First off…yes, a quarter-life crisis is a very real thing. Second off…they can be quite sucky and discouraging. I’m just being honest here. I have been wanting to open up and share about my quarter-life crisis for months now, but could never find the exact words I wanted to say. To be honest, I’m not even sure I’ll find all of those words today either, but today, I’m choosing to try.
What I share here is going to be raw and real; unfiltered and honest. Please, understand that this is not a rant, but instead, a cry of my heart that I need to finally get out.
It’s been almost two years since this quarter-life crisis of mine has crept in, and as much as I want it to end as soon as possible, I’m not exactly sure that’s going to happen anytime soon.
I constantly feel as if I am doing nothing with my life and that always leaves me feeling empty and stuck. I have my good days, don’t get me wrong, but most of my days aren’t that great. I constantly feel empty, dry, and at a loss. I feel like I’m wasting my time…I mean, we’re already half way through 2016 and I haven’t done anything that grand with myself this year. I am over my daily routine and want to break free from it. I’m just really struggling.
I don’t have my dream job, whatever that may be. I thought I knew once, but now, I have no idea. Honestly, deep down I’m okay with not knowing, as I still have comfort from the Lord, but in this season, I’m typically frustrated with not knowing. I have so many passions, but never know which one to pursue. I have a hard time prioritizing them, because I hold everything to a high priority, which technically isn’t reality. I feel as if I wasted my time in college on what I studied, and oh my gosh, does that make me cringe. After all that money I spent, I’m doing nothing I thought I was supposed to do. It’s terrifying.
I don’t have my dream house (or apartment, let’s be real). Though, I am very grateful to have shelter and a place to live, I am itching to get out of this place that I’m in now. I feel my inspiration is limited in the area I’m in, and as a creative, I’m always wanting to find new ways to think or be inspired. I’m also not like the rest of the people I know getting pregnant and having kids, and while I wish I could be, life is just too expensive. Money. Gosh. I’m not even going to try and get into that one. My husband and I work so, so hard, yet find it incredibly difficult to keep up with living nowadays. I hate money. One of the most sad things in life is having no money being the only factor from holding you back.
One of the biggest obstacles for me in this season of life is dealing with comparison. Comparison was never something that was a struggle for me growing up and even through college, but over the past year, it’s been really hard for me. It’s been so strange for me to struggle so badly with this, as I have always been a content person. I always seemed to find a way to be content with whatever situation I was in, but in this season, I’m really being tried. While I celebrate who I am and my unique passions, I can’t help but notice others advancing to where I want to be when I long to be there, too. It’s not that I’m not happy for them, because I truly am. It’s just that it can be discouraging to me to know that I’m now where I want to be yet.
Struggling with comparison has been terrible for me, as I already struggle with depression and anxiety. When comparison is added to the already deep struggles of depression and anxiety, life can be excruciatingly difficult. No, I’m not being dramatic. I’m being real.
There are days when I literally do not want to get out of bed, because I don’t have my ideal apartment or live in the area I’d like to live in yet. But if I’m being completely real with you all, I have to share my greatest comparison struggle: pregnancy. Literally almost every married couple I know, both online and offline, are pregnant or already have kids, which is super awesome for them. I am happy for them. But I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t feel a stab in the heart or didn’t cry almost every time there’s a new pregnancy announcement on my newsfeeds. Michael and I are not trying yet, and the main reason for that is because of money. I find myself asking Michael and myself, “If they can do it, then why can’t we?” This isn’t fair to either of us, as it does nothing but add guilt and shame that we don’t need or deserve at all.
While these may seem like trivial things to some, they’re actually really huge for me. I have found that acknowledging my struggle with comparison instead of being in denial of it has helped me better identify the root of the issue, which helps me to call myself out on it right away. There’s nothing wrong with me longing for those things, but I have to try my best to want them in a healthy way.
I have never been an overly-happy person or one who’s always optimistic no matter what the circumstance. That’s just not who I am. Instead, I am always thinking deep into everything and am more of a realist than anything else. Being a realist, I’m often mistaken as a pessimist, but I promise that’s not what I am – I still believe in goodness and I always have hope.
The one constant in my life has always been the Lord and His faithfulness. Even when I can’t always see or feel Him working in my life, I still have faith that He is, and I think that’s really what’s helping me persevere through this messy season of life. I have questioned God more times than I can count in this season – not His sovereignty, but His goodness. Can God still be good if there aren’t good things happening in my life? Can God still be good if I don’t hear His voice? The answer is yes. It is always yes. This is what’s keeping me persevering, despite my desire to not want to. Even on the days that were completely horrible, I can think back and find some way that God was actually working in my life in a good way.
So, here I am learning to appreciate the process. It’s not easy and no, it’s not ideal. While it seems like everything in life for me is always a huge, long process, in the end, I’m okay with it. I’m glad that everything is a learning experience for me, only making me wiser and more compassionate. I’d rather work my butt off than have everything handed to me – everything’s of more value that way. All I’d really like is a break once in awhile, though. I wonder if anything will ever come easy for me just once.
If you’ve read through my entire rambles in full and didn’t criticize me while doing so, thank you for taking the time to actually attempt to understand where I’m coming from. It’s extremely disheartening when people jump to conclusions and say that I’m just ungrateful or I just need to be happy for others. People like that will never understand.
If you’re like me and are in a similar quarter-life crisis, stay encouraged. I know this seems like forever and so dull, but we’ll make it through just fine in the end. Stay brave.
All my heart,