When I was a teenager I always imagined that my life would be so much better when I reached my twenties. I thought I would have my dream job of being a full time writer, make enough money to be well off, and have all my life issues figured out. I always thought my twenties would be that time of my life where I could really start living. There’s only one problem: no one told me about the very real quarter life crisis.
To be upfront, I don’t have my dream job yet, I live paycheck to paycheck, and I have more life issues than I can count (and I haven’t figured out any of them). My twenties have not been as fun as I imagined, and often I wonder if I did something wrong in my past to end up like this. Maybe I should have gone to a different college and majored in a subject where a great job after graduation was guaranteed. Maybe I should have put myself out there more and made friends with people that I was too afraid to approach. Maybe I should have done a whole host of things that are too late to do now. These and many thoughts like them cross my mind, and each time give me a bout of anxiety about my life. I start to think that I’ll live the rest of my life in this confused state.
This quarter life crisis that I’m going through has brought me to the reality that life in my twenties is not supposed to be all figured out. Any notion of what I thought it would be have now been disproved, and now I sit at square one. I’m starting to realize more and more that my twenties are a time of trial and error. It’s a time for me to branch out and try new things that I couldn’t when I was younger. It’s a time of exploration, adventure, and some uncertainty. Nothing is perfect, and that’s perfectly ok.
It’s ok that I don’t have all the answers to my issues. At the tender age of 24 I still have time to explore and take chances.
It’s ok that I don’t have my dream job just yet. Every job I work is preparing me for my dreams and passions, and I’m picking up valuable skills along the way.
It’s ok that I don’t make a six-figure salary and have the best clothes, car, accessories or other things. Being with less right now will make me more grateful for when I have more in the future.
It’s ok that I don’t have all of my personal issues resolved. I’m still learning how to be more comfortable with myself and what makes me unique, and sometimes that means being in an uncomfortable state of mind.
When I stop looking at my twenties in a glorified light and instead see them for what they are, I can have a better understanding of where my life is right now. Knowing that I don’t have to have it all figured out by my mid-twenties immediately relieves me of some anxiety. I can start to live without fearing that I’m doing something wrong. There is no one way to live a life. If there were, everyone would be exactly the same. Instead, I and everyone else has a unique path to walk along, and sometimes that path can lead to an uncomfortable state. But I believe that by being comfortable in the uncomfortableness, there can be a chance to grow into a better version of myself. My time from 20 to 29 can be filled with an array of experiences that will shape me into the person that I want to be. In fact, it has already started.
The quarter life crisis is a phenomena that I never knew existed when I was a teenager, but has now become very real for me as a young adult. But instead of fighting against it and viewing it as a character flaw on my part, I can now see it as a very normal phase that everyone goes through. My twenties may not be going how I imagined they would, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have a good time during them. Even looking back at the first four years of my twenties I see that I have already had some thrilling life experiences. And with the time I have left, I’m sure there will be plenty more.