So I’ve been going through a quarterlife crisis and didn’t know it. It didn’t even register as a possibility until I tweeted out “I know nothing about love” to be replied by several of my VEDA friends. I recalled a VEDA topic entitled “The Quarterlife Crisis.” BANG! Made the connection.
“It’s only temporary.” I’ll take my own idealistic advice.
B and I have been banging our heads against the wall nearly everyday for the past year-and-a-half; we’ve been at a disconnect. It’s not because we don’t love each other to death. I think some of the problems have come from his own issues concerning a past relationship, but I feel the stronger problem is my relationship with myself. I don’t have one.
Enter Quarterlife Crisis, Phase 1
According to British psychologists, the first phase of a quarterlife crisis is feeling pressured. And I have been feeling a great deal of that even before I got together with B, but being in a relationship does add a lot of pressure to be always on form and know what you want.
Life coach, Christina Hassler, created a list of questions for people potentially experiencing a quarterlife crisis. These are the ones I identify with.
1. Are you in a “funk” where you feel like nothing is terribly wrong, but nothing seems right either?
2. Do you feel older for the first time in your life?
3. Are you unmotivated, directionless or passionless?
4. Are you concerned that you don’t know what you want to do with your life?
6. Do you feel entitled to a life much grander than the one you are living?
7. Do you often feel depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, lost, and maybe even a little hopeless?
8. Do you feel a lot of pressure and expectations to do, have or be something?
9. Do you ever feel that time is running out in regards to figuring out your career and deciding whether you want to get married and/or have children?
10. Are you stressed out by choices that seemingly will affect the rest of your life?
11. Are you experiencing confusion or disappointment in your career?
12. Do you feel that you have failed because you don’t know what you want to do with your life?
13. Do you know what you want to do, but can’t seem to make it work?
14. Is it difficult for you to make decisions and when you do, you question them?
15. Do you overanalyze yourself?
16. Do you ever feel guilty for complaining about your life or feel like you are disappointing people (especially your parents)?
17. Are you embarrassed that you have not figured out more?
18. Is a breakup, romantic relationship, or lack of one causing you stress and/or sadness?
22. Could your self-esteem use an upgrade?
23. Are you thinking about going back to grad school because you don’t know what else to do with your life?
24. Are you constantly thinking about the future resulting in anxiety and possibly panic?
25. Is your life just not at all turning out like you planned?
How Could This Have Happened?
I think this is common. Nearly every mid-twenties person goes through this funk. In my case, especially, after having dealt with a really crappy first post-grad job that didn’t know how to deal with creatives. And then being fired really did a number on my ego as a designer. I feel like I suck, even though I know that’s not the case. It still hurt. And I think ultimately, they ruined a well-trained designer. It’s like ordering a burger and fries at a 5-star restaurant!
I feel like I’ve always wanted to stop everything and just sort it all out, but in my relationship with B, where we’re constantly trying to make sure the monsters from the past aren’t plaguing our future, stopping time is hard to do. But we’ve both decided that this is a bigger monster that needs to be annihilated.
So What To Do Now?
I need time for myself and figure out what I want from life for my life. When you’re in a relationship, that’s hard to do. So B and I
seemingly broke up, but I feel that it’s temporary.
It might not seem like the best thing to do, but we both love each other and want to be in a healthy relationship with each other. As much as the transformation is important for me, it’s also important for our relationship in the future.
Also, the uncertainty of whether I love B is NOT part of my quarterlife crisis. I realized almost immediately after breaking up that I love him and want to be with him forever. Even saying “goodbye” felt fake, like it wasn’t for real. If all goes well we’ll get back together and continue on growing and exploring together.
As for me, which is where my focus should be, I can’t think about our relationship. I think that’s what has delayed me from thinking about the future for a while now. So what do I want? What are my passions? What do I want to do?
We shall see after watching season 4 of SATC and eating shtuff. See – working out the me-time like a boss.
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