Quarter-life crisis? What the hell is that? Did you just make that up?
On one hand, I wish I did just pull that idea out of thin air so that I could just put it right back where I found it. On the other hand, it actually explains a hell of a lot. For about the past 6 months or so, I've felt completely restless. My mind moves so quickly I can barely keep my thoughts straight: Write a story. You have to be brilliant. Do your laundry. You're unemployed, apply to jobs! Go workout today. When was that appointment again? Your apartment is a wreck. I thought you were gonna be something special, huh. That deadline was yesterday. You're failing, Kari! That last one - yeah times a billion. And after reading a pretty darn amazing article by Olivia Wilde (which I mentioned in this post) and googling something along the lines of "what's wrong with me? Am I going crazy at 25?", I bumped into the Quarter-Life Crisis. Yes, it's real, and from what I read, totally normal.
According to Buzzfeed, there are 10 tell-tale signs that you're having a quarter-life crisis. A few of these signs produced immediate "this!" responses from me. Number 6 hits the metaphorical nail on the head and into the pinewood describing that sudden intense fear of failure. "Now you're panicked that failing at one thing means you'll continue failing and f$%k up your life is some irretrievable way." *Raises hand high* In case you missed the whole barrage of inner thoughts above, I repeat : You're failing, Kari! Failure is by far my scariest recurring nightmare of the past few months. Oh and remember my Blogtember post about how choosing a certain internship ruined my entire legal career years before it actually began? Well then. While number 8 sums up my relationship with others quite nicely, "You constantly compare yourself to your friends who are your age", sign #10 is probably closest to exactly what I've been feeling. "You feel like your twenties aren't turning out how you expected they would." Well, ain't that the truth. Actually, it's a strange dichotomy. Somedays, I get up in the morning, hit the gym, clean around the house and send out a few application, run some errands, throw on a cute dress and meet people for dinner & drinks; and when I get home I think "Wow, today was a great day." And other days, while I wait idly on emails about my future after dragging myself out of bed well-past noon, I think "ugh, what's wrong with me?!" And while it's definitely not a 50/50 split between those good days and the bad, the general feeling is one of disappointment in the years that are suppose to be the "best days of my life." Because let's face it, most of us are all-or-nothing gals anyway. Oh no, just me? Ok, fair enough.
This post isn't really going where I wanted it to (newsflash: neither are my 20s). I had intended to give a few tips on how to break out of this funk. Most of these tips include seizing opportunities and abandoning the "obsessive comparison disorder", which is a post all on it's own (for actual tips, click here, here and here for 3 articles I really enjoyed). But from what I've been reading, this is in fact one of them. Many articles encourage us twentysomethings to realize that we aren't alone. The quarter-life crisis is not some plague that only affects the "bad ones" or the "slackers." Most of us at this age don't have our lives together at all, and sometimes just knowing that helps. There were times in law school when getting a "Me too" response to my "I don't get this. I want to cry" was better than someone trying to explain it to me. Because I didn't feel so alone. So if you've been nodding your head in agreement to a majority of this post (assuming you lasted this long!), at least you know it now.
You are not alone.
Lastly, as I was talking to one of my closest friends about being nervous about our futures, a quote popped into my head (which of course I quoted incorrectly at the time!).