Over dramatic title? Okay, yes it is, but I’m very dramatic. The reason I’ve decided to write about this is actually for a few reasons, as I have talked about many big decisions and milestones my entire life, I thought of talking about it.
I’ve always been someone that, due to my planning obsessions, have always thought that my life will be a path taking me from A to B and that path will be one straight line. But life isn’t like that really, as much as I want it to be, because it feels safe and secure and I like that feeling.
This is what I wanted when I was in college: Age 26 – get a mortgage, age 27 – get married, age 30 – have first child. I know it’s an exhausting to-do list and many of us today strive for but I made poor choices along the way and here I am writing about mid life crisis because I am no where close to what I wanted to do. Actually, I am not even sure what I want to do next. Forget about getting married and having kids.
I’m 25 & have been using the term quarter life crisis to describe my friends’ and my own experiences. I think the problem is for the first time we are looking backwards and not just forwards. I want to quit my job and have a ‘time-out’ and of course I hope to go to this university in maybe 2 years time so it may turn out to be a good thing.
So really, what is going on with us ? You ask almost everyone in between the ages of 25 and 35, they seem to be having a complete identity crisis. We don’t know what we want. We’re not happy. We feel despondent. We feel hopeless. We’re still young and yet WE DON’T FEEL YOUNG. We feel like our best years are behind us and what’s next is just time. Lots and lots of time… that we wasted. So Much Time Wasted !
I don’t know what this weird phenomenon of people our age is. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe everyone goes through a little bit of a craziness before they hit a milestone age. But, I have a feeling we’re down on ourselves because we’re not living up to who we thought we’d be by this age. Do you feel that? Do you feel like you’re not the person you thought you’d grow into? I could list off every accomplishment I thought I’d have ticked off my list by now.
When you’re still in college, you look up at the high rise with wonderment, projecting all your most exciting hopes and dreams. We think we know what we want and then life happens. It happens in the most extraordinary, dull, boring, fun, amazing, exhilarating, heartbreaking moments. We get busy in the business of living and project out more.
That rumbling in the bottom of your stomach that says: you didn’t do it, you failed, you fucked it all up. I look at everyone younger than me or people of my age doing things I wanted to do and have achieved so much more for their age. And I am here just scrolling through my new feed thinking this could have been me but then again I was living my own Goddamn life and I wish if someone could take me back so I can do it over. I know it better now.
I agree, it sucks. That regret feels like acid sitting at the bottom of your stomach, just stewing there, reminding you of your inadequacies. But I keep reminding to myself that I am not old. And for everyone who is reading this, you are beautiful, wonderful, and amazing all on your own without any man or woman, whatever your flavor, to validate that. You have every right to want a family, a dream, a white-picket fence, but for god sakes, stop scaring yourself.
You are not teeming on the edge of dementia. You have much to offer and much to hope for, and so much still to learn, see, and do. Your dreams and hopes are the cake you should eat.
Don’t rush into a marriage or hook-up with someone, just because you are getting old and freaking out.
Don’t settle into a situation because you fear this is the best it is going to be. Don’t sign on for life with someone just because you want so badly to be loved.
Don’t believe that your time is up. It is just beginning. It’s no secret that your thirties are often better than your twenties.
But, here’s what I really, really, really, really, really believe to be true: we are all experiencing the life we are meant for. I don’t mean that in the overtly positive—it’s all perfect—way, but I mean, we are souls having a human experience of what it means to be alive in a physical body.
I believe that we are here in the exact experience we are meant for. We may have these hopes and dreams, but those hopes and dreams don’t have a timeframe, not usually because India was never on my list, not even in my wildest dream would I have thought that I’d be here working for almost 2 years now.
And, honestly, part of being a human and having physical experiences is knowing what it feels like to let ourselves down and regret and feel like we could have done better and making commitments to do better next time and learning from our past and learning from mistakes.
I have dropped out of college, changed majors not once, not twice but thrice. I have wonderful people whom I call friends for years now even though I might not talk to them everyday. Being a child of separated parents, I have obviously given up on trust and family ties. I have been betrayed and cheated on at very young age which explains why I do not want to trust anyone.
I know that sounds a lot of pain and struggle, I am pretty sure there are people who are more fucked up that I am. Right now, I am on the verge of quitting my job and looking out for opportunities like every other person with aspiration would. I am hopelessly crushing on this guy I know and secretly hoping things will work out. I really want to start studying but I am nowhere close to even deciding on where I want to go.
But I now believe that we are here to experience the multitude of feelings and emotion, which means that sometimes we are ordained down a path which will show us disappointment and fear and grief and anger. We cannot throw out the bad in search of the good. There is a dark walk through the tunnel to get to the light. There just is.
And although I’m an extreme planner, and this whole thing was never part of the plan. I actually feel really content with this decision and although I’ve had a bit of a mid life crisis in my life plan, I’ve still got the rest of my life ahead of me right?