult, I decided to plan a weekend getaway and surround myself with friends and lots of alcohol to offset my issues. It turned out to be a wonderful weekend with no time left for over thinking. However, as the weekend winded down, someone asked me a question that caught me a little off-guard.
“Don’t you get lonely?”
At the time, I didn’t give it much thought but as the week went by my mind kept wandering back to that question and it got me into a pensive mood. Now after days and days of self-deliberation, I’ve come to realize that I really am not as content with my life as I thought I was. In fact, I’d say I’m borderline unhappy.
Hello, quarter-life crisis!
Let’s backtrack for a second here. To date, there has been one constant in my life, everything that means something to me has come at a price. The last existential crisis I had happened right after I graduated, like so many others, I had no job and no idea what I was doing with my life. Every aspect of my life at the time was pretty much a mess! It took me a long time to get through that phase and it was exhausting, but I’ll give myself some credit, everything worked out pretty well.
I have a decent job, a small group of really amazing friends and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel regularly outside of this little island. Some people would look on my life and think that I’ve got everything figured out but most days I’m just struggling to keep it all together. Somewhere along the way, my need for stability turned into settling. I’d stopped putting myself out there because I felt like I now have something to lose and it’s just recently that I realized that I don’t. The person I’ve become is no longer concerned with my 23-year-old priorities, yet those are exactly the things I’m still perpetuating.
I use to be afraid of failure but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at something that does not matter. As a Libra, I’ve always tried to maintain a balance in life but I seem to have forgotten that “to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Maybe the cure to my quarter-life crisis is as simple as that, to shake things up so that I can find my equilibrium again. Just let go of my silly routines and take a leap of faith on things I really want and if it doesn’t work out…then I’ll just drown my sorrows in wine and ice-cream. It’s definitely going to take some time and it based on my track record, it won’t be easy but nothing’s going to change if I don’t.
As for the question of loneliness, being alone necessarily doesn’t mean you are lonely, and vice versa. I tend to have high expectations of people; I don’t waste time on people who add no value to my life and being comfortable alone has made that particularly easy. However, I’ve had friendships fade due to a mutual lack of effort and that’s something I should probably work on.
Being a full week into my quarter-life crisis, all that I’m sure about is that I’m in dire need of a change. I have constantly remind myself that there is nothing to lose and step outside of my comfort zone now before I get stuck in this just-getting-by, simple lifestyle.