By definition, Quarter-Life Crisis is something you encounter right after you enter “the real world.” For most people, this existential dilemma pops up right after graduating from college. You know, when you’ve sent out enough resumes for your dream job, only to have zero callbacks. When this happens, the first and primary blow lands on your ego. The wallet may take a beating, but the ego tends to crumble. How is it that you’ve spent your entire life believing you were born to do something, only to get slapped with one rejection after another?
You end up settling for just any job that would pay the bills. You tell yourself, “It’s a pit stop.” Only, it’s a pit stop that lasts for years. You settle into the routine, immersing yourself in the everyday. Then, you wake up one day and ask yourself, “Is this really it?” You feel lost, scared, confused. Of course, these feelings go away temporarily through various types of therapies—counseling, meditation, yoga, retail therapy, music therapy, literature therapy, and my favorite, food therapy. But these tend to be band-aid solutions. That awful feeling of inadequacy creeps back when you least expect it—in the middle of a party filled with successful youngsters, while watching some news segment about some genius 17-year-old who just published her first book, and the list goes on.
So, is there really ever an end to Quarter-Life Crisis? Well, at 27, I’m still experiencing this personal crisis—BUT I find that as you learn more about yourself, as you find purpose in what you do, as you learn to appreciate what you have and become more open to experiences and other people’s views, this crisis becomes something infinitely smaller and more manageable.
There is an end to this crisis, but it’s one that comes with inner peace. You can’t measure its diminishment by years. You measure it through experience.
Until this journey ends, (and maybe mid-life crisis makes its unpleasant appearance), I’ll be adding another facet to this blog. Aside from book reviews, poem analyses, and featured authors, I’ll be posting about some of my thoughts and coping methods when it comes to Quarter-Life Crisis. Hopefully, it might help someone who’s going through something similar. Maybe make this journey together?
Note: By the way, my boyfriend suggested this as a good way to help me cope with whatever existential crisis I go through. I must say, writing is an excellent form of catharsis. As for the picture, it’s a good way to get rid of my shyness when it comes to “exposing” myself–mind off the gutter, please. 😉 I’ve always been ‘cyberworld shy.’
19 thoughts on “Quarter-Life Crisis: Does It Ever End?”
That was pretty introspective and insightful. Beautifully written.
Thank you very much. 🙂
That was rather beautiful – thank you for sharing Kristel.
David! It’s been a while. 🙂 Thank you very much. I’m glad you liked it.
Aww Kristel!! It’s a phase right? Please tell me that it is. Mine is just starting. Med School was a huge fucking band aid for me. This post is so true I cannot even explain!! I miss you. And I love this post. I really do.
It’s youuuuuuuuu<3 Oh honey! I miss you. 🙂 And of course it's a phase, I mean otherwise, we're all kinda screwed. 😛 But I seriously believe it is a phase. You just have to find your center, you know? Took a lot of spiritual path-finding for me. That, and to put it in Rica's words, the Universe took a huge dump on me. That kinda shook me out of my existential slump for a while. Things'll get better, and you'll be a brilliant Doctor. Wait, I think you already are. 🙂 Dinner soon, please? Where are you? xxxx
Thanks dear. Means a lot to hear that from you. How are you anywayss? I’m in Fairview most of the time studying pa rin. Sometimes I stay in Taguig with my sister. Let’s do dinner next week in Katipunan or something! Or are you guys going to the Stars concert on the 16th? I’ll be with Aedz and Paula. Yes yes I think I need to talk to you gals too. Seems to me you have so much more perspective on this whole midquarter crisis drama. My med friends and I are just stumped. It’s not something that I can study and ultimately pass if I put all I’ve got into it. Haha. What a dork. Hearthugs!
My brother’s getting married on that day. How bout the week after that? We can do it sa Katipunan with the rest of the girls. I went through a number of self-help books, Buddhist chants, and Jesus stuff. And Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan.
Basta let’s meet up. I seriously miss you!
Alright. End of feb then. 🙂 Congrats to your brother!
Thank you! See you on the 23rd or the 24th then. 🙂 Will let the girls know. Miss you!
This is a beautiful article. I think I’ve gone through four phases of QLC in my twenties 😐 I dunno, they say QLC continues until you’re in your 30s haha 🙂
Thanks babe. 🙂 Doesn’t matter how often you go through QLC. What matters is that you survive those moments of loneliness or confusion. You know? Don’t give up on your dreams and stay positive in the face of adversity. And never ever ever lose joy in the little things. 🙂
Thanks for writing this hon! I’d leave a more insightful comment but there’s a shitload of work waiting for me and getting it done is all I can think about right now. One thing that’s helping me cope is finding happiness in the little things and celebrating successes, no matter how small they seem to other people’s. Oh, and unfollowing/unfriending anyone who makes me feel inadequate helps too! Let’s have coffee this weekend?
I totally agree! 🙂 Find your high points and find reasons to celebrate life. Also, surround yourself with positive people. It seriously helps. 🙂 Yes to coffee! Text you tomorrow, hopefully we’ll get some of the wedding stuff done by then–fittings and stuff. See you soon dearest. 🙂
Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But at the same time, I keep thinking to myself on the long commute back home that “man, I can’t work in this business FOREVER.” I don’t mind a pit stop that lasts years but I hope that’s all it is…a pit stop. You know me very well to know where my passion lies 😀 hahaha. Very well-written. Hope to read your poems soon!
I know where your passion lies, and I know that it’s a passion that’s definitely worth pursuing. 🙂 You have the skill for it. I hope to write poems soon too, but until then, I hope to to read some of yours.
Don’t worry too much about your pit stop. 🙂 John Steinbeck was a caretaker and tour guide for Lake Tahoe, Douglas Adams was a hotel security guard, Robert Frost changed light bulb filaments in a factory, Chuck Palahniuk was a diesel mechanic. Let us aspire to be just as great despite our ‘day jobs’/’pit stops’. 🙂
🙂 my blog is actually entitled http://quarterlifecrisisneverends.blogspot.com
lol maybe when I turn 30-ish im going to change it.
writing IS cathartic for me… and whenever I look back to my posts I just smile and laugh at myself and be amazed how my emotions and petty problems in life seem to be like a roller coaster.
on the good side though research says those who undergo quarter life crisis are less likely to undergo midlife crisis :)) better experience it now while there’s still time to change directions in life than regret
I’m almost afraid to ask how old you are, as I’m approaching 30, myself. 🙂 Thanks for your kind comment, and I agree that writing is excellent catharsis–as is any form of art, actually.