A month ago I wrote my column atop a puffy air mattress in Las Vegas while visiting my best friend. And if you’re wondering, it has been 79 days since she moved.
A week ago, the opinions I expressed in last month’s column about turning 25 in a few months, not having a definite plan with my life and not really caring about that, were staring at me from the news feed of my Facebook page. Aw, the joys of social networking.
A friend posted a link to the Eye Weekly article “Welcome to Your Quarterlife Crisis.” I was intrigued, but I scoffed as I clinked on the link and read the first few paragraphs. As the article was posted, commented on and reposted on other people’s pages I realized that reading the less-than-stellar life of a downer ad copywriter hit a little close to home for many journalism graduates.
Although the article brought up points I related to, such as not being sure if my chosen career path is the right path or if my wonderful boyfriend of six years really will be my life partner, there were other points that seemed outrageously absurd.
Never would I have expected to read an article about 20-somethings without distinct direction that would cite psychologists, doctors and researchers who solely study and write books about the subject. Nor did I ever think the suggested method to shake the I-don’t-know-what-I-want-in-life blues would be to hire a life coach and set short-term but obtainable goals to feel better about myself.
Well, Quarterlife crisis, you might be able to bum me out about my age, but I have the upper hand.
I am happy to report that as of 11:30 a.m. on Monday, I have achieved a large portion of my day’s goals and feel great about it: Wake up and only hit the snooze button once. Check. Eat a decent, healthy breakfast. Check. Go for a run and dilute yourself into believing you can run a marathon with Sarah. Check. Feed the dogs. Check. Write your column … in progress, soon to be a check.
I’m betting that’s not the sort of goals a life coach would suggest, but as the conversation about what a quarter-life crisis might really mean was written on the walls of Facebook pages, something struck me.
Yes, many in my generation might feel like they are wandering through their 20s aimlessly, finding somewhat meaningful enjoyment in things that their parents might frown upon. After all, you have a college education for which they probably paid. Becoming a park ranger isn’t what they had in mind for their baby.
But that’s the problem. The problem that none of the doctors, researchers or psychologists ever talked about in the article. The pressure we put on ourselves.
Quarterlife crisis, I see your downer attitude and raise you the go-away hand flick.
If anything was gained by reading the Eye Weekly article, it was my perception of what the problem really is: The pressures that we 20-somethings have put on ourselves to achieve a level of success, or perceive success, in such a short period of time without realizing it is okay to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t have a plan right now” have resulted in our inability to work hard in order to achieve our goals with a decent attitude and realize it does take time to establish a career, a life and to truly succeed.
We have become a generation of whiners, accustomed to instant gratification at the hands of technology and modern fast-pace life. We need to take a step back and a deep breath to figure out what really matters.
At least, that’s the way I see it.
Cortney Maddock is a reporter for the Daily Sparks Tribune. She can be reached at cmaddock @dailysparkstribune.com.