Tuesday, April 22, 2008
An Unwelcome Guest: The Quarterlife Crisis
Do you ever wish you could just have a really good sex dream?? You know, the kind where you wake up and you realize " Oh shit, was I just violated in my sleep?" So you check the closet (yes, I've done this) peek under the bed, go through old texts to see if you mentally blocked out a "sleep-walking booty call." I want one of those dreams. I want to wake up all sweaty and confused, all the while completely satisfied, and ready to fall back asleep again for round #2. Tension needs to be released, and let. me. tell. you. why....
I am smack dab in the middle of my quarterlife crisis. The eagle has landed. Not just one eagle, an entire flock.
Oh no, this whole juncture is no myth. This is not a "tall tale", or a Big Foot sighting- the quarter life crisis is as real as my fucking panic attacks that come along with it, and my business cards (I'm no longer scribbling my "info" on Orbit gum wrappers). So real in fact that I am currently wielding a book titled, "Quarterlife Crisis- The Unique Challenges of life in your Twenties"
I like how they use the word unique to make it sounds like it's some sort of gift. Like a nice hand-crafted, ornately painted Russian egg, or something. Unique, such a patronizing word to put into a title handling such fragile circumstances. I'd like to write a hate letter to whoever invented the word UNIQUE.
First off, they address; How Do You Recognize Your Quarterlife Crisis?
Oh, I know how. When a burly/frightening figure traipses into your mind, with big BLACK BOOTS and then proceeds to point out that you are slowly losing your identity, all the while eating processed foods, "ya know, you can't live on peanut butter and dried apricots forever....." THANK YOU FOR POINTING THAT OUT, MR. MIND ASSHOLE. Unfortunately, I still have a thing for Lucky Charms, are you going to judge that too?? The "inner voice" who tends to be a snarky biatch is a pretty clear indicator that you're in it. One day, you're putting on your "adult clothes" and kicking your skull and crossbones Converse tennies under your $40 hand-me-down dresser, while picking the right blazer that matches perfectly and you look in the mirror and say- "Who the fuck is that? And how am I drenched from head to toe in taupe?"
Luckily, I haven't gotten to the taupe part yet, I'm not nearly tan enough for that business. But I see it approaching like a damn steam train painted fire engine red....either that or another bartending gig, which lord knows in the midst of a "crisis" I'd be the one taking the shots, or drinking whiskey with a straw.
They also attempt addressing; How Am I Supposed To Figure Out Who I Really Am??
For me, this isn't the problem. The problem is realistically BEING who I already know I am. Is that every one's problem?? Or are some people walking around like, "Who am I? Who am I?" I am very in tune and very aware of WHO I am, and what I love and don't, what fulfills me, where I find my happiness....however, on paper, the description of me would have an uncanny resemblance to that of a vagabond, wearing a lot of jewelry (and telling exciting stories that sound mostly like lies, but are actually true), creating, singing, writing and living. I am a modern day Gypsy with a modern day taste, which leaves me in a modern day conundrum of deciding what to sacrifice in order to live in line with my happiness....
Having ridiculous motivation, like many of us Twentysomething's often get us to a point- a fork in the road, where you are choosing to be a "yes" person, while sacrificing the inner/outer aspects that may suffer as a result: family, friends, personal fulfillment-unless personal fulfillment is centered solely around work and that is where it gets tricky... If it isn't the other road is finding/acknowledging that WORK isn't what your sole purpose is in life is, because you find fulfillment in other areas as well.
This is where the fine line is, the balance beam that I toe, knowing some of what makes my life rich, flavorful and fulfilling is that, that comes with work...while other parts are that that comes with following my heart, whether it's lucrative financially for me, or not. As an artist, I have no cushion. But as an adult....I know that I'll need one. The best words of wisdom my mom said to me once while I was planning a budget were, "Budget Fudget...." So this is the school of knocks I come from. Even though, my family personally can't fudget- it's a nice idea.
So here I am, in my hallway of an apartment, in my twin sized/loft bed- eating chocolate- from Easter (whoever said the Easter bunny shouldn't visit adults, was heartless) and reading this book, while taking notes and praying I can BALANCE. Being in the midst of a crisis is like being in a fish bowl and until someone takes the fish out of the water, I suppose I have to swim in it.