As I was
wasting time perusing Facebook yesterday, one of my close friends posted a status that said “I think a woman’s midlife crisis happens when she’s 25.” And I couldn’t agree more. In fact, from 2 years ago, I have a blog post in my drafts titled, “Quarter…er…life crisis,” and the only thing typed is, “Confusion, confusion, confusion.”
In recent years, I’ve noticed a rise in this quarter-life crisis phenomenon. I think it happens for a lot of reasons. We think we should have everything together, we’re not where we thought we’d be when we were 18, some people have faded from our lives. There’s a lot that happens in our twenties–a lot of mistakes, a lot of wandering around, a lot of “what the hell am I gonna do?” And most of the time. we just feel stuck. Or at least I did. I felt like I was capable of doing something great, but always felt like I was a victim to my circumstances (money being the most common inhibitor). These are all still struggles I have, so I’m certainly not going to tell you that once you turn 30 you’ll suddenly feel like you have your shit together. You won’t. I titled this “Surviving a Quarter-life Crisis” because that’s what it feels like most of the time–survival. And it still lingers in the air for me, but it doesn’t feel so close or real anymore.
There comes a point–for me it was around 28 or so–that you just realize what will be will be. And this doesn’t mean you just let life do what it will without any choice or consequence. You make your choices, some good, some bad, but you do what you can with what you have, and suddenly you find more peace.
This is why I adopted a mindfulness practice into my every day life. It helps make life not feel so big and overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with anxiety and worry and depression. I still have major fears for seemingly simple tasks (Talking on the phone being one of them…) but these small mindfulness techniques that I’ve been learning, I use at those moments when I’m feeling most anxious or upset. Whether it’s a breathing technique, visualization, any of those things. It doesn’t take all of my problems away, but it reminds that the only thing I have is the current moment and that no amount of worry or regret will change that.
Looking back 5 years ago, when I was 25…I’m different, but very much the same. The best I can say is stop living where you’ve been or where you want to be, and just live now. It’s easy to believe that the grass will always be greener, but it won’t be. There will be hang-ups and mishaps anyway you turn, but you have a choice. You can choose how you react. You can choose your own destiny. I truly believe that.
All too often we try to carry the burden of where we’ve been. We hold on to questions like, “Why didn’t I just say something?” or “Why didn’t I shut the f up?” or “If I would’ve done this differently, I wouldn’t be in pain/confusion right now.” That burden is useless. You cannot hold yourself accountable now for what you didn’t know then. Your energy can be so much more productive somewhere else.
More than anything though…remind yourself that it’s really f’ing hard to do that sometimes, so be kind to yourself. More than anything, just be kind to yourself–you’re doing the best you can.
Do not go gentle, friends.
P.S. As a side note: If you’re looking for something that helps build a more mindful life, check out this book: Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day. Or this FREE app: Headspace.com – meditation & mindfulness. I plan on writing a review on Headspace soon, so keep a look out for that one.
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