On Sunday, I turn 24… Making me believe that time sped up and forgot to take me with it.
Over the last few months especially I have become increasingly overwhelmed with real life, anxious and questioning everything. Am I doing the right thing? Is this what I want my life to be? Have I missed my opportunity to go travelling? Am I in the right job/career? What am I doing with my life?!
Is this really how twenty-something-year-olds are feeling?
I said something as a joke the other day when getting all stressy about the above topics and I exclaimed to Alex , ‘Do you think I am having a quarter life crisis?’ and we both burst out laughing.
I realised after – this wasn’t a joke.
After doing some research I came the realisation that this theory is all over the internet and in many magazine articles. They refer to the ‘quarter life crisis’ as a period of your life ranging from your 20’s to your 30’s when people feel doubtful about their own lives, this is more often than not brought on with the stress of becoming an adult.
Trawling the tinterweb I realised I wasn’t alone in having these feelings of struggle and the fact I haven’t figured out my true purpose in life. I feel everything I do in my personal life or at work falls short of these expectations/purposes I once imagined. Until I find the answer to these things – I genuinely feel stuck.
I read online somewhere that instead of this stuck feeling – find what motivates us/drives us and makes us happy, remembering these things take time. Having a quarter life crisis in the first place is a privilege and I should be grateful. Yes I do not feel fulfilled or feel in control at times but lets not forget those who struggle to even afford to eat.
According to Karin Peeters, life coach and psychologist, a mid-20s crisis is essentially being held in the grips of prolonged decision-making stress. “Some people respond by freezing and being unable to take action; others respond with flight, a.k.a. just leaving the job, leaving the partner, or the city,” she says. “And the third response is fight, or ‘I’m going to work harder, and go to the gym, and do everything I can to achieve something, anything.'”
I feel as though I pivot between 2 of these! I don’t compare myself to the ‘flight’ method way of thinking as that is another level of panic and anxiety in itself, that I am unwilling to go through. So I resign to ‘freezing’ and unsure on decision making most days. Nonetheless I find occasionally this will swing to ‘fight’ – going to the gym 4 times a week and being motivated at work. I just hope that my response to my mid-20s crisis carries on to be a fighting action rather than curling up in a ball and crying!
I guess the point is, to stop comparing myself to others or trying to measure up to different expectations; I should embark on my own path of self discover and not panic that it takes a little longer than expected.
Let me know your thoughts on the ‘quarter life crisis’, are you experiencing one? and if so what are your coping mechanisms?