I could’ve been mistaken for a divorcee soccer mom with a habit of drinking too much wine before 12 p.m. I felt as though I was completely lost in life, not knowing what purpose I was to serve, what talents I had and confused on why it was taking so long to get on my feet after years of hard work. I was barely 25 going through a
mid-life crisis quarter-life crisis.
As millennials, we get called all kinds of bad names by the “grown-ups” like dramatic, lazy or self-centered but the reality is that a lot of the economic, mental, and financial stress we face has a negative impact on us getting a healthy start to adult life.
After pursuing higher education and working multiple jobs just to still break even, success whether financial or otherwise can feel like…it can feel like…Well. Like this…
It can often feel as though if you don’t have everything figured out by the time you’re 18 then you’re behind the curve. But who the hell knows exactly what they want and how to get there at 18? (very few)
This inadvertent pressure put on us by societal expectations, competition mentality coupled with no real mentors leaves many young adults reeling from the lies they’ve been told.
“Go to school to get a good job and make good money,” THEY SAID
They didn’t tell us about the hurdles that exist in attempting to escape generational poverty/low-income households, obstacles millennials are facing in the job market due to the previous recession, or the other important things like how to network, team up or seek mentorship etc…
This leaves us feeling like failures and frustrated with ourselves in a world that doesn’t understand why we feel like we have it hard.
I use to stay in my room (I had moved back in with the parentals) drink wine, binge on Netflix and hiss at anyone who dared to knock on my door. I was a regular Scrooge in the middle of July.
Safe to say that this was not healthy. Job hunts went from confident searches to desperate obsessions and it felt like a chore to even get out of bed most days.
For those of you who can relate, here are a few tips to getting back to being yourself so that you can ring in the new year with a better understanding of where you’ve been and how to move on from there. Kick this quarter-life crisis’ a**!
Put the drink (dank) or whatever down.
Some days it’s the only thing that felt like it alleviated the anxiety and depression but trust me you don’t want to become reliant on substances in dealing with difficult emotions. Find another outlet like taking a walk. Sunshine can make a world of difference as opposed to day-drinking in a dark room alone. Plus a bottle a day gets kinda pricey.
Make a real plan.
When you’re lost it can feel like no plan makes sense but it’s dangerous to not have an idea of who you are and what you want. One of the things that helped me was making a list (and checking it twice hahaha).
I made a list of everything from my perceived strengths and weaknesses to what I wanted and needed out of life in order to consider myself successful. I went from not knowing what I wanted, to one day realizing that I could keep others from dealing with similar downfalls by starting a mentoring program.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Don’t become so engrossed in getting a job or man or whatever that you aren’t paying attention to the quality and compatibility while in your search. Case and point? I was so shook by not having jobs lined up for me after returning home that I just started putting applications in for every job posting I saw.
I got into a job (s) that made my quarter-life crisis worst due to their incompatibility with what I wanted and was capable of providing.
Understand you’re still valuable regardless of where you are at this point in your life to avoid getting into situations that negatively affect you because you sold yourself short.
It’s not just you.
I’m “a pull yourself up by the bootstraps” kinda girl or at least I was until I realized that I didn’t have any f****** boots to begin with!
When we’re down in the dumps it’s easy to be your toughest critic or downright self enemy but sometimes it’s because we had unrealistic expectations without understanding that the starting line was pushed back farther from our peers.
In acknowledging your obstacles, you can empower yourself with knowledge and goals to overcome them. My situation was a 50/50 split. I had things I could have done differently and difficulties based on my circumstances that were never brought to my attention. It’s okay to fall but don’t let you or anything else keep you down.
It’s called quarter-life crisis for a reason. Apparently the feeling is not just exclusive to you or I but shared with some of our millennial kin. You will come out the other side with a new understanding of yourself and the world around you.
When I think back to the ghost of my quarter-life crises past, I do so with a respect for that moment in my life. It helped me to figure out where I went wrong and where society went wrong to have so many millennials experiencing this same thing. I needed to endure that time in my life in order to figure out myself, my life and my purpose.
So, get fresh air, scream in your pillow and know that you’ll be alright. #LETSBUILD
P.S. stop hissing at your loved ones. SORRY MOM!
PSST! check out this article on quarter life crisis