As the title suggests, I think I’m having a quarter life crisis. I’m in my mid-twenties and as I’ve said before, I’m really not okay about the fact that I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20. I don’t know if this sudden existential crisis is circumstantial and related to my life turning upside-down due to illness or if it ‘s something else. Either way, I am not okay! Surely I should have my life sorted by now, has being a functioning adult passed me by or am I still learning?
I’m not really one for making new year’s resolutions. In fact, I tend to avoid them because without fail, a few weeks into January, I’ve either given up or forgotten about my newly turned leaf and I don’t need any more leverage to feel rubbish about myself. Anyway, 2018 came around and I set myself two very serious resolutions: number one, I will read 52 books, one for each week of the year and number two, I will move out. In my previous job, I had managed to save a fair amount of money towards goal number two and as January rolled around, I was on Rightmove more often than I was on Instgram (hello proper adult) and had formulated a nice list of things I would like in an ideal house – a hot tub featured but then I got realistic.
Then the health hurdle came along, I had to stop working and slowly but surely, I’m losing my independence due to my declining health, becoming more reliant on people around me. Whilst I might be working my way through 52 books, my resolution of moving out has definitely been put on the back-burner.
Which leaves me to the very pressing question of: what in the name of God am I meant to be doing with my life?! What is the reason for my mere existence? I’ve realised that much of my life used to focus around work, it gave me a purpose, something to get out of bed for and formed part of my identity. I feel very lost without it. With the exception of my last job, my work identity was the elongated “Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss” from children and teenagers and I’m not sure who this new non-working Laura is. So, I’m facing a metaphorical crossroads of trying to work out what my reason for existence is. I don’t mean that in an emo-esque way, it’s more that my nice little life plan has got very messed up and I haven’t got a clue where by life is going now.
And I feel incredibly frustrated about the above, which makes the situation worse.
The older that I’m getting, the more that I am pining for my university days. I miss being a student. I miss having four hours of lectures a week, rolling out of bed at 12pm without judgement, walking to the fish and chip shop in pyjamas and rocking up to university with a killer hangover and hair so back-combed that I needed to cut the knots out post Halloween celebrations (sorry Clare that you had to witness that three years running…). I miss everything about my three years at university, I loved the learning and the city that I lived in and I have friendships that I’ll treasure forever. But what if that’s as good as it gets? What if I’ve lived the best years of my life without realising it and only have a degree to show for it? I say only a degree, but y’know, ultimately I have a fancy bit of paper and a lot of debt. Twenty year old me thought me definitely though that I would be a proper, functioning adult by the age of twenty-five. Hell, I actually thought that I would be married and have children. Let’s all have a little chuckle at that thought… Sorry twenty year old me, but you won’t be smashing life like you had imagined.
I want to be that proper grown up that naive twenty year old me thought that I would be, however my bubble of safety that living at home provides is pretty cushty. For a start, I can stay at a friend’s house for a few nights and not need to worry about putting my cat into a cattery, which is a relief for him and for me. My mum can also change my bed for me when I’m feeling particularly rubbish and I have zero shame in admitting that. But, I probably should try that proper grown up thing sometime soon. I managed when I lived on the other side of the country.
I constantly want to escape. This varies between escaping on a lovely, planned holiday (ideally Iceland or Australia please) and packing a bag and just disappearing for a while. A secluded cottage which limited phone signal but decent WIFI for Netflix is preferred. But rational me knows that running away from life’s problems doesn’t work, the problems come with you. On this note, I am torn between wanting to travel the world and “be free” and have a very belated gap yah, to reminding myself that I’m not a teenager anymore and that I should probably make some attempt at trying to settle down and try and make a success of my life. Or at least sort my health out a little bit.
Talking of life’s problems brings me to social media. Now, I’m not stupid, I know that what we see on Facebook etc is like viewing life through rose-tinted glasses: everything is perfect. Obviously that isn’t the reality but I can’t deny that I have a mini freakout whenever I see another engagement post or another baby post. Friends, don’t get me wrong, I’m all the happy for you, don’t mind me as I sit in my corner with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s wondering how long it’s acceptable for me to go without shaving my legs. Just going to remind twenty year old me again at this point that I won’t be smashing life, as I imagined.
Music is a very big part of my life but even that is another factor in my questioning my potential quarter-life crisis. I’m not sure if I’m okay about the fact that mere children are achieving number one singles. Meanwhile I’m being kept busy by plucking the one single dark hair that insists on growing on my right boob. I mean, I could have a number one single, I’ve just never tried.
Now, obviously, at the moment, I’m not drinking. Given all the health dramas, that wouldn’t be very wise (we will ignore the one evening when I drank a bottle of WKD in bed and actually felt tipsy…alcohol it has been too long!). But, when healthier me was able to drink, the ID drama was another potential quarter life crisis point. Part of me resents having to show ID to buy alcohol, because I am clearly over 18, however I resent it even more if I don’t have to show ID. What do you mean that I look over 18?! I moan about this, but I recently purchased a 15 rated film and the shop assistant had the nerve to ID me for that. Irony was that she was probably only eight years old. Oh honey.
Surely I can’t be the only person to feel like this? Maybe the twenties, for everyone, are about sorting your life out…hang on in there nineties and millennial babies, we’ll get there. Fist bump.