So 3 weeks ago I turned 25. And I’m being faced with many of the same dilemma’s and troubles other’s my age are facing. I’m defo an adult (two day hangovers can attest to that), I’m not too sure if I’m adulating correctly, but I look at everyone below the age 0f 20 like they’re 12. It’s a pretty weird space to be in.
Underpinning most ¼ life crises is the idea that “I have no fucking clue what I’m doing, why haven’t I figured it all out yet!” But below I want to refine that slightly and explain why we (Read: I) am going through a “crisis” waaaay before our time.
- Too much pressure!
If, like me you’re in your mid twenties and wondering why everything hasn’t fallen into place yet; guess what, it’s because you’re in your mid-twenties. We simply haven’t had the time on the planet to reach our career heights, find the love of our lives and launch our profitable side hustle. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves (especially professionally) can be so crippling that it has the reverse affect. We’re so scared of failing that we end up doing nothing for fear of not “making it”, and so the pressure intensifies. Understand that we are at the very beginning of our journey. Put pressure on yourselves at this stage to explore the things you want so that you can achieve your ambitions. But don’t be so numbed by fear that you end up completely unproductive.
Comparison most certainly is the thief of joy. And in this day and age it’s super hard to stop comparison from robbing you blind. We’re all old enough and ugly enough to know that there is NOTHING helpful about comparing your life, career and journey with that of others. But you can’t stop yourself from feeling a hint of resentment when you see the insta post of a 21 year old travel vlogger drinking a Pina colada on a beach in the Bahamas. You question what on earth you are doing with yourself and why these kids can make so much more than you doing *seemingly* so little.
Relax. Your journey is not theirs. You are exactly where you’re meant to be. Don’t kill yourself trying to attain a lifestyle you’ve only seen on social media.
At the end of it all, we’re all after a pound note. With the cost of literally everything soaring and salaries defo not following suit, money pressure can be a serious thing. It’s absolutely an employer’s market. Far less jobs than there are applicants, so many of us can find ourselves stuck in employment far away from where we imagined [if we had any clue] where we’d end up. Added to this the growing desire many of us have to “escape the 9-5” and build a more flexible, freeing lifestyle for ourselves, the lack of finance can feel like an insurmountable obstacle. No longer is a stable job and two holidays a year our objective, we’re now looking to design a lifestyle that allows us to pursue passion projects, travel the world and be financially stable.
We want to have it all now. We start a job and leave six months in because for some reason this ENTRY LEVEL job isn’t allowing us to make the “impact” we want. (Wrote on this in more detail here). We start projects and initiatives and they dwindle because they haven’t started making you money quickly enough.
It’s been said enough but there are no skipping stages, the process has to be gone through if you want to see results.
Take me as an example; After three months in my first journo job, I considered leaving and finding a new career because I wasn’t doing what I got into the media to do. I didn’t get into journalism to cover local stories on resident’s anger that a much loved lollipop man got the sack . I wanted to get my teeth into the major foreign affairs issues of the day. The Brexit negotiations, Donald Trump saying something else outrageous or the Iraq inquisition. But here I was on a damp day in a Bermondsey estate asking for a quote from a very angry and recently unemployed lollipop man. Reporting from war zones seemed a million miles away.
I wrote this not to berate, lecture or play the victim. As I’m sure you can tell I’m very much going through these experiences as I articulate them.
Quarter life crises are uniquely “millennial” problems. We are the first generation of people to grow through adolescence into adulthood during the information age. Indeed this has equipped us with a fantastic skill set, ready for the digital age. The downside of this has been that our minds have been trained to move as fast as technology advances. Many of us have become used to the constant and relentless consumption of information; so much so that our mind very seldom rests. We need to give our self space and time to develop both personally and professionally without constant feelings of inadequacy.