How to Deal with a Quarter-Life Crisis

Check me if I’m wrong, but we all had an idea of what our life should’ve looked like once we hit about 25 years old and beyond. We all had a list that, for some of us, read a little something like this…

  1. Start my first “real” job in “chosen career” immediately out of college
  2. Be engaged or married by 25
  3. Earn at least $50,000/year by 24
  4. Start saving after college
  5. Own a home by 23
  6. Start a family at 27
  7. Start my own business by 22 and live in a mansion by 28
  8. Graduate from law school at 25

 

You get the picture. We call had an idea of what our perfect life would look like had everything gone according to plan. Here’s the problem with that:

NOTHING EVER GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN!!!!

This post was some-what inspired by a pic we re-posted on Instagram…

This post CLEARLY shows the comparison between expectation vs. reality.

Now don’t get me wrong! Some ladies are blessed enough to achieve everything they had set their heart on in high school. These women have it all by 25 (by “have it all” I mean whatever YOU personally wanted in your own life by 25).

Its hard to watch these girls flaunt their engagement rings, wedding dresses, 3-bedroom homes, successful start-ups, family vacations, spotless baby bumps, and glamorous jobs all over social media so that the not-so-inclined women can lust after every beautifully edited photo.

From personal experience, I’ll tell you. Trying not to compare your life to theirs is pretty damn hard. These are the girls you went to school with. These are the girls who were, at one point or another, on the same level as you. These are the women who we love, who we despise and who we look up to.

Suddenly, you may feel as though life is passing you by, like all the things you worked and planned for meant absolutely nothing. You may feel like literally EVERYONE else is doing great, accomplishing their goals on time and living it up except for you.

Suddenly, you don’t see friends that are where you are or worse off. Suddenly, you go blind to the progress that you HAVE made. Suddenly, the blessings in your life have no meaning. All you can see is that you are NOT where you thought you would’ve been by now, while so many others you know or have known are… This is what some people like to call a quarter-life crisis.

I’ve been in that space. It’s rough.

We can quickly become depressed during a quarter-life crisis. Whether you didn’t get accepted into that Master’s program like you thought, or somehow you’re still switching your major every semester at age 23, or you have been single for 5 years when you were supposed to be married 2 years ago, or you’ve procrastinated the hell out of starting your own business.

Whatever it is, you feel like a failure. you feel like you’ve wasted valuable years that you will never get back and that you are practically 35 and haven’t accomplished anything at all.

But, I’m gonna tell you what people who love me have told me to get me out of a similar rut:

You are not THEM and they are not YOU.

Everyone is on their own timeline! It’s hard to shift our thinking to this concept when our whole lives we’ve been grouped with and on the same level as people our same age. So once we are either going to college or out of college, everyone goes in their own direction! But, its hard not to think that we should all be making the same progress together.

Like how we all moved from the 8th grade to high school. The girl that flunked had to stay in middle school! That sucked. We feel like that middle school girl. We hella flunked. But ladies, this is adulthood. We shouldn’t feel like her. Your journey is yours, their journey is theirs. And the beauty is that those journeys are creating unique, free-thinking and successful women. The girl on Instagram may have just reached her prime a little sooner.

And who’s to say she’s at her prime. You don’t really know what’s going on in her life. All you see is what she shows you. I’m just sayin.

Don’t lose sight of what you HAVE accomplished!

We tend to overlook what we have done and accomplished in life when we compare our timeline to others’. We must stop, breathe, and realize that we DO have something going for us! I’ve had my moments wishing I had a man, wishing my daughter’s father was helping
more, wishing I had a better job, wishing I owned instead of rented, wishing I lived in the city, wishing I knew what I wanted to do career-wise earlier in life… Wishing, wishing, wishing.bjve

All the while, not realizing that I had my own apartment, my bills were paid and on time, my credit was good, my daughter was MORE than taken care of, I had the ultimate support from my family, I slept like a baby knowing I wasn’t getting cheated on, and the flexibility of my job allowed me to live the lifestyle I needed to live at the moment.

Sometimes we must stop and be appreciative of what we have, then make a plan to do better and to get to where we really want to be. Despite the depression you feel, you are not a total bum. But you have to shift your focus, or you will continue to believe that you are!

Don’t waste your remaining days daydreamin’… If you don’t like it, make a real change!

It’s hard to put our plans into action. It is. We daydream about starting our own blogs, businesses, boutiques, agencies, fashion lines, etc. But, then 3 years after we had the initial idea, some girl we went to high school with posts a picture of the storefront she just rented for her cupcake bakery. We are happy for her (PLEASE be happy for our fellow female bosses out here slaying life), but whomp whomp. We feel so small.

But, if we would’ve trusted that idea when we had it, saved money, researched the industry and started that business, we could be exactly where she is, or even further! So we have to start! You may have to start small, but at least start! We have to make plans and go after the goals we have in life. Sure, life will happen and we may fall behind. But, the frozen fox will never win the race! A steady turtle ultimately will!

Life is a book and you are still in the beginning chapters…

Every great story has a solid beginning, a foundation that sets the tone for the amazing chapters that lie ahead. These are your beginning chapters. If you are between age 20 and 30, babygirl look. This is the beginning. We have so much more life to live, God-willing, and we are young enough to still make some major mistakes without it ruining our lives and families. But, without those major mistakes and setbacks, you wouldn’t be who you are today. You wouldn’t be growing into the woman you will be once you DO accomplish all your goals.

Whether you will accomplish them at 22, 27, or 48, you WILL get there! I’ll drink to that!

Your journey is yours and yours alone. Cherish it, love it, and take advantage of EVERY moment because right now, though you are the oldest you have ever been, you are also the youngest you will ever be.

 

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Maya is the founder of FabFineandFree.com and Fab Fine & Free GLAM Services. She is a mother, pizza-eater and a lover of life. She currently resides in St. Louis, MO.

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