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My Quarter Life Crisis

Today marks 25 years of the world being blessed by my presence. The day of my birth was a momentous occasion, with almost every Australian cracking a beer, or three, to celebrate my arrival. My birth was so important, they commemorated the moment by gifting me an exclusive silver spoon and declaring the day a national holiday. Yes, they might have labelled the 26th of January as Australia Day, and claimed its roots somewhere in antiquity, but I know it’s really a celebration of my amazingness. After all, Australia wasn’t truly a great country until I came into being. And now that I have left Australia, well it’s really started to go downhill once more. Actually, that raises a good question; If I was god’s gift to Australia, why did I leave?

It’s as simple as this, as much as I was doing for Australia, Australia wasn’t doing much for me. The only thing Australia had provided for me was friends, family and epic sunburn during the summer months. And as much as I appreciated two out of those three things, to quote a certain Disney character, I wanted adventure in the great wide somewhere. And although Australia has an abundance of wide open spaces for exploring, the lure of foreign lands was too strong. So, with a Disney medley playing in my head, I headed for the land of sushi and Hello Kitty for my current adventure. However, it’s still just an adventure and I’m still uncertain about my place in the world. At 25 years of age I’m having an identity crisis. So, move over midlife crisis and make way for the millennial quarter life crisis.

Mt. Fuji
This picture of me on a rock has nothing to do with having a quarter life crisis. This is because me sitting in a corner rocking back and forth unfortunately doesn’t make for a cute photo.

Most people associate midlife crisis’ with middle aged men who go out and buy a motorcycle or a shiny red sports car, so they can feel acquainted with their youth once more. Their wives will then gossip to all their friends that Gavin’s gone out and bought a Harley, and they’ll all nod wisely and say, “Ah, midlife crisis,” before discussing all the stupid things their husbands have done to recapture their lost youth.

A quarter life crisis hits at approximately 25 years of age, when you realise the however many years of schooling you’ve completed, the however many exams, assignments and tests you’ve procrastinated over, mean next to nothing in the real world. Sure, you’re an educated individual with the ability to solve advanced calculus if you so wanted to, but school rarely gives you time to find where your true passions lie. Or maybe it does but after a few years of wide eyed hope, working an entry level role in a job you ought to love, you find you wake up each day dreading having to go to work.

Quarter life crisis’, I feel, are a millennial thing, and therefore have no gender. Everyone at the right age can experience a quarter life crisis and there is one of two ways for dealing with it. Be prepared, because this is lifechanging advice.

You can do nothing

OR

You can do something

By doing nothing, maybe you’ll get that promotion you’ve been craving, and your entry level job will become an actual career. You’ll get married, have a few kids, and in about 25 more years, you’ll be the one gossiping about Gavin and his motorcycle. You might be happy, you might not. I haven’t followed this path, so I don’t know.

Or, you can do something. This could be as simple as changing up your routine such as going to a new gym, or maybe quitting your job and finding a better one. Or maybe just starting completely from scratch, creating a fake alias, leaving the country, and finding a new life in the desert, where you survive purely on air and sunlight. I’m currently trying to decide on a name for my new alias and what desert I want to call my home.

OK, but seriously I have reached my quarter life crisis. My time in Japan was just a chance to experience life overseas, and although I now know that I enjoy living in a foreign land, I know I don’t want to teach English forever, nor do I want to settle down in Japan. And now I am 25, I’m starting to feel obliged to lay down the paving stones for my future.

But just what is that future? Without my time machine, I don’t know for certain, but having internally debated this issue for a while, I know what I want it to be. I love writing and I love Europe. I therefore want to live in a house in Europe, with a window seat, and spend my time writing and pretending I’m Jane Austin. It might seem like an unrealistic dream, but it’s one I am determined to make happen. Plus, it’s easier than forging passport in a fake name.

However, I have not just come to that conclusion overnight. Instead I have spent many months deciding first, that I wasn’t happy, even though I was living what many people would call the dream. Second, that I wanted to make a change, and now was the time to do it. And third, what would make me happy, if I had to do it for everyday for the rest of my life.

If you’re struggling with a quarter life crisis, first note that yes, I believe that it is a real thing and if I believe it to be true, it must be true. Second, decide exactly what is making you unhappy and what you’re going to do about it. This might take you a few seconds, or a few years, but is worth it in the end. Finally, write a long pointless blog post about your future dreams and do nothing about actually achieving them…

OR

Don’t write the blog post and put some plans in place for getting where you want to go. I’m currently doing both, mainly because my plans to get where I want to go is to write more. Not only do I hope to post more here, where I don’t get paid to write these amazing tidbits, but I’m also hoping to con someone into letting me write for them, if they pay me handsomely. So, if anyone is looking for a wiz behind the keyboard, and will only cost you an arm, not an arm and a leg, to hire (an absolute bargain in today’s cabalistic internet world), I’m available.

And if you’re suffering from your own quarter life crisis, start doing something about it.

kitty chan
A more realistic picture of me having an existential crisis. This time about whether I am Hello Kitty or I am just a want to be. The answer is neither, I am in fact a yellow bear holding takoyaki.

Until next time.

Melissa.

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