Am I having a Quarter-life Crisis?

I didn’t know there was a word for it, until yesterday, but I sure know what it is! I think I’ve had mine. Does that mean I’m safe until midlife? Or are some of us more prone to crisis in general? Well, I’d like to say yes, and yes. Meaning, now that I have studied personality types, and mine in particular, going through the angst in my life and career that I did was inevitable. (INTP here – anyone else out there?) I also know enough now to know that if I don’t keep up with myself, a midlife crisis is inevitable too. So I’m doing my best, which is good for the rest of you, because that means me constantly learning and moving or else I go burst.

So although it’s a long ways off, I kind of wistfully look forward to being 50 and getting to make another huge change. There are so many things I can do… I think I’ll stop right here before I scare you all right off this page.

What I want to share with you is this. If you are a few days older than 25, or a few days short of your 35th birthday, it’s more than likely that you have, or are experiencing a bit of unease. (If you’re 29 though, hold on tight. Being 29 is the scariest age of them all, and of course, has the highest potential for making enormous shifts.)

For most of you in this age bracket, you probably know what I’m describing. It’s this vague, uncomfortable feeling that creeps up on you, bothering you at the worst of times. It’s there when you meet old friends from high school. It’s there when you’re introduced to your best friends boss. It hops onto your shoulder at the reunion, snuggles up close late at night, and is right by your side when you meet the new neighbors at the park. All the while, it whispers to you “So, what do you DO?” Sometimes, when you’re alone, it gets a little louder, and asks “So, what have you done with all that talent? Didn’t you expect more? When are you actually going to do something?”. Late at night, it may tap you on the shoulder, asking, wondering, begging, reminding you of the all the wonderful things you planned to do when you grew up.

You know it, when you see the high school girls, or maybe when you see your own children. They think you’re an adult. But wait, there’s so much I want to do. I’ll be 30, then it’s 40, and oh my! 50 – that’s how old my parents are! What I are my kids going to think? There’s no denying it – you’ve arrived.

It’s a lot easier to smile and give a smug wink when we see the stereotypical 60 year old pull up in a red convertible. We certainly don’t need a car to confirm our identity. I’m good, y’know? I have a car and a house and a job and a family. I even do an okay job keeping up with a few friends!

Yet, the feeling we get at this age, although we likely didn’t know to expect it, is just as typical. It’s also not a bad thing. It’s called conscience. It’s there to remind us, to keep us on track, and to make sure that we are heading down the right path in the maze of life. It’s what makes sure that we don’t turn 50 and wonder who we are and where all that time went. Because if we keep our heads down, do what we’re supposed to do… well, one day, way too soon, we will wake up and be 50 and 60 and 70, and realize with a gasp that, it is too late for certain things.

So tune in to that pesky little voice, give it some attention, and ask it what should you be doing with the next 5 years. My guess is that it already has an answer. It’s just waiting for you to listen up.

And if you need help deciphering what that little voice is telling you, well – that’s my job!



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