We’ve all heard of the dreaded mid-life crisis that those before us have experienced. The legends tell us of 50-year old men dropping thousands of dollars on a new convertible or entertainment system. We hear of middle-aged women enrolling in pole dancing classes or going out on Saturday nights to feel alive again. But we don’t often hear of the crisis that happens before all the rest. This crisis is a combination of thoughts and fears that haunt us in our dreams and fill our minds during almost every waking moment.
It’s that dreaded quarter-life crisis.
Almost two years ago, I told those around me that I felt as if I was experiencing some sort of mid-life crisis. They brushed it off and told me I was crazy. After all, I was only 20. How could I possibly be experiencing an identity crisis at such a young age?
It’s easy. Suddenly we’re thrust into the real world. This place where we are supposed to know what we want to do and we are supposed to know how to do it. We’re supposed to make important decisions and plan for years in advance. No one really knows what he or she is doing but we’re all scared to admit that.
We look around us and see our classmates finishing their degrees. We see others enrolling in grad school and witness others accepting job offers or starting families. They all make it look so easy. But when we look inward, we become panicked because we have no idea. We feel stuck. We see several different paths and even as we choose one of them we look backwards at the others…positive that we’re making a mistake.
Don’t believe me when I say I know. I have no idea. Each decision I make is a gamble. No one truly knows what the future holds. I focus so much on the future to escape the present.
Don’t be afraid of the unknown. No one really knows. We’re all pretending.
But there’s no set path for us. There’s no road for us to follow. There’s no way of knowing what’s right and wrong. We just have to try.
We just have to take chances. We have to follow our dreams and listen to our hearts even when everyone is advising us against it.
We have to believe in ourselves. And above all, we have to believe that we can have it all. We can have that life we love while making a living.
You can’t always wait for the perfect time. Sometimes, you just have to jump.