The Quarter Life Crisis is Real and it Sucks

Prepare yourselves for some stream of conscious melodramatics here, folks. Buckle up, this is going to be a rough one. Oh, and also: no pictures.

The quarter life crisis is real. I know because I’m in one. It almost feels cliche to say it at this point, but my life is at a crossroads. And quick side note: I fully realize that I’m bound to come across many more crossroads in my life and people with more “wisdom” than me claiming that I’m being shortsighted by claiming this to be thee crossroad of my life would be incorrect. I know this isn’t the single most important moment of my life, but it doesn’t make it any less real.

Side side note: No one has actually said this to me, I just have pretend conversations with imaginary people constantly.

I’ve never felt so up and down in my life. I’ve always fancied myself a pretty even-kiel guy, never getting to razzed about anything, just going with the flow. This is different though. I’ve never felt this before. I feel like there is no flow. The flow is gone. The river’s all dried up. I suddenly feel this immense pressure to create the flow.

How do you create a flow? Hell if I know. For the first time in my life, I don’t know what I want to do.

High school was easy. I didn’t care and I didn’t need to. Didn’t feel like doing my homework? No problem, I’ll just copy from someone else. Didn’t study for the test? No problem, I’l just get the answers from someone. High school was fun, and that’s all it needed to be.

College was more fun. Choosing to go wasn’t really a choice, I always knew I would. I had freedom, I was on my own, I started traveling. It was great. Classes mattered more, but still not that much. My whole life, I always knew everything was going to be fine. It wasn’t a huge deal if I didn’t go to class or didn’t meet up with friends. I was doing what I wanted to do and everything would work itself out.

After college, I moved to DC, got a job that paid relatively well and lived comfortably. We lived in a nice Georgetown apartment, went on vacations, brunched, laughed, and galavanted around the world. We lived a good life. Then at some point, it wasn’t what we wanted anymore.

It all felt so constricting. This job that I had to go to, this office I was locked inside of, these emails I had to answer, and all for what? Something I didn’t care about anymore. I wanted to do something real, something I was passionate about.

My point is is that none of this was ever hard. Things just happened. Yes, I did my part in all of it, but I never had to put much thought into it. Go to college? Of course. Move from Hawaii to DC? Sure, why not. Get a job, check. Marry Alexis? Please, and thank you.

Then we moved to Thailand. Following my dream. Discovering my passion. The problem is: I don’t know what my passion is. I’ve started to write, which I enjoy, but am I passionate about it? I don’t know. I broke free of the office, the 9-5, the bullshit office politics, but freelancing is hard. I’m not a very self-motivated person, I’ve come to realize. Is this just an adjustment period? Can I do this forever? I don’t know.

I thought travel was my passion and while I still love it, Thailand hasn’t grabbed me the way I always thought it would. Are Thailand and I just not a good match or are my passions changing? I don’t know.

I don’t know. Crossroads.

I’m chasing a passion that might not exist. It feels like I’m running in circles constantly thinking the answer is going to be on my godforsaken tail once I finally catch it.

Passion. That is the bane of my existence. Passion makes me simultaneously feel like I can do anything and nothing at the same time. It drives me to move halfway around the world and also crushes my soul when I fail to meet it’s expectations.

From what I gather, your mid-life crisis is filled with buying tools you’ll never use and toys that make you feel younger. I remember my dad buying a whole bunch of crap that’s sitting in his garage right now. I remember my uncle talking about wanting to soup up a moped and fly down the highway. The midlife crisis is defined by wanting to feel young and productive and carefree again. Of fantasies of a life gone by.

The quarter life crisis is filled with too much hope, too much optimism, too many choices. All of which precedes the inevitable fall back to earth with a gruesomely sounding thud of being stuck in place, not moving anywhere. I change my mind, there is not a crossroad in front of me, for that evokes a vision of two options. This is much more daunting. There are an infinite number of options. And I have no idea where to make my next step.

I said earlier that I’ve always known everything will work out. I still do, but to a lesser degree. I’m sure something will work out, but is that something I’ll be happy with, something I’ll be proud of, something I’m passionate about?

Passion: the puzzle I can’t solve, the weight on my shoulders, the addiction I can’t kick, the maniacal, sadist mothereffer that wakes me up in the morning and knocks me out every night.


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