An Open Letter To Your Quarter-Life Crisis
I’d like to know how many weary souls bogged down by a plague of First World Problems have contributed to this sorry image:
I. Would. Like. To. Know…!
Just how many misguided youths gazing into the glowing abyss of their MacBook screens have sought guidance from our great internet oracle.
Sitting in a room, solo. Lost in thought. Feeling wretched, dejected.
[x]! Has this been YOU?
If you’ve ever thought for a second that you were alone in thinking you are lost, confused, discouraged, not good enough, or any combination thereof, LET THIS BE EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, [x]!
Such is the plight of our generation. Not that this class of confusion is reserved for the young — surely some older, wiser individuals contributed a query or two to this crude sampling of collective consciousness.
But for pity’s sake, do not let the Cult of the Quarter Life Crisis define you.
Define YOU, [x], you magnificent bastard, you.
You were drunk one evening and [y] sat down beside you, lighting a cigarette. Half-conscious though you were, you remember the keen poignancy in his voice very well, because it struck you at the time and you didn’t quite understand why.
What was poignant, was that he asked you, with complete, raw, vulnerable sincerity:
“[x], do you know What You’re Doing With Your Life?”
And you didn’t think twice, spitting back in a flash:
“Not in the slightest, [y]. Do you?”
A pull, followed by a careful exhale. “Not a clue.”
And that was the conversation. But the conversation isn’t what’s significant here, [x].
Your (typical) internal monologue:
HE’S GOT HIS SHIT ALL FIGURED OUT. I WISH IT WAS SO SIMPLE FOR ME. HOW DOES HE DO IT. HE JUST GOT LUCKY. HE’S JUST SMART. HE HAD SOMEONE HELP HIM. HE IS THAT AND HE IS THIS. I’M NOT LIKE THEM. THEY HAVE SOMETHING I DON’T.
And to that, I say, bollocks.
In the words of Cake, [x]: Learn to buck up, and, more importantly,
Shut the fuck up.
Remember [z] and her open-mouth laugh, radiating with life and creativity, who you thought for sure would “go places” after high school?
Just as lost as you, [x]. She yelled at me from the kitchen the other day to pipe down while she was churning out cover letters.
What I’m saying, [x] — lovely little [x] — is that you are not alone. In this seemingly never-ending quest for your place in the sun, you are among kindred spirits.
No one has it figured out. Everyone is fighting their own demons.
Years from now, when you look back to the nights you sat together, dirt poor but rich with vitality and camaraderie, you will miss it.
But today, shut your laptop and reach out to those friends instead of sitting alone, brooding.
You can thank me later.
Very truly yours,
A | A | A
Ideally, we would be cognizant enough of the need that exists in our communities—for children, for veterans, for the homeless and the hungry, for the disadvantaged—because the circumstances through which most people find themselves in a position of need are generally out of their control.
Allow yourself to mourn the loss of love, and heal from those wounds. Don’t run into the arms of another lover, you will not find peace there: you will only accumulate more to heal from.
Prior to September 15, 1983, buying items in bulk made you look like either a criminal suspect or an obsessive hoarder.
Small acts of love are hard to execute when distance is put between two people, but that doesn’t mean they should stop.