I can’t tell you how many half-finished blog posts I have saved. Sigh. Sometimes I wake up and say to myself, “Goddammit, can you just stick to SOMETHING?” Oh, QLC woes and self-hate.
Ok, to the point: I found this article from the Huffington Post the other day and read through the checklist. Umm, all of the above?
The whole “finish school then figure it out” plan was a good one until I realized that not being in school anymore would have no positive influence on figuring things out. At the end of the article, Hassler writes, “Now for those of you thinking that you do not have time for self-discovery, my response to you is that you cannot afford not to. The alternative is to continue to spin in your quarterlife crisis and make choices based on fear, other people’s advice, expectations, or societal pressures.”
I kind of had a “hold up!” moment after that one. I thought back to all the choices I’ve made in the last year and every single one was based on those four things. Damn. Time to regroup. I’m taking it day by day now. After a serious sanity breakdown about two weeks ago, I realized something needed to change. Refocusing on the present didn’t make things easier, per se. But at least I feel a lot more relaxed. It’s ok that I quit my first real job after 9 months because I hated it. It’s ok that I don’t know if I want to teach or go to nursing school or apply to public health grad programs. It’s ok that I don’t know what a serious romantic relationship entails or when you’re supposed to make a long-term commitment. And honestly, I don’t even care too much about the fact that I moved back home to live with my parents for 4 months so that I could save money. It’s time to stop thinking about things in terms of regression and instead embrace “set backs” as a long-term investment for making solid decisions.
I was at a wedding this weekend and there are a few key QLC highlights to delineate here.
1) Matt looked at me during the couple’s first dance and said “Wow, we’re adults now,” or something like that. It’s really freakin alarming when people your age start to get married. And I know a ton of pregnant people and a ton of engaged people. Last summer, Marco said, “If you think it’s bad now, wait ’til you’re my age.” I believe that. 25 is going to be SO WEIRD. But I don’t really fear it or anything. It’s just going to be weird.
2) During one of those whole “So, what are you doing now?” conversations, Matt’s friend said “No one told us it would be like this.” Amen, for real. What’s the point in telling kids that they have the potential to do anything they want if a) that’s not true and b) you never mention that it’s probably going to be difficult pick. Maybe that second one seems obvious, but they never really emphasis the “just one” part. Yes, you can have a few careers in a lifetime. But no, you can’t be a doctor, lawyer, rock star, marine biologist, kindergarten teacher, and police officer all in the same lifetime. It’s so difficult to pick even two. The reality of 2-6 years of grad school is overwhelming as it is. Why would you want to do that again? And let’s not even talk about how much more education costs. That alone makes it seem like you have one shot to get it right and if not, you’re stuck forever. Throughout our whole lives, we were set up to believe that anything is possible. Of course it’s going to be a difficult row to hoe when we try to come down from that lofty optimism which has been ingrained since birth. And we’re being called out for our struggle? Sorry, but lazy and irresponsible don’t describe our whole generation.
I think I’ll make this a blog series and really stick to that promise this time (don’t hold your breath). I’ll dissect my personal feelings about each item on the list. Obviously, I’ll be able to discuss some at length and others just briefly. It’s time for intensive personal exploration. Hopefully after 25 posts, I’ll have a better understanding.
In the meantime, here’s my current playlist of songs that make a ton of sense and make me feel better about life because they’re catchy/awesome. Yes, maybe it seems like they’re about love/relationships which is only 10% of my problem. But most songs are about love and other things at the same time. Really. I promise.
– Young Blood by The Naked and Famous… current favorite song. Thanks, random hipster bar in Boston!
– Give It Up by The Format… previous favorite song
– Skinny Love by Bon Iver… previous favorite song
– West Coast by Coconut Records… previous favorite song
– Tighten Up by The Black Keys… has nothing to do with anything really but it’s a damn good song (once I listened to 10 minutes of commercials and then 2 crappy songs on the radio just to hear it when I was in the car one day) and the video is awesome. (See also: best alternative video ever)
– Winter Winds by Mumford and Sons… previous favorite song
– These Arms by Matt Costa… I frickin love boats