I wrote the following when I was 21. I was still doe-eyed and taking summer classes before my final year of college. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I only thought I was going through a “quarterlife crisis” then. Hindsight is 20/20 right?
So I started my summer class today. 8 am is such a lovely time to be at school. I’ve been dreading today for awhile now.
This class focuses primarily on preparing us for the “real” post-undergrad world. Or as the syllabus states “This course seeks to explore two elements of your development: 1. skills necessary for your professional and personal growth; 2. knowledge that offers you the opportunity to contribute in significant ways to society.”
My first real problem with this class is that I paid 500 plus dollars for someone to tell me how to make decisions, how to write a resume (when I’ve already taken classes that did this multiple times), cover letters!, and budgeting exercises. Secondly, if Tech really cared about my well-being in the future – shouldn’t this class be free and not required? I thought so.
So I drag myself out of bed and somehow make it across town to class. And the topic for two lovely hours today … the quarterlife crisis.
Characteristics of a quarterlife crisis include but are not limited to:
Not knowing what you want
Your 20’s aren’t what you expected
A fear of failure
Not being able to let go of your childhood
Waffling over decisions
Constantly comparing your options
At some point, I had to write down what I would do if I won the lottery. I said if I won the lottery – I would travel. A lot. Apparently, this is my passion – or my “cowbell” rather. We then had to watch the SNL clip about the Blue Oyster Cult and Will Ferrel going nuts with the cowbell. So now I realized I paid 500 plus dollars to watch Saturday Night Live clips – and to be told I have a “cowbell”. I was also told to just live. To make the best decision based on the information I had and not look back.
I was also told my hypothetical schedule of graduating college at 22 – being married around 25ish and having a child around 28 is a ridiculous concept. This didn’t shock me. Somehow I think I’ve known this all along. Life isn’t about meeting deadlines and I’m the one that set them so I shouldn’t be dissapointed if things don’t always work out that way.
The one thing that did make sense was that decisions aren’t permanent. If you hate something – you can always do something else. We aren’t supposed to know what the hell we’re doing 100% of the time. Apparently, the problem with growing up is that we trade our sense of adventure for this notion of stability.
After coming home and taking a long nap I’ve decided maybe this class isn’t that bad. I’ve also decided I must have started this quarterlife crisis journey at about 16 and it’s just gotten progressively worse.
I’ve always been undecisive … or wishy-washy which is something I’ve heard hundreds of times. I am scared to death of failing. I’m always looking for the better, more stable option. Maybe it’s time I learned to take a few risks. I technically don’t even know who I am anymore – so I don’t really have anything to lose.
So what exactly should I call it now that I’m on the approaching 30 side of my 20’s? A One Third Life crisis?
I love reading old posts of mine. Now that I’m a “grown up” with a child and a full time job I’m not nearly as introspective as I used to be.
We are at an interesting place in our lives as a family right now. As much as I hate this town and want to move far away from violence and overcrowding to friends, fun, life, better education(!) I am hesitant to leave. I’m entangled in a lot of stories right now and some of these stories are so important to me that I don’t know if I can leave without finding out how they end.
When we moved here it was out of sheer necessity. My grandfather had passed away and I was home sick. I missed my parents, I wanted to spend time with my grandmother. I wanted my daughter to be close to my family like I was. Even 4 years later I still think we made the best decision for her. And now we’ve made another good decision to move her again. We’ve worked so hard on this little house of ours to make it more appealing to the next buyer. Sam has put in lots of sweat, blood and tears (well maybe not tears so much, but definitely a lot of cussing!) to update the house. And now that we’re in the middle of a seller’s market it’s the best time to go.
We went and looked at houses a couple of weeks ago and I’m stuck back in buy vs. build mode. The oldest house we looked at was built in 2004. The prices they want are well over what we could build a brand new shiny house for. We’ll have to really think that out. The thought of jumping back into the world of mortgage approvals and house shopping really nauseates me. I was 7 months pregnant last time. Now I’ll be dragging my precocious almost 4 year old along for the ride. I guess it’s stressful no matter what point in your life you are at.
It’s all just such upheaval. Leaving the only house your child has ever known to go back to the one place you feel is “home.” Lately Katelyn has been praying at night “God, I want to move back to Lubbock to be close to Baby J and grandma and grandpa.” (Baby J has to remain nameless for the sake of confidentiality..)
Right now it’s exciting and new to her. And it’s exciting to me too. But it’s going to be bittersweet.
And it’s going to be a lot of change. I don’t know if I want to do what I’m doing now. I feel like I’ve gotten myself into such a niche and as much as I hate my job, I really love it sometimes too. I need to go back to school. I’ve applied and even talked with an admissions counselor but then I couldn’t even get some basic stuff turned in on time so I decided I might ought to wait until we get settled before I throw that into the mix.
I think the only difference between 21 year old me and 27 year old me is pretty black and white. I got everything I wanted then. Just not quite how I had planned. And I’ve learned the best way to live my life is to help others. And I’ll just keep building off of that.
Everything will fall into place when it should I suppose.