My quarter life crisis is hitting me on the cusp of turning 28. if you’re over 40, you’ll read this and tell me that I’m still young, but I’m not so sure – and this is why.
Growing up, my mother always told me that I was going to be successful. It used to stem from my pop-pop telling her that I was going to be someone special simply by the fact that I refused a sippy cup when I was a toddler, in favor of a big girl cup and opted for a fork instead of a spoon. The way into my family’s heart was through their silverware.
I held onto that fire, carried that gumption with me every time I was faced with a tough decision; two roads carved out of a wood kind of bullshit. And now, I’m here, almost 28, nearing that three-decade mark and I’m having a crisis and mild mental heart attack about who I am, where I should be, and what the fuck I should be doing.
All my life I thought I’d be a writer. Turns out, that’s almost impossible. I think my words are pretty decent. I’ve found success in creating and marketing viral content. I meet deadlines. I landed internships and contract work. I’ve been published in a beautiful book by Thought Catalog. Yet, all of that is peanuts. I went on a job interview recently: entry level at a local magazine. After countless emails, three phone interviews, I waltzed right through the department, falling in love with magazine posters lining the wall, an effortlessly cool receptionist, being offered coffee as I walked in with my portfolio ready to knock his socks off.
Mid-way through the interview, I’m clawing to breathe and prove myself to some editor who had the balls to say to me, “Your experience isn’t great so what makes you think you’re better than someone else?” I walked out feeling defeating, feeling like I was brought down nineteen pegs, got in my car and cried on the way back to my job, taking off my blazer so it didn’t look like I came from somewhere better.
So I changed my approach. I tried to get behind social media, alter my image, entice followers to stick with me and my writing style – talk about local events, and travel. Mid-way through shaking up my content, I discovered that I actually enjoyed it. I loved taking pictures and posting snappy comments, writing about cities that didn’t skip a beat and artisan coffees that I can still taste on my palette. I reached out to countless local magazines, asking if they want to collaborate, asking if they are taking on freelance writers. The immediate response is always no. Like yesterday.
I still try, but it’s hard to try when you’re constantly facing rejection. The lack of resource is the cause of my identity crisis. All my life, I’d identified as a writer. Friends would read my stories, relate to characters that mirrored them. I’d received hundreds of messages on social media from girls who thanked me for speaking out about real insecurities, about real infertility struggles, about the grief of losing a parent, to the grief of forgiving yourself, to dealing with PTSD from an abusive relationship. I’ve made a difference. I have the inbox receipts to prove it.
I just wish someone else could notice it. I never wanted writing to be just my hobby. I’m smart. I feel the fire. I just want to know when someone will notice.