I was texting with one of my closest girlfriends today when she admitted to googling ‘quarter century crisis’. Her findings suggest that… “mostly, it happens to everyone”.
It’s funny, I’ve had this conversation with almost all my friends who fall somewhere between 25 and 35 years old. We basically always agree that our lives are a hot mess. The fascinating part about this whole thing is that it always seems like we’re trying to catch up to this ideal life that we are ‘suppose’ to have by now. The perfect job, the ideal salary, a substantial savings, a consistent living situation, a picture perfect relationship…but really we are all in the same sinking ship, trying to stay afloat, broke, in between jobs, careers, schools, apartments, cities, still somehow on our parents dime, not really sure what we want to do, and for the most part completely confused and not as happy as our Facebook page suggests. (sigh)
I hate to brag, but the truth is that most of my friends are well-educated, hardworking, ambitious individuals. And yet, the majority of them are unhappy with where their lives are at this point. Many are approaching 30 and still live at home, or heavily rely on their parents financially. While others are financially independent, but completely hate their job, hate what they do, and feel in rut.
If I speak personally, I’m totally ashamed of my financial situation, I work 7 days a week and still live paycheck to paycheck. I’ve struggled this last year to pay off credit card debt that I accrued during my first year of graduate school, while making substantial payments on my student loans. In my mind by 26, I thought I would have the kind of money to just get up and do whatever I wanted without having to worry about it. But forget vacations! this week…I can barely afford my bikini wax.
I’ll even admit that sometimes I’m embarrassed to say that I’m working as a babysitter and a waitress. Like what? I graduated college 3 years ago with a 3.5 GPA and that’s my job? I feel like I quickly need to mention that, “I’m onlydoing this because I’m on a break from grad school” as if ‘grad school’ makes me sound more put together. Why have we put so much pressure on achieving this exemplary life, when maybe it doesn’t even exist? Could it be possible that it’s not even a quarter centry crisis? Maybe, this is just a life thing?
Because lets think about this logically. Google told my friend that quarter-century crisis happens to ‘mostly everyone’ between the ages of 25 and 35. But then Google told me that mid-life crisis occurs between the ages of 45-60 So…You’re only not in a crisis for 10 years?
I’m sure the career, and finances eventually work itself out. Orrrrr you just accept the job you hate and the rut you are in, and stop worrying about it so much (I bet thats more likely what happens). But then other problems occur; relationships, failed marriages, kids, sickness – the list goes on and on. I hate to be a debbie downer, but I don’t think life is ever suppose to work like a well oiled machine. So maybe google is right, were constantly in a crisis..and it’s totally normal!
Is it possible that these ‘crises’ are more obvious to our generation because we are so consumed with impressing eachother with perfecly filtered vacation photos, that we forget to share that we are all somewhere in our own ‘life’ crisis? Also, is this more of an ‘American’ problem? Is our culture so obsessed with success, the persuit of happiness, the American Dream that we’ve subcontiusly set unrealistic expectations?