Hello Quarter-life Crisis

Quarter life crisis

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.

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  • Crysi

    Mmmmm should I really comment on this! Yes Jess the zero effort needs to change, live a little get out of that comfort zone…overall i feel you girl..i feel this post..next year i’ll be hitting this crisis! **bawls**

  • I’ve never heard that expression, “to keep your balance, you must keep moving”… But it’s pretty fantastic! And oh so relevant.I had a bit of a freak out on my 24th birthday when I realized that now there’s no denying that I’m in my mid-twenties and therefore an adult, and my antics are going to stop being cute real soon. But you know what? I think the greatest sign of maturity is the ability to reassess your life and where it’s headed, and to make decisions in consequence. Probably only because that definition suits me, but you know, you can invent your own!
    Happy belated birthday!

  • Dannielle

    I think we all experience this! Don’t worry, and 25 is not that old!

  • Oh yes! I know the feeling well! Especially hits me when I fill out forms now and need to select the 25 to 50 box…

  • Natalie Tanner

    Sometimes I think you just need to take a deep breath and jump!! Everyone has those moments….at different ages, I’m sure, but the same ideas….doing something that matters.

  • I think we all have our crisis moments, and it’s how we deal with them that matters. I’m 35 next month and recently had a bit of a ‘somewhere between quarter-life and mid-life crisis), and ended up cutting down my hours at work to concentrate more on me, my blog, and just living life. Don’t regret it one bit. Sometimes you just have to do what your gut instinct tells you and not listen to the others. 🙂

  • I definitely had a quarter-life crisis… but it’s been the best thing to ever happen to me! I quit my corporate marketing job to pursue my passion, fitness, and I haven’t looked back 🙂 It’s okay to feel uneasy, but you have the right headspace about it. Just keep pushing forward and trust that everything will work out, because it always has.

  • Samantha Hussey

    I loved this post because I can completely relate to this when I turned 25 last year. While I don’t agree I haven’t achieved anything I certainly wanted to achieve something great in my 25th year so I recently completed a 800km walking journey that totally helped with my achievement progress in life! I may not be having babies or getting married, but I am going on adventures that far outweigh any amazing job! My walk was solo and completely out of my comfort zone so I agree its definitely worth doing it once in awhile! 🙂 Well done of doing the same 🙂

  • Nikoleta Michalova

    Never heard of quarter life crisis haha. Maybe it is awaiting me as well 😉

  • a wanderphile

    Haha! I think I’ve been having a quarter life crisis every year for the last 10! Great post

  • Beckie Jones

    I know this feeling well, I hated turning 25! But sometimes we need something to kick us into gear and get us motivated for our next big adventure, whatever that may be! Take it as that and don’t worry, 25 is young 🙂

  • Rhoni (Living Our Life)

    I am a firm believer that age is a state of mind. Enjoy it!

  • Alana Margaret

    I’ve got three months to thirty and I think it’s pretty normal to keep have these “Aha!” moments in life where we wonder if we’re doing all that we could be.

  • Stephanie Raley

    I can completely understand where you are coming from. My birthday is always a time of contemplation, I wonder if I’m on the right track and doing what I should be at this time in life. I’ve started to realise that it doesn’t really matter though. If we just do what we want to do we will have a pretty great life!

  • Karla Ramos

    A lot of people can totally relate to what you are feeling. Birthdays can really get us contemplating about the things that we have done and the things we want to do. But whether or not we feel like we’re doing what you want, we just always need to remember the fact that we have the power to change that.

  • Age is just a number. Get out there and enjoy life as you can ever imagine. Happy travels!

  • I’m 23 right now, and I don’t think I encounter a crisis regarding my age. I chose to travel and make the most of it. I know when I reached 25, I wouldn’t regret anything. And yes, age is just a number 😀

  • Simone Lye

    Oh I completely feel your pain! I turned 25 last year and felt all these same feelings! Now I am 26 I sometimes still do but remember age is just a number & life is what you make of it 🙂 I think travel is the best thing ever though!

  • rishabh85

    It is a difficult age but being able to travel makes it so much better !

  • I’m turning 26 this year and I can totally relate to this post! Like, there are mornings when I say to myself, “I was just 21 yesterday!” Gosh, how time flies. Let’s make the best of the years ahead of us.

  • Grietje Evenwel

    Got my crisis when I was 27 – haha. But mainly think it had to do with life changing every 7 years – so it was just a transfer year between 26 and 28. Just turned 28 last month, so up for a year of excitement 😀

  • Lucy Smith

    I swear sometimes it feels like I’m having a daily life crisis! The good to think about is that almost everyone feels the same. I also try to remind myself of my last crisis and how I got over that so try to relax have fun and trust that like the last this crisis will soon pass too! Great post!

  • I will turn 25 in couple of months and I already can feel the crisis myself but its true what most comments says in here that travel does wonders. You should write another post a year later about your experiences!

  • Sarah Perez

    Great self reflection! I always have moments like this but not on birthdays… quite the opposite, I get it when someone I know passes away. I start thinking about how short life is and how I need to do the things I want to do quickly or I might not get to do them at all. In a way these moments are good because they put it all in perspective. You come out on the other side with a better idea of where you want to go 😉

    http://www.lifeismyoyster.com

  • Having turned 27 this year I get you! But it’s weird, to me it seems weird to be 27 because I just don’t feel like it! I’m not a proper grown up and I have no plans on ever being one! This is the year we set off travelling long term, so sometimes you need that motivation from those strange numbers we label ourselves with!

  • Nice reflection! Honestly, I’m only 22 years old and I’m already experiencing quarter-life crisis. I’m planning to go back to school next year and major on arts. Who knows what happens next.

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  • Turned 30 this year and I had another crisis, hopefully that one wont hit you as well! I just booked ticket to Thailand and cant wait!

  • Natalie Tanner

    That hit me when I turned 30….felt so ‘grown up!’

  • I turn 25 next year and so not looking forward to having to be ‘grown up’ I just want to run away!

  • exploramum

    Great article – good content and very spot on – age does trigger the mind

  • Kimberly

    AHAH In some fabulous way, My head has always been in the clouds, maybe so high in the clouds that I never reallllly had a quarter life crisis ahaha. Lucky for me I was to busy dreaming to get stressed about societal norms 😛