My quarter life crisis! Yes I said it, quarter life crisis!! Oh what you thought this type of “crisis” could only happen mid way through life? Well for those of you who are unclear of what exactly a mid-life crisis is, I’ve turned to good old wikepedia to give you a general idea.
“Midlife crisis is a term coined in 1965 by Elliott Jaques and used in Western societies to describe a period of dramatic self-doubt that is felt by some individuals in the “middle years” or middle age of life, as a result of sensing the passing of their own youth and the imminence of their old age. Sometimes, a crisis can be triggered by transitions experienced in these years, such as extramarital affairs, menopause, the death of parents or other causes of grief, unemployment or underemployment, realizing that a job or career is hated but not knowing how else to earn an equivalent living, or children leaving home. The result may be a desire to make significant changes in core aspects of day-to-day life or situation, such as in career, work-life balance, marriage, romantic relationships, big-ticket expenditures, or physical appearance” (Wikepedia.com).
Any of that sound familiar? If you think about it, the middle years of life are not the first time we may experience such crisis. Age 25 is the age that many young adults are either in or recently completed grad school and/or are entering or reentering the workforce. So really, being age 25 or a quarter of a century old can bring about a lot of these same experiences (minus menopause and children leaving home). So I am going to tell you about my quarter life crisis, which I am now just getting over.
I turned 25 on April 13th 2010 (it was a fabulous birthday celebration). Shortly after, in May 2010, I graduated with my masters in nursing after having spent the last seven years in higher education without any breaks between undergrad and graduate school. Graduation day I thought I had it made and all figured out! I would move to the state of my choice, find a job etc etc and be on the road to happily ever after. Then, reality set in.
I spent some time in Jamaica with family and my boyfriend at the time, fun. I ended that relationship before I came back to the US, sad. Okay, so relationships don’t define me, took me a little time to get back up on my feet, which I did. I came back and relocated to another state, and then the career piece set in. My plan was to get a job as a RN and study for my CNS license. Didn’t quite work out like that considering the job market in Florida was not so promising, and the monopoly operated hospitals were not too interested in hiring a new grad RN with not much work experience. Then came the unemployment period. Not fun. I began question the career path I chose. Do I even want to be a nurse still? Do I want to be CNS? I mean it was one of my dreams, but I had so many other dreams. What happened to those dreams? Where did they get buried the last seven years I spent with my head in books? Unemployment soon led to weight gain and decrease in muscle mass, and my appearance changed. Dating was so totally out of the question. I wanted nothing to do with men or relationships ever again.
Along came the questioning and the self-doubt. Omg! What am I doing with my life?? I am broke, unemployed, I don’t have a boyfriend, I’m out of shape, and I am quarter of a century old! Omg! I am going to end up alone with 7 cats and be totally miserable because I don’t know what career direction to move in! Omg! I am 25 years old! I am getting old! I need to have these things figured out! I don’t want to be 30 and clueless. Not to mention, I want to get married one day! I want children too! Omg! I am 25! 25! I have no life plan!! I was in a total and complete quarter life crisis! Not depressed or anything, just in crisis! So how the hell did I get out of it?
Well, for starters, I did the most difficult thing, accepted that I did not succeed on my first try, dusted myself off and moved back home with my parents. Oh gosh! I came home and I did nothing but rest, think, think some more, and think some more. I certainly accumulated a lot of spectators and critics who insisted I was a spoiled brat born with a silver spoon who didn’t have to work like everyone else to survive. Hey! There is nothing wrong with regrouping! I am blessed enough to have supportive parents who will let me reside under their roof instead of in a cardboard box while I figure things out! They were even kind enough to feed me rather than have me die of starvation or resort to thievery to survive. I’d hope that anyone parents if capable would do the same. This does not make me “spoiled.” If you have this opportunity with your parents take it if you’re in crisis. So what did I discover that got me out of this quarter life crisis in my time at home? I learned I have to change the way I was programmed by society to think about certain things, and think about them my own way.
