Before I wrote about post-university depression, but now I think it’s time to bring the light the early-twenties mid-life crisis. I’m sure some older-somethings might be rolling their eyes and giving a big sigh when reading this, but it’s what we’re feeling.
The world isn’t the same now as it was even 10 years ago, therefore the lives of 20 year olds aren’t panning out the same way the older generations are supposing it should; career, marriage, house, children – not necessarily in that order. The lives many of us are going into now, are not the lives we seek to have for ever but we are expected to. We are almost expected to have everything set, in order, planned but that’s not how 90% of us are feeling. We seek to learn more about ourselves and the world before choosing the paths we wish to take.
I think we’re slowing down a bit, to reap the benefits of adolescence for a little longer – and this isn’t at all a bad thing? We’re taking our time to find our souls, our purpose.
I mean take a look at Germany reducing working weeks to 28 hours for certain employees in order to improve their work-life balance and increase their happiness – call this a step in the right direction.
But since finishing university, leaving the lifestyle behind and having my big naïve blue eyes opened to the real adult world I’m experiencing some kind of inner crisis about who I am, what I’m doing and who I wish to be. I feel as though I should have it all together and I don’t (as 90% of people I asked said) but that’s definitely made to seem like a bad thing.This pressure can cause people to change things in their life that they don’t necessarily want to.
The first roller-coaster I ever went on was The Big One (AKA The Pepsi Max) in Blackpool. On the way up I felt trapped, watching everyone else on the ground move around freely, whilst I was lodged in a big, plastic uncomfortable seat I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in before I plummeted to my very frightening 2 minute or so ride. I was shit scared, if you couldn’t tell, I like roller-coasters now though so it’s all good.
Anyway, my point is I guess that’s kind of similar to how a lot of us are feeling now; this is a very definitive time in our lives, the choices we make now will appear to make a huge difference to the kind of lives we are going to embark upon. So as we’re travelling up the track, watching everyone down below in admiration of their lives. We are leaning over the course of the rest of our lives, which is going to fly by as fast as that roller-coaster did. We’re asking ourselves a million and one questions about whether we’re living our lives or the lives we’re told and recommended to live – but one that isn’t making us thoroughly happy.
I think we all need to calm down a bit and have faith in ourselves, our choices and the universe.
I’ve always said that 16 is too young an age to choose who you want to be. We’re already being asked to choose by our schools, which college courses we want to take, which then determines which degrees we’re allowed to complete and then which job can follow that degree. So by the time we’ve been through college and university we’ve grown as individuals and changed as people – when we’re slapped out into the real world we’re on a course of somewhere we’re not sure we want to be.
But I’ve got to say to all the people who are nodding their head in agreement to what I’m saying – the fact that you’re feeling this way, shows you’re going to be ok. You’re conscious of the fact that you want to live your life, that you want to achieve your goals. You have got to sit back, relax and start feeling what in your world is missing and what you want to make you happier.
Take your time, don’t let the world rush you or cause you to feel any sort of existential crisis. You’re not trapped, you’re learning. We’re all in the same boat. We are all feeling very similar.
Write your feelings down, make plans with loved ones, watch movies at the end of the day, have fun on your weekends and have faith in the universe. You’re connected to it.
When I was on that roller-coaster I kept my eyes closed the entire time and before I knew it, it was over. So let’s not shut our eyes to what we desire, what we feel and what we need.
And ask yourself ‘what subconscious pair of glasses have I got on today?’ and more importantly ‘why am I wearing these?’.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. – Baz Luhrmann.