Things you learn from a quarter-life crisis
I used to think I had everything figured out.
When I was younger - in high school - I "knew" what I wanted in life. I believed I'd have a PhD before 30, and that I'd travel the world, and maybe even become a doctor. I was an activist, handing out fliers around my neighborhood informing everyone of the importance of composting. I was in the environmental science club and talked about biomass accumulation. The only way I can describe who I was as a teen is as "passionate". I was impressionable, as most young people are, and I truly believed I could change the world.
Fast forward to the end of 2017. I was lost. I'd had what I would consider one of the roughest years of my life. I was depressed, lonely, and quite frankly just tired. It's not really an exaggeration when I say I had a crisis at 24-25. It all stemmed from this very thought: "When I was 17, I was full of passion and hope. I had an idea of the future. But what do I have now?" And it plagued my mind for the whole of 2017. Who was I? What was I going to do next? In 2016 I'd had a great project - a podcast with my brother - that had kept me busy and entertained. My life was more than just work. I had hobbies. But after moving to Chicago, I became rather solitary. After work I went home, and when I went out I went alone. I watched TV more than I had in years, and YouTube became my vice. I'd spend hours watching clips of late night shows or movies I'd never seen. I felt tired. Not just physically, but emotionally.
I looked back at everything I'd hope to accomplish, and I'd frankly felt like I'd fallen short. I couldn't blame anyone but myself. I think that's what happens when we lose sight of the things we want. Or worse so, when we're unable to accept that we've changed, and don't want what we did years ago. I gradually let myself become so consumed with what I thought I should do, or what I thought I was supposed to accomplish, that I lost sight of what I wanted out of life. I think it's easy for that to happen to us these days. We are drowned in content and spam at all hours, and we're consuming information all the time. It's overwhelming, and we (I) get caught up in the expectations of a world that has been photoshopped, fanaticized, or exaggerated. Suddenly we think: "Should I be a 22 year old media mogul? Why am I not rich yet? Maybe I should change what I post on Instagram?"
Having the crisis I did in 2017 taught me that it's important to reevaluate my goals not through the perspective of society, but through my own eyes. It's corny, it's cliche, but it's true. This is kind of why I started writing this blog (again). Because I needed to feel passionate about a project again - and I needed to exist for more than the 9 to 5.