Time, when hasn’t human civilization been petrified of the passing of time? I believe we are terrified of it more so today than ever. Why is everyone in such a rush in life? Where are we rushing too? If we are rushing to the finish line, to God, then we are foolish. Because in this haste we knock people down, we step over people, we don’t see the world around us, we forget to love our neighbors, and we don’t enjoy the beauty of what God created for us. I mean, I’m certain Heaven is a fabulous place, but life is also a blessing! Slow down! People say time waits for no one, but I believe time is not the enemy, but our friend. Time may not wait for everyone, but God waits for everyone, and so we have to wait on God. I’m not saying move like a sloth through life. I’m just saying you can’t expect everything all at once, you have to depend on time and God to bring about everything you want. This being said, I stopped worrying about the passing of my youth and the imminence of old age finding me before I have had enough time to do everything I want to, and began seeing things one day at a time, patience. If you know me, you know I am an extremely impatient person. I want what I want when I want it; and if I’m sure of something, I want it! Ask the man I’m doting over! I’ve proposed to him on numerous occasions! Luckily for me, he recognized my impatient odd nature and got as far away from me as possible (kidding). I am coming to understand it as well. I am working on being patient with the Lord and with life. Ever notice that you have more time when you stop obsessing about time? It’s a distraction.
What am I doing with my life? Do I want this career path? I told you there was nothing wrong with regrouping! I had to answer this question, or figure out the answer to this question. There had to be a reason I chose the career I did. I just had to dig deep enough to find it. So I dug. Then I found it. Ah, like a leprechaun finding a pot of gold, minus the fact I had no rainbow to follow, I found it in the dark. Somehow my hands recognized its feel. I remember saying a prayer before my senior year of undergrad. I told God that my life was His that I wished to do His work. I asked Him to show me whatever path he wanted me to go down and I would go, even if I had no idea where it would lead. Here it has led me. God has placed me in a very important position. I am a registered nurse and soon to licensed Clinical Nurse Specialist in child and adolescent mental health. I am also black, rare (in my specialty). I can do something. I have the ability to generate change that will affect the people who need it here and in my Jamaica. This is why I chose my career. I also majored in theater; I’m also a writer and poet. Not only can incorporate these things into helping my future patients, I can still pursue acting while having a stable and pretty damn good income! Career question solved! There is generally a reason you chose your career, if you’re happy with that reason you’ll stick with it, if you’re not that’s okay too. Your 25, there is some flexibility there with career paths, don’t wait till the mid-life crisis to come knock you down, do something now!
Change in physical appearance was an easy fix! Got my lazy butt out of bed and got back into the gym! Romantic relationships; these are probably not a good idea in the middle of a life crisis. I did meet somebody in the middle of mine but the crisis totally interfered. Timing was terrible. Damn crisis! I already wasn’t thinking straight and then I had to try to think romantically logically, not to mention he was a tough one to decode. To make a long story short, that person left my life and I don’t know if I will ever hear from them. I don’t feel any particular way about it, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I mean I’m a little disappointed/hurt. I really care for the person. I would like for them to come around but whether or not they think I’m worth sticking around for through a hail storm with hail the size of meatballs is totally up to them. I mean obviously I think I’m worth it! 😉 Sometime you have to leave stuff up to the big guy upstairs. People come in and out of your life for a purpose, even if you don’t recognize that purpose right away. Yea, yea, yea, and if you love something let it go blah blah blah! Can he come back now? Kidding. The saying is true. I’ve decided to continue to hold off on romantic relationships until I have got about 8 miles away from this quarter life crisis. Love yourself no matter your appearance, and if it’s something changeable like weight, get on it! Get out of the crisis before you attempt a relationship, period!
So the moral of the story is, a quarter life crisis is possible, you’re not alone. Never to fear, you move past it. Just slow down, reflect, regroup, take 4 deep breaths, dust yourself off and stop thinking and worrying so damn much! Today is guaranteed. Tomorrow is not. Worry about today, don’t worry about tomorrow. Well do worry about how you’re going to eat tomorrow and where you will rest your head if you don’t have parents like mine. Have a plan, but don’t draw that plan in permanent marker! Anything can change in your life and it will suck when you can’t erase parts of that plan to replace with better or suitable plans. Good luck to anyone in a quarter life crisis! You will get through it!! 25 is the new 21!!!