The year most of my friends and I turned 25, one of them coined the term “quarter-life crisis.”
A “quarter-life crisis” is essentially a mid-life crisis for young women who haven’t quite figured out their direction. See, when we were 25 some of us were moms, but still figuring out who we were.
I don’t really know why but we felt like we should have it all figured out by 25. As that number, that totally random marker of nothing more than how many 365-day cycles we’ve been here as us, loomed closer quite a few of us started to loose our shit.
We panicked because we weren’t where we assumed we should be at 25.
Most of us weren’t married. Most of us didn’t have live in boyfriends. Most of us didn’t even have careers or were still in school. And, as quiet as it’s kept, a lot of us were still living with our parents.
We worried, we got depressed, we wondered if we were going to be old maids doomed to a life as a spinster. We worried that we’d hit our peak and it was all downhill from there. We were scared because the pressure to grow up was real.
30 was right around the corner with a baseball bat and an IRA, and her friend “middle age” wasn’t far behind. And, oh the pressure, to have “made” something of yourself. As if there was more to life than just, you know, living a good life.
Growing up is scary shit.
How sweet is the naivety of youth, to think that at the ripe old age of 25 we’d have it all figured out; or that we should’ve.
In the years that have passed since then, I’ve realized how silly that was. If I could tell anything to my 25 year-old self and friends I would say:
Take More Risks. I would tell my 25 year-old self to immediately quit my job. Like yesterday. Quit working in a field I knew was not my calling, find a job at a cafe or the MAC make-up counter, get into some classes and explore myself and figure out my true calling. I would tell me to pack my bags and Brother’s bags and head to LA on the first thing smoking. Or really anywhere. Sure, it’s a risk but you can do it. If all else fails, you can always come home to mom.
Trust Your Instincts. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s usually a duck. Even if the duck is super hot and has an impressive resume, it’s still a damn duck. This applies to pretty much everything in life, not just guys.
It’s Okay to Be Selfish. That’s right. I said it. It’s okay to love yourself and put your needs first. If you don’t learn how to properly care for yourself you’ll always be putting others’ needs above your own, which breeds resentment and all kinds of negative things.
Budget & Save Like Your Life Depends On It. Being financially responsible and living within your means is important and reduces stress and allows for more room for fun and new shoes. In some cases buying new shoes is fun so you’re really killing two birds with one stone there.
When Someone Shows You Who They Are the First Time, Believe Them. It’s normal and healthy to have faith in human beings and we all should. However when someone shows you who they are – believe them. Don’t look at potential or only the good sides. Look at the person as they are in that moment. See them for who they are, not who you would have them to be. And if that person isn’t up to snuff, send them on their way with love and light. It’s not personal.
Practice Forgiveness & Take Nothing Personal. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Realize that when someone takes a path different from yours it doesn’t make their path wrong – it’s just different. Know in your heart that when someone does or says something to hurt you, that it’s truly not about you. Forgive them. No matter what someone has done, forgive them. The forgiveness is for you – not them.
Light Pink Lipstick doesn’t look good on anyone. Sorry, it just doesn’t.
Make Mistakes. Make lots of mistakes and learn from them. Don’t dwell on them. (See, Practice Forgiveness above.)
The Only Way to Get Past It Is to Move Through It. Sometimes life is going to hurt. Sometimes your back will be against the wall and it’s going to hurt like hell. The thing is, it always gets better. You may have to walk through fire to get to the other side but it gets better. Always. I promise.
You Are Enough. You don’t need to have it all figured out and, quite frankly, you may never have it all figured out. You are perfectly imperfect. You are beautiful inside and out. You are enough.
What’s something you would tell to your younger self?