It was Wednesday morning, I hadn’t even had my coffee yet and I realised that my quarter life crisis hit me like a train. To those who don’t know, a quarter life crisis is a period of intense soul searching and stress occurring in your mid-20s to early-30s. Sounds stressful, right? Let me put you in the picture…
I had a surgery a month ago and my doctor insisted that I had to stay home for about three weeks. I know you’re all thinking “oh wow – Netflix and chill all day”, but in fact it was a living hell!
Okay, truth is, I’ve watched two new series and – yes! – I had the chilliest time of my life, but I also had plenty of time to think about my life. I don’t do the serious thinking stuff often, and I must confess that I don’t want to do it ever again, but it was helpful. I thought about milestones, the married life everyone talks about, the great jobs, the adult life, even kids! My God, it was awful!
All the interviews I’ve ever attended crossed my mind too. Do you know what the hardest part of an interview is? It’s when a successful CEO sits right on the opposite side of you and they just throw this simple question “How do you see yourself in 10 years?” I mean, really now? Man, I have anxiety and you’re seriously not helping!
As a kid I thought I’d have everything sorted out by the age of 25: I’d be married, with two kids (a boy and a girl)I’d have a great job, lots of money, the fanciest clothes and I’d be able to go on holidays whenever I wanted because why not, right?!
Well, guess what? I blew out 25 candles about 6 months ago and I still live with my parents. I’m also most certainly not married, I’m not even close to thinking about kids, I’ve changed 4 jobs in the last 4 years and let’s just not talk about my bank account!
I thought there was something wrong with me and the way I handled problems and situations in my life. So, I tried to take a closer look at other people’s lives and situations. I couldn’t be the only problematic 25 year old girl in Cyprus, right?! Is everyone settled and happy with their lives? Do they genuinely love their jobs? What are these people’s milestones? Am I too young or too old to get married? Actually, should I ever get married? Am I too old to do another degree? What If I never have kids? Gez, I really need a drink right now!
These questions needed to be answered so I asked my friends. I even asked random people. I tried to do a spreadsheet but that wasn’t helpful either. There was no right pattern, no wrong or right times. I figured out that each person’s milestones are completely different. I saw a 20 year old mum who is thrilled with her life, and a 30 year old man who decided to change his career path when he was 28. There were people who started a family when they were 40, 32 or 25 and people who gave up on their jobs to travel the world. Some of them were happy, some of them not. But hey, that’s life, isn’t it?
We often feel stuck and unhappy, and that’s normal. Just talk to your friends, write everything down and make plans. Happiness is a personal matter, and if you’re not happy it’s because you’re scared. Fear has a very concrete power of keeping us from doing or saying things that are our purpose. Don’t let it define you.
I decided to take a deep breath and leave fear out of the door. Sounds like a good plan, right?