In Defense of The Quarter Life Crisis (And How To Get To The Other Side)
By Sola Onitiri
Not knowing where you’re going and what you’re doing isn’t weird or anything to be ashamed of. It’s completely healthy and necessary part of your life. Now, if you already got your five-year plan all figured out, sit tight, I’m going to be talking to you a little later on this month. But if you’re between the ages of 20 and 30 and wondering when life is going to wiggle itself into place, this ones for you. Because a quarter life crisis is nothing to scoff about and, most importantly, it’s nothing to ignore. I would go so far as to say that the quarter-life crisis is a completely necessary part of life. If you’re feeling a crisis coming on, it’s time to think about why that is and start to make plans to remedy that situation. As someone who’s constantly dancing on the edge of aforementioned crisis, here are a few things that keep me grounded.
Be Honest and Breathe
Remember that old saying about admitting you have a problem? Well, folks, sorry to break it to you but it’s monumentally true. Before you can even wrap your brain around getting out of your funk, you need to know what’s making you feel funky. So be extremely (not brutally; be kind to yourself) honest with yourself and where you are in life. What’s making you feel that sense of impending doom? Is it your job, your relationships, your location, or a lack thereof of all of these things? Jot that down in a notebook and take a few moments to reflect on them. Think about what got you there, what bothers you about the current situation. Break it all the way down. However, it's super important to remember that the whole reflecting part of this process is only step one. Reliving and replaying negativity will inhibit you from moving on so make sure you don't linger.
Do What You Want To Do + Trust Your Gut
After you're done writing down what’s bumming you out, it’s time to start making plans on how to change it. This is what is typically referred to as the hard part. Making big life changes like looking for a job, solidifying or breaking relationships, and/or moving are not easy, so don’t expect instant gratification results. It's going to take an immense amount of discipline and bravery to make your move. But do it anyway and do it for yourself. If you’re in your early 20s and 30s chances are you’ve been following this unspoken socialized guide on how to act, what to do,and when to feel. Your quarter-life crisis might be your subconscious telling you to make life adjustments. It might get messy but think about your future happiness and get ready to take a leap of faith. So if your gut is telling you to quit your job and backpack around South America for the forceable future, start making adjustments in your life so you can do what makes you happy.
Do You But Not At The Expense of Others (And Yourself)
Speaking of quitting your job and driving across the country, let’s make one thing clear. Your quarter life crisis is not an excuse to treat others and yourself like shit. Taking the time to figure out who you are and what you want is great, but it should not come at the expense of the life that you have already built. So whenever you’re feeling impulsive, go back to your journal and revisit what you wrote down. If what you’re about to do isn’t going to help you then for the love of God, don’t do it. Crises do not last forever so don’t make bad decisions that will.
Surround Yourself With Positivity and Inspiration
This one is a DJ Khalid inspired #MajorKeyAlert. If you want to make it through this you’re going to need a support group of people who have your back. You’re going to need a dream team of ride or die homies that will listen and be there for you. Personally, I can’t imagine where I would be if it wasn’t for my friends constantly cheering me up and having my back. There’s no way you can heal and grow if the people you surround yourself with are high-key drama magnets. Find friends and mentors that inspire you to do more.
Talk it Out With The Professionals
I’m going to keep it 100 with you guys, these steps can only take you so far. If you are really down in the dumps, go and get the help that your happiness and peace of mind deserves. Find a mental health professional that you trust and set up an appointment.
This is a natural part of your life. Don't be ashamed and don't be afraid to ask for help. Have you experienced a Quarter Life Crisis? Let's talk about it! Hit up the comment section below.