The Quarter Life Crisis and the Pressures of Young Adulthood
Life. You grow up, go off to college, get a career, meet the love of your life, get married, buy a house, then have kids, and all of these things should be obtained by the ripe age of 30. So what happens when you’re train gets derailed from societies strict timeline? Are you a failure? Are people going to judge you, and criticize your choices? Why is there this enormous pressure put on us to live life in societies chronological order? Maybe there isn’t any pressure at all. Maybe we’ve all just grown up seeing the same story line, time and time again, so we’ve created this level of expectation in our own minds.
My Quarter Life Crisis
In 2015 I was proposed to. It was perfect in every aspect, and I knew this was the person I would spend my forever with. So why was I so anxious? Why did something just not feel right? – My train was derailed from the track. I wasn’t expecting this moment at this point in my life. Heck, we didn’t even live together yet, and we hadn’t figured out our futures or our careers. In my mind I had that vision of how ‘things should be’, but when my path took a different turn I choked.
Bombarded by wedding questions within the first week of engagement I thought I better get crackin’, because when you get engaged you get married within the next year, right? Another one of societies unwritten rules I thought I had to live by. I went into crazy mode thinking of all the things I didn’t have at this stage in my life like a career, a home, or even my college diploma since I was still a student. Thoughts like “how can we get married without having a home together” kept running through my mind. Then unfolded a downward sequence of events of almost purchasing a house that we barely had the money for, and putting a down payment on a wedding venue that was way out of our league. All of this because of my perception of where I should’ve been at this stage in my life.
It took making more than a few mistakes for it to finally click. Who the heck cares what anybody thinks, or says? There are no rules in life. There is no set timeline. Everyone is entitled to live life their own way, and on their own timeline. If we don’t want to get married within a year after our engagement, then we’ll get married whenever we feel like it. The key to life is to be happy with what you’re doing and where you are.
I’ve had many different conversations with friends about this subject and I think everyone feels this pressure to do things in a certain order to be considered successful; whether it’s going to school, getting a ‘grown up job’, or even having a significant other. You don’t need to be where everyone thinks you should be, but you need to be wherever it is you’re happy to be.
I am finally at the point where I don’t care what anybody says or what anybody thinks I should do, because I’m doing what makes me happy and that’s how it should be! So maybe my train derailing was actually just a big detour for me to make sense of what was best for me, and how I should live my own life – my way. Not the life I thought I was supposed to live.