There comes a time in every twenty-something's life when the world feels like one big mess that is too much to clean up. Say goodbye to the mid-life crisis where your dad buys a red convertible, and say hello to the quarter life crisis. On a surface level, yes, this is exactly what is sounds like. You start to feel a loss of your identity. You start asking yourself, “Who am I?” What do I want out of my life and where do I want it to go. Before your twenties, you only dreamed of your future. You had an idea of what it looked like to you and how you were going to achieve it. You might have picked out a specific age you wanted to get married, or decided that two kids (or no kids) would be better than just one. Maybe you knew that one day you would eventually go to law school and that you would be an established lawyer all by the time you were 35.
Well, as you probably already know — life doesn’t really work out according to our plans. You might start dating crappy people, rethink marriage, and/or definitely rethink having kids. Maybe you realize you don’t want to go to law school at all, and want to do something more creative instead. When life gives you lemons and you don’t know what the hell to do with them, that is a quarter-life crisis. Having a master’s in psychology and being a life coach, I know the many stages of life and development, and let me tell you this one is quite normal and you will get through it. Here are some of the signs that might indicate you are having a quarter-life crisis.
1. You’ve Changed Your Career More Than You’ve Changed Your Facebook Status
Usually when you’re having a quarter-life crisis, it’s going to involve questioning your job/career. It’s not an easy task to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, and it’s also crucial you find something that you enjoy because it’s what you will dedicate most of your days to. When you’re going through a QLC, you may start rethinking the career path you're on and you'll quite possibly try out different jobs to see what you like and don’t like.
2. You’re Single, Then You’re In A Relationship, And Then You’re Single Again, Etc.
Oftentimes when you are going through a momentary crisis, you’ll be in that same head space regarding your romantic relationships as well. So quite possibly, you’ve broken up with your partner and then realized it was a mistake and then continued on with this pattern many times. It’s hard to know if you want to be coupled up during your twenties or not, since you're so young and have so much time ahead of you. You may be afraid of settling down too soon, or afraid of being alone. Either way, know that things will work themselves out; know that you will learn with every relationship, and take that as a positive rather than a source of anxiety.
3. You Cry When You Think Of Your Age
When you were younger, you probably couldn’t wait to grow older. You were counting down the days until you turned 21. Nowadays, you are singing quite a different tune. During a quarter-life crisis, you may really start to analyze your age and where you are in your life. Give yourself a little break and enjoy getting older, because with age comes wisdom. And I hear that wisdom is really in right now.
4. You’re Trying To Party Like It’s 1999
The keyword here is try to party like you were young again. If you are trying to relive your younger years of raging all night long, you might be having a momentary “I really, really, really want to be 'young' again” phase. It’s OK to get your party on at any age, but at some point you have to set your priorities. If you’ve got a big meeting at work, a hangover isn’t the best look. If you are going too hard, you might have a case of Peter Pan syndrome.
5. You Keep Getting In Arguments With Your Parents Because You Live With Them
Take it from a girl who lived with her parents for far too long, there’s a certain point when you need to fly out of the nest. In today’s tough economy, it makes sense that so many millennials are moving back home to live rent-free with their parents. A major downfall of this is that you start getting too comfortable. I mean, who doesn’t love your parents doing your laundry and having home-cooked meals. It’s all fun... until you realize you’re almost 30 and having your Tinder dates come back to “your” house. So, beware — taking advantage of living at home can push you into a quarter-life crisis if you stay too long.
6. You’ve Deleted Your Facebook After You Saw One Too Many Baby Pictures
One thing that for sure about having a QLC is that you start feeling overwhelmed with having to keep up with others around you. You see one too many baby pictures on Facebook and you expect at least five engagements around the holiday season. It’s normal to compare your life to the people around you, or at least on your Facebook feed. However, this will push you into an unnecessary freakout mode. Not everyone is on the same timeline, and that’s OK.
If there's one thing to remember in a QLC, it's this: Try to focus on what you want in your life right now, instead of having to keep up with everyone else.