No one ever warns you that you might not actually “like” the real world. That all the things that are so-called required of you, might be things that make your flesh crawl, and your spirit sink.
Nope, no one says, “Hey! The real world? yeah, it might suck!”
Instead you are told that the angst you feel is the norm, and that you should get over it, and work harder.
But you ask yourself, what exactly are you working harder for? To fit in where you really, really, feel you never belonged? To appear normal?
You try, but it’s not working. And it’s not going to work.
You deliberate for a while…and then you decide to leave.
Phase 3 of the Quarter-Life crisis involves Quitting the job or relationship or whatever else is making you feel trapped.
But no one really tells you what happens after you decide to leave your job. It seems like people basically shift from one identity, “I hate my job” to another, “I love my freedom!” without ever explaining that what happens in between those two stages is less than glamorous.
Some people are lucky enough to know exactly what they want to do. They have discovered that oh-so-elusive “passion” and the minute they escape, they are ready to rock it out.
But for many people, that’s not the case. Don’t believe me? Google “discover your passion” and see how many articles come up to instruct the confused masses.
The truth is, the period after you escape can (and a good chunk of the time) does involve a lot of doubt, worry, nail-biting, and endless talks with yourself. No matter how sure you felt when you were putting in your two-week notice, you will wonder if you made the right decision. And I think your answer to that question depends on how you handle the next point.
Discovering Who You Are And What You Want
or: …embarking on a “time out” period where you try out new experiences to find out who you want to be.
While it feels bad to thrash around and wonder, “What to do?” This is actually a beautiful period in your life. You are now free to discover what really makes you feel happy, what really interests you. It’s a period of reinvention.
It’s that moment when you finally get to ask yourself: “Who am I , and what do I want?” and really give yourself the space to find out.
Celebrate your freedom. But take a moment to figure out what really makes your heart sing.
*This post is a part of a series examining the quarter-life crisis.*
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