If youth and beauty were things we cared about, you’d think 25-year olds would stop bitching already. But in today’s world everyone has to have something to complain about, even if the things we complain about are petty and foolish.
The trouble is we’ve all been there. I was there not too long ago.
When you’re in your mid-twenties and there seems to be nothing going for you, we tend to sink in a pothole. We think all the things we’ve worked hard at—school, jobs, relationships—failed. We’re losers without a purpose in life. We’re done, kaput, lost forever.
What we don’t understand is that this is the beginning of life’s greatest test.
It’s normal to feel this way as a young adult, especially today. Did you get that? It’s normal to feel this way. During these years there are so many options are heart and souls ache from all the indecisiveness. We’re still young, which means we don’t know what’s waiting around the corner yet because we haven’t been there.
Feeling lost seems to be a normal thing nowadays. Social media highlights the successes of our friends, which in turn makes us feel lousy we aren’t even close to their accomplishments. Life is an ongoing game of comparison, which excels any kind of crisis we may have in our mid-twenties.
Because we’ve all been at this place in our lives, most people in their thirties know it’s a pivotal moment. Despite the hopelessness you might feel, it all depends on how you handle it. You’re always going to have doubt—that’s inevitable. The trick is continuing your plans (or make better ones) in spite of whatever short-lived situational depression you feel.
On my 25th birthday I sat at a children’s playground eating a salad with $5 in my bank account and a broken phone. I had nothing to my name and virtually limited options—I thought I threw away all my shots and chances at making gold. This was not how I imagined life to be at this time. I thought I’d be successful, with a boyfriend and living the high life in New York City.
The biggest lesson you need to learn is that we all go at our own pace.
A quarter-life crisis isn’t really a crisis. It’s a panic. We’re pressured to speed up time and progress so that our reality will be matched with the fantasy life we built in our heads. You see, when we’re kids, 25 is old—like real old. My mom had my sister when she was 23, she had me at 26, so to me 25 was “Dad” age. For many, it is.
But the reason why we panic isn’t because we aren’t where we’re supposed to be; it’s because we aren’t where we thought we’d be, or perhaps where are friends are. But the grass is always greener on the other side—your friend who has a husband and children might think your single bead-throwing life is fabulous, while you think the opposite.
The more you dwell on what you don’t have the more bitterness you’re going to evoke. You’re going to hate the world because you feel like it f*cked you over, which will begin a life long habit of blaming the world (this is how you get to be a bitter 60-year old). So many thoughts will pile on top of each other that prevent you from focusing on what you need to focus on.
If the situation you’re in depresses you, then change the situation. That simple. If you aren’t happy, believe me, when you stop comparing yourself to others and continue to ripen as an adult and professional in society, your spirit is going to grow out of it. Don’t lose sight of what’s important even if you think you’re in shambles.
These are the years you need to prove yourself right rather than proving yourself wrong. You got this.