Monday, March 12, 2007

The Vexed Quarter Life Crisis

While killing time at Borders yesterday, I decided to flip through some magazines that I didn't think were worth any dime I've worked oh-so hard for. It's really those magazine that have way more advertisements than they have articles (quality ones at that). I chanced upon the millionth article on quarter-life crisis (yes, they actually had it in a glossy magazine -- imagine that!). I’ve read several articles on that particular topic but today’s article struck a different chord in me. They used that dreaded word “milestone.” I do agree with the author that perhaps the reason why "twenteens" suffer from quarter-life crises is that they put so much pressure on themselves by setting milestones. Fresh right out of college, they set foot on the world thinking that they would be able to bag the perfect job that would give them the fulfillment and benefits that they’re looking for. Then they proceed on to the next logical step which is starting a family. They think it’s an exact science to do all these. They don’t realize that it’s actually a big game of trial and error.

My personal opinion on this is:

Who are we actually comparing ourselves to? Are there benchmarks that we are supposed to look at? Who? The previous generations? There are about a few million things that we have right now that we didn’t have a few years ago… more so a whole generation ago. These things such as technology, added knowledge, enhanced media, higher education, etc, have to be factored in the equation. Before, it seemed perfectly natural for people to finish school and then get married immediately. Some even had to balance both lives. But now, it has become such a novelty (if not an anomaly). In between the two stages comes in masters degrees, internships, traveling opportunities, dating vigorously and such. And intertwined among those are career options that have to be weighed out. Things have gotten more complicated. Thus, definitely more different.

I don’t know why we constantly beat ourselves up just because we haven’t achieved X, Y and Z at 25. It’s just a number, for crying out loud. I think it’s perfectly fine to not know what the hell you’re doing at 25... GRANTED that you’re actually doing something. It’s one thing to think about your life and peruse career options while you’re in bed watching DVDs the whole day and out drinking at night. If you’re “finding yourself” at least do it proactively. Pick up a few jobs or projects that will contribute to the ever glowing resume. Despite popular belief, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying out a few jobs first and then making a more permanent decision after dipping your fingers in a few things.

I don’t understand why hiring companies make such a huge fuss on why you’ve only stayed X number of months in previous jobs. Staying in a company for more than ten years doesn’t necessarily show loyalty and commitment. Okay, fine, maybe it does… but doesn’t that easily mask settlement and loss of ambition as well? The hunger for new challenges are gone since one has gotten so used to a certain way. When I went to Germany a few years ago with my dad on his business trip, one of his associates informed us that in their country, it’s typical to stay in one company for the rest of your life. Usually, when you shift, your skills, attitude