I’m sat writing this in Starbucks, sipping my first ever pumpkin spiced latte. Listening to a “Monday motivation” playlist, on a Wednesday. I’ve just posted an instagram picture of my outfit from a few months ago, and outwardly, you wouldn’t be able to tell anything was wrong.
I have a good job where I earn great money, on my way to get promoted, run a semi-successful blog and am pursuing new passions. I’ve got my foot on the property ladder, have an amazing boyfriend and am pretty settled. But sometimes I get this ick, a pang of panic mixed with confusion.
Feeling doubtful, questioning why I’ve been put on this earth and wondering if I’m doing the right “thing”. Then feeling frustrated that I can’t answer all the questions whizzing around my head. Feeling paralysed, stuck in a bit of a rut.
I’m scared I’m not doing the right thing, not in the right job, not deemed “successful”. I see people around me doing big things, landing great jobs, getting married, having children, looking put together and happy.
It’s crazy isn’t it, because when I think back to my 18 year old self, 26 was old, 26 was where I’d be “doing something with my life”. But yet I’m sat here, feeling confused, a little lonely and not sure what I’m doing.
I thought maybe it was just me, but after self-diagnosing myself through Google, apparently the feelings I’ve experienced are common in “millenials”. I also found this pretty funny Buzzfeed article about it.
A quarter life crisis is real and thinking about it, I’ve witnessed it quite a bit, in peers, friends and colleagues. Leaving their jobs, searching for the next big thing. Moving away to find happiness. Yet I bet if you ask most of them, they’re still searching.
What I’ve come to realise over the last few months is that actually it’s ok not to have it all figured out. That you don’t have to be doing the same as someone else. It’s not a race.
If you’re really unhappy, you are the one person who can fix that. Fear is the biggest killer for me, but I won’t let it beat me (and well, you shouldn’t either).
One thing that really helped me was talking about it.
After having a conversation with a friend recently, I realised we were both experiencing a quarter life crisis. But had both dealt with it very differently. She left her job and thought she was moving on to bigger things, which came crashing down pretty quickly.
I had a mild panic about my job and what I was doing. So I started pursuing my passions by becoming more creative outside of work, realising that my motivations and daily life don’t align.
Starting with my motivations helped me reassess things. I realised that chasing that pay check isn’t everything. It’s actually about understanding what makes you tick, your passions and persuing them.
And if you don’t feel experienced enough, find a way to overcome it. Get yourself trained up, put those new learnings into practice.
And before you go quitting your job, look at ways to make the most out of it. It’s all experience and learning at the end of the day.
Or at least, until you find what it is you REALLY want. And if you don’t know, refer to your motivations, passions and what really makes you happy. Research or even start a side hustle to pursue your passions.
I’m still trying to figure out what I want. But I’ve realised it’s not a quick fix.
We will get there. It might take some of us longer than others but make it your focus. Stop pushing those feelings that keep resurfacing and follow your instincts.