Monday, March 26, 2012

Love Lounge: Did you have a quarter-life crisis?

Did you have a quarter-life crisis, friends? I was reminded of my own little mid-'20s, post-college, what-the-heck-am-I-doing? meltdown when I discovered Lizzy Stewart's illustrations. Her sentiments are spot-on -- all that wondering where your life is going, wondering why things aren't magically falling into place after graduation and seeing your late '20s looming on the horizon.
It happened to me a few years after I graduated from college. It was one of those moments that sticks in your head like a movie you know you'll never forget. I was shopping, and as I was checking out, the cashier said, "Thank you, ma''am."

Ma'am.

What happened after that is sort of a blur. I probably just mumbled a thank you in return and got out of there as fast as I could. When did I become a ma'am? How did I go from a youthful young lady to a ma'am, I thought? -- a term reserved for, well, lack of a better word, not me. Ma'ams were the sort of women you'd see playing afternoon Bingo and telling "In my day" stories. The fact was that I didn't feel like an adult. At all. So when had I become one? Somewhere along the way, I got to thinking that once I got that coveted college degree in my hands, everything would fall into place as if the stars were aligned just for me. I'd have everything figured out.

The real truth? I was actually left more confused. Who was I? What did I want in life? Where was I going? For the first time since kindergarten, my "life canvas" was blank. It was time for me to forge my own path, for me to make my own to-do list and for me to paint that canvas.

Did you feel like this when you were 25, friends? Do you know anyone who went through this? What has helped you deal with those growing pains the most? If you're not 25 yet, do you think you'll grapple with these issues when you hit the milestone birthday? xoxo

17 comments:

ElsaD said...

Well, I do remember, the last year of Law School, I totally freaked out about the future!...I am 34 and sometimes feel like that as well! However, as you get older, you also have more resources to face the uncertain! Also, one thing I noticed is that, once I turned 30, I stopped putting 'deadlines' to myself: I keep working hard, trying my best, making mistakes, doing things right, dreaming...but I don't say 'by this age I have to have this or that...' It's relieving and also, I am happier and more productive! Boy, do I talk! xoxo

Charlotte {Charlotte's Web} said...

Eugh, i feel like this right now and I just turned 23. My career feels like its tanking, no-one seems to take my skills seriously and i spend 8 hours a day feeling disheartened and worthless.

Adulthood sucks majorly.

Michelle * Viva Revival said...

Oh yeah I definitely did! I think it's rearing it's ugly head again too. I'm just as confused as 30 as I was at 25 it seems.

Alycia said...

I just turned 30 but have been having those thoughts since the day I turned 25. I just tell myself that as long as you are young at heart, it shouldn't matter how old you are in years. It's still not easy though to accept the fact that life feels like its flying by ridiculously fast, but there's nothing that can be done about it :p

Mandy said...

Oooooh yes. And then some. It's so hard to find your way when it seems that you're stuck at a job that is fine, but isn't amazing, your love life is in flux and you have no idea what's coming next. That's definitely where I was from 22 to 25. I'm 26 now, and I still feel this way a lot of the time, but I'm going to grad school in the fall, so I feel like I have a bit more direction. You have to keep putting one foot in front of the other I guess, and kind of make it up as you go along!

Oh, and I HATE being called ma'am. My boyfriend is from the south though and doesn't get it. He calls everyone ma'am, not just old ladies. Maybe that's what happened to you...you ran into a southerner cashier! ;)

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I am twenty-five, and finally feel as if I'm coming out of my quarter life crisis. It was scary...terrifying, actually. I watched all of my friends who seemed to know what they were doing, and I was so lost. I'm finally coming around and working on things that I know are what I want in life. And that is a great, amazing feeling.

Love your blog my dear. Just found it from Jillian's blog, and I can't wait to follow along!

xoxo,
Joelle

April said...

i'm turning 19 next month and though i know i'm not even close to old, the thought of having been around for 19 years seems like forever to me. the fact that i'm already 45 credits into college makes it seem even longer haha.

Anonymous said...

I've always been a bit of a late bloomer (emotionally) so I'm feeling this way at 27.

I think a lot of it is realizing whether I like it or not I'm going to have to be an adult!

A lot of it too is that friends my age are getting married or having children. I never thought I'd feel this way but sometimes I do think, "Am I behind somehow?" I know I'm not but the thoughts pop up anyway.

Anonymous said...

Canvas not canvass.

Melissa Blake said...

Elsa, i love what you said about deadlines. we think we should be doing certain things at certain ages and when we don't, we start to second-guess ourselves.

Melissa Blake said...

Exactly, Michelle and Alycia -- i'm in the same 30-year-old boat!

Melissa Blake said...

and why thank you, last anon...

silverthoughts2 said...

Yep, sometime around 25 or so I got hit really hard. Didn't help much that about the same time I lost my grandmother whom I was very very close to. It was a pretty awful time, dealing with both sorrow and confusion of what to do with my life.

Truthfully, I'm still kind of stuck in the crisis, though, now at least, I have an idea of where my life is heading and what I need to work on.

Corrie Anne said...

Oh. I love those little comics. So cute. I don't think I've hit it yet... maybe it's coming later??

Ks. said...

Oooh, going through it as we speak. I'm working (not a great job, but a job!), have met the love of my life, I'm almost done with Uni, and I remember the awful feeling I got when a friend asked me: So what are you going to do when you get your degree?
I had no idea, well actually, I'm still quite clueless...
Thanks for awesome illustrations, they made my day :D

Becca - {extra}ordinary wonders said...

I love these illustrations. I have definitely felt like this at points in the last few years, and I am 27. Now I feel like 30 is quickly approaching and there is so much I want to do!

Shannon Hughes said...

I am 25 right now and I definitely feel that way. Especially in my age group- having graduated college in the worst economic time we've faced in a while, I think we all feel a little stuck. I have a friend who graduated law school and is currently waiting tables. I think we're all kind of freaking out. I am also married to another 25 year-old who I think grapples with the same issues. The way I see it, we're just on a journey. And it doesn't stop when you land your first, or your 8th job. It doesn't stop when you have kids. It just keeps going and you keep learning. I find that if I think of it like that, I feel less stuck.

Currently, I'm just trying to get into law school, pay my rent, and pet my cats enough every day so they don't pee on my couch. Little victories!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin