I’ve made it all the way to Phase 4 without mentioning my own quarter-life crisis.
Maybe I don’t want to remember all of the days I spent staring up at the ceiling in bedroom, hoping that my future would reveal itself in the crack and crevices of the plaster. Or maybe I don’t want to think about all of the job applications I sent into the dark hole that is the internet. I don’t want to think about how many times I cried when all of my unanswered cover letters begin to litter my computer desktop.
For me, the quarter life crisis hit when I was 23. I was a year out of school, newly certified from a prestigious journalism fellowship program, and totally jobless and living in my childhood bedroom before it became the “in” thing to do the return to the nest thing.
I’d only had one job interview (at a tiny newspaper in Idaho), and the thought of spending my twenties in the middle of nowhere made me want to hurl.
So I cried, and slept, and curled up into a ball. And I watched bad T.V. and filled the pages of my notebooks with grand plans that soon became stained with my confused tears.
As the story goes, I moved to NYC, struggled a lot more, and finally found a job. (Only to struggle with that, but that’s another post for another day.) That time was one of the hardest in my life.
I felt directionless. I felt unwanted, and on many days, hopeless. I also felt guilty because I knew that other people had it worse. After all, we’re supposed to think about those faceless “other people” in our moment of pain, right?
Before I could talk about rebuilding your life, I had to be honest about my own breakdown. And the fact that this might happen quite a few times in your twenties, and maybe even more times over the course of your life, as the “midlife crisis” states that it should.
When is anything ever perfect? Or will things ever feel as if they fit? And what does all of this mean when you are in the rebuilding stage?
It means that you are tougher than you think. That you should now realize there is no perfect answer to “what should I be doing” and that the answer to those life-defining questions will forever be changing over time. And that in order to rebuild, and keep rebuild as necessary, you have to accept those things.
What does rebuilding mean to you?
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