The Quarter Life Crisis
As with any birthday over 21 years old, there is less to look forward to and more responsibility and pressures added on about what that age signifies in our life. I usually get the same question from friends and family: When you were younger, what did you think you would be doing at your age now? I turned 25 yesterday, so the question really is when I was younger, what did I think I’d be doing at 25. For myself, and I am sure for many others, the answer is far off from reality depending on how young I was when I made these assumptions.
At first, I thought about my career. I always wanted to move to Los Angeles. Originally, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist, and at 18 I thought I’d be a reporter on NBC or some big network. Then of course college happened and life happened after. For some reason I thought that people who are 25 are making plenty of money and definitely have their stuff together. I had no idea that I’d be sleeping on an air mattress for 3 years and purchase my first bed frame and dresser at the age of 25. If you had told me that at 18 I think I would have been really scared.
Second, I pondered on my love life. When I was younger I thought 25 was so old because that’s the age when people get married and have kids. I was completely off my rocker about this one. Not to say that I thought I’d be having kids, but maybe I imagined I’d be married with a house. I don’t know what kind of imaginary world I was in where journalism was paying the big bucks, but I was in it. Looking at it now, I can’t even imagine being in that place now. I mean I feel like I can’t buy my first bed and get married within the same year. That is crazy talk! Baby steps!
Lastly, I thought about all the other stuff that I was supposed to have by age 25. I did start my 401K this year and started to get health/dental insurance. I qualified for my first credit card and increased my credit score. On a side note, this is the first year I think I understand how credit scores work. Somehow, I had it in my head that I’d have a fancy apartment or house decorated to look like Anthropology stores with a dishwasher and in unit laundry with two dogs I could totally afford. In my head it was predetermined that all these things needed to be accounted for at age 25.
The only thing I seemed to let go by the wayside was my measurement of happiness. I had gone off about all of these things I imagined my life to be like by 25 based off what society and my peers claimed should be my goals. I never took a step back to think if these goals aligned with the goals that would be in my best interest and happiness. When I was younger had I hoped that I would be happy and fulfilled? It is not that I do not feel happy or fulfilled in this moment, but for me it was not the measurement of success and I believe it holds true for many others. Although, I still think a dishwasher and Dyson V10 cordless vacuum could change my outlook on life.
For some reason as human beings, when the Earth completes another rotation around the sun, we decide to wear glittery dresses, drink excessive champagne (okay there is never a reason not to drink excessive champagne and wear glittery dresses), and countdown to the New Year. We also like to take this time to reflect on the past year. We gather all of our accomplishments or disappointments and try to make goals that will make the next year better. It did not matter that this revolution happened, in our minds, it was the perfect amount of time to use to measure the meaning of life. Lucky for me, my birthday lands a couple days before the new year, meaning as the Earth completes a revolution around the sun, I, myself have also completed another revolution. Thus, I am left getting lost in my reflections about the past, especially as I hit a quarter century. Now I sit in an airport terminal, awaiting to board my delayed Frontier flight to Orlando, thinking how I got here and what it all means.
What is important? Is dental insurance important? After having cavities in all four of my wisdom teeth then getting them all removed after going to the dentist for the first time in 3 years – yes, yes, it is. But, is where I am at, at 25 and this new year, compared to what others deem as the standard, the important measurement of a revolution around the sun? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the year in terms of health and happiness. Did I do things that made me happy? Did I do things with my best interest at heart? Did I do things only to appease everyone around me, while forgetting about my own needs? Is this where I want to be at 25 and not some life I imagined I needed to have at 25? Would a Dyson V10 make me happy? (yes, it would – someone please help me buy one)
I am now a quarter of a century old and I feel fine. Everything is fine. This year I may cut my hair and go on a random trip to Europe because I can’t not have a quarter life crisis, but I truly am fine. Here’s to another revolution around the sun and a happy and healthy new year!
Until next time, please enjoy this photo of me getting overjoyed to be in the presence of Pluto at Disneyland…