Why the heck is she telling me to be happy living an erratic quarter life?
I can read that in your mind. And as I also read between the lines, you are here probably because we’re on the same track. You’ve been feeling insufficient, maybe? I felt that way but I’ve learned a lot being unstable as a 20-something. I’ve learned to take real joy out of it.
Welcome to the so-called quarter life crisis.
It’s how we all know it. It’s how we label that life mishap. And it has been given a name because it happens to every 20-something. Take note: it HAPPENS. It doesn’t usually happen. It doesn’t happen sometimes. IT HAPPENS. As the sun rises and sets. As every multi-cellular organism dies. As the world ever innovates.
Simply put, it’s part of life no one can evade. And the way this crisis affects us? It’s all depending on how we perceive and acquire realizations from it.
These have been my 5 realizations so far:
1. It’s never a crisis at all.
As I’ve pointed out, it’s part of life. There are many life aspects where we’re challenged but we don’t call them crisis because we expect them to happen and because they’re normal. Same goes with being indecisive and unstable in our quarter life. It’s just a stage where we serve as the rope in a tug-of-war between being a kid and being an adult, and whatever wins, we have to see it just fine. It’s a mere sharpener of our decision-making skills. An emotional and mental puberty in 20’s. It takes time with unlimited rounds of deciding until we determine what’s best to do.
If we stick to considering it a crisis then we will end up surprised and disenchanted because we think we have made big mistakes. Crisis, as for me, is quite an exaggerated term. That’s why we react so much to it that we pity ourselves once we encounter it. We may call it that way but let’s not take it as such. It’s just a damn part of life. A damn vital part of life.
2. It happens to everyone—even to “already stable” young adults.
Our friends may seem so loud about their glamorous life right now. Your feed may be bursting with their humble-brag updates. But how sure are you they’re 100% happy? There are scenes in their lives that their cameras or phones do not capture. The problem is, we always associate good life merely with stable financial status, and we associate it to the 20’s.
Success does not come in age, or in a 6-digit amount of money in our bank account. Success is never symbolized by a mansion or a luxurious car. Yes, they count, but they are not the only definition of being stable. A lot of wealthy people still look for things that can fill-up their missing parts. And I also know some average living people who seem to be so happy already even without a large amount in their wallets because they have achieved their real dreams. And dreams don’t have levels. Dreams are not measured by what it can buy, but by how it can make a person feel complete. We have unique lives. No matter what the world imposes as “true success”, its real meaning still depends on our hearts.
3. We seem to be moving slow because we are confused. And we are confused because our hearts shout what it wants yet we don’t listen.
We are confused because we don’t know if we should pursue our dreams or stay in the job that just fills our pockets but doesn’t really make us happy. We are confused because we don’t know if enjoying things so much could be bad because we have to check priorities. We are confused because we always seek validation from other people. We are confused because our hearts already know the path but we doubt it. We doubt it because we are scared—of the future, of the people, and of our own selves.
The quarter life should be the foundation of what we really want, the starting point that leads to our happiness. But oftentimes we mess up because we choose to accept what strangles us. We choose to listen to toxic people who dissuade us from following our ambitions because they say it’s impractical. Believe me, no matter how much you try in that sickening job, your heart will ache even on a payday. An activity where your heart is completely enjoying will give you the fullest of life. Let it break free.
4. We misuse the idea that we’re not getting any younger.
It’s true, of course. We have no choice but to get and be old. But I hope it won’t hinder our souls from remaining juvenile—full of hope and insouciant. Dancing blithely in the surprising beats of life. Playing with kids as kids at heart. Clowning around like it’s the last day of the world. Getting tats that can remind us of how good life is. Being at 20-something should not make us hesitant to exert so much energy just because we feel like it doesn’t fit us anymore.
The idea we’re not getting any younger should not scare us about making any more mistakes. We will always make mistakes no matter how cautious and deliberate we act, and that’s how we learn. That idea should instead motivate us to take chances life offers. If we are approaching the next level of adulthood then the more we should choose positivity and enjoyment. In that way, we can defeat the crisis.
5. A relationship can make or break it.
Maybe our quarter life seems a bit messed up because we are too focused on the relationship we are committed with. On the other hand, our doors might be tightly locked that we miss the joy of having someone special and so our quarter life seems so dull and serious. There’s no harm in mingling. There’s no harm in opening the doors of our hearts. We alone are enough, yes. But self-love doesn’t mean depriving ourselves from being loved by others as well. Balance is one key to a happy quarter life.
Come on, let’s admit that being in a relationship is one vital part of existence. It plays a big role in anyone’s life simply because it’s about… love. And love can ever overpower us. Love, in its purest form, can galvanize the utmost potential of a person. We do things out of love. We are fighting for love. And we win because of love. We just have to consider love in the wisest way and it can give us an immeasurably blissful quarter life.
So I hope that you don’t sulk anymore. Whether you’re a 25, 21 or 29-year old soul, you deserve the kind of happiness you desire. The happiness only your own self can give. Because it’s only you who can determine what conquers that so-called quarter-life crisis. Don’t be anxious about your little savings, nor feel sad that you still don’t have a stable job. You don’t have to feel pressured. Wherever you are as of the moment is part of God’s plan, and what you should be doing is to enjoy and learn rather than whine and wish to expedite everything.