The first time I heard of “quarter-life crisis“, I was immediately flustered. Wait, what? Does everything have a name now? I only ever heard of mid-life crisis but quarter-life? Y’all got to be kidding me though.
It so happens now that I understand what it means to be in one right now and I think I have been there several times. It is just that I have never acknowledged it. I wouldn’t have given it a name because I obviously didn’t know what feeling shitty in your 20’s is called.
But the least would have been to acknowledge that beyond the feeling of being stuck in a rut, there’s something that’s quite not right and some other people should be feeling the same way too. How about checking it out?
So, yes, there is such a thing as quarter life crisis and it isn’t attractive.
What is quarter life crisis?
This is a period in your 20’s towards your 30’s where you are confused about your life’s direction and also the quality of your life at the moment.
Many times it is characterized by feelings of disappointment, confusion, lack of clarity in various aspects like career, money, relationships, and faith, in some cases. Different kinds of questions are left unanswered in your mind.
Honestly, if I knew that there was such thing as a quarter life crisis and that I wasn’t the only one facing it, it would have been much easier for me to handle it. I would say that I walked myself through this period but I think I could have done better.
I think that if I didn’t feel guilty for being disappointed about my life, I could have handled it better. To be candid, I was embarrassed that I felt shitty at 20- something. I wasn’t even 25 at the time or 30. Maybe if I was 50, I would think it legitimate to feel under accomplished, you know.
If only I knew that it was okay to make mistakes and not have everything together because really, everyone is on a journey. If they had all reached their destinations, they wouldn’t still be trying to be better, to do better.
If you are stuck in a rut and you are feeling like your life just sucks or that you are not worth it, I think that all of what I have to say may very much help you. I want you to be open-minded and read through with the hope and assurance that it’s going to be okay.
Signs that you are in a quarter-life crisis
Just so we properly understand how this happens, I will list below some of the symptoms of quarter-life crisis so that you can identify yours and prepare to be liberated.
So, how do you know when you are in a quarter life crisis? What does it feel like?
1. You wish your life was different
You know when you are so generally dissatisfied with your life because you think your dog is lucky or your neighbour is cruising? This is not just a simple thought, it is a sad feeling of disappointment about your own life. You wish you were back to being a child or never even a human being.
You wonder why you didn’t come as a plant and at least, never have the burden to take care of your under accomplished self. Maybe you think your best friend has a more loving guy and you have never been lucky as to even have a stable guy, let alone a loving one.
2. You deeply regret some of your actions
It’s okay if this happens scarcely or this feeling pops up once in a while but where you are left devasted about your choices for weeks unending, you are in the middle of a quarter life crisis.
Maybe you should have chosen a different career path or invested in that business or picked guy B over A. This is, unfortunately, affecting your present choices. You can’t properly discern what to do now because you are afraid that you will make the same mistakes. Maybe it’s time for you to leave a shitty relationship and you are afraid because you left a relationship that was good once and have never forgiven yourself ever since.
3. You are looking for solutions everywhere
Anytime you are on the internet, about to pick a new book or choose a series on Netflix, it is all about or related to dealing with a quarter life crisis. You may not know how to explain this but you sure know that you dying to read articles on what to do when you are stuck.
4. You just want to get away
I know that the way a lot of people deal with their issues is to take a vacation, rest, go on a road trip or do a friend tour. These are not bad ideas, to be honest. The issue, however, is that when you think going to Dubai is going to solve your present feeling of worthlessness, you might just strap up and be ready to be dazed when you come back into gloominess again. If your mission is to get away from an environment, it will work but if it is to get away from yourself, it is never ever going to work.
5. You stop going to work just because…
You hate your job so much that you don’t show up at all the next day. Unfortunately, this is the seventh job in just one year. You feel very directionless and helpless. You haven’t been able to decide whether the major problem is your job or that you are in the wrong career or if your boss is just a crazy person.
Well, to be honest, you might just have so many other things you are dealing with and I haven’t mentioned them but in general, you feel like your life is a mess, you don’t like the fact that it is morning again or you feel too old (especially now that 2-year-olds now win America’s got talent). You are not depressed in the real sense of the word, at least, not yet. You just feel like a failure.
Everyone’s successes make you recoil and you are mad about it. You feel very guilty that you are not happy for them and that’s a whole new level of shitty feeling.
I think that what I have to say may help to get you out of this mess because indeed, you have a whole life in front of you and if you spend the major part of it feeling this way, you might as well be missing out on really good stuff. If you ask me, that sucks more. Missing out on opportunities that can get you into your next level all because you feel bad about life at the moment sucks very much.
What to do when you have a quarter life crisis
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How do you walk through your quarter life crisis? You know that this is not an ideal way to spend your prime life so what can you do to get your life back in order?
I have 3 very powerful things to suggest and I really, honestly want you to consider these things. I want you to use these suggestions to introspect and objectively assess your life.
Listen, you are the only one reading this by yourself, no one else is with you so you can as well be truthful and open to yourself. Unbottle it all, get a pen and a paper if you want to. It’s time to do something about this so do something about it.
1. You need to stop the comparison
It is not worth it! The people you are comparing your life to are running their own race (hopefully, because some of them might be stuck in comparison too and we all wonder where this all ends). Follow your own path and do your own thing. They now have a child, so? They bought a new car, so? You just met a new guy who’s great, doesn’t that make you happy? If this makes you glad, why are you all so concerned about the other person’s life?
This is the part where you get a grip and tell yourself- I am so awesome. Your life is beautiful. Maybe you should log off Instagram for a while if this is what it takes for you to regain sanity. You can go back when you realize that everyone is busy dealing with stuff but they have filtered them out to show you only the good part. Can you blame them? I am not going to come on to Instagram to announce that I just broke up with a guy I thought I would be sharing the rest of my life with, am I?
So, stop of all the comparison and get back on track with your awesome life, please.
2. Confide in someone
I know that we all think that everyone else is having a good life except us. Well, that’s not true. Sometimes we even feel that it is embarrassing to not have everything together by now. If every other person were to tell you how they felt right now, you will definitely have some of them that don’t feel all good with where they are now. So, if what it takes is to talk to a friend that you trust or a family member with whom you can share yourself with, please go ahead.
If you think that you are not ready to lay your life bare in that manner, you can talk to God. Afterall, he sees what even you do not verbally express. Confide in God and tell him all of your fears. Tell him how awful you feel and how much you want to get out of that.
Hearing yourself talk to God will bring you clarity. Talking to God will give you peace.
3. Open a gratitude journal
Intentionally write down all that you are grateful for. Listen, by the time you are done, you are going to wonder why you feel like shit. Do you know that some of the messed up feelings we have are as a result of the most recent bad thing that has happened to us?
The only way to purge your system of that is to remember the good, fun and miraculous times. This will give you perspective. This will convince you to stop being shortsighted. There is a glorious life ahead of you, there were awesome events in the past too. Your present state is just a transition, do not treat it like a destination.
I sincerely hope that this has greatly helped you and that you are back to your feet. Please have a great weekend and remember that your life is awesome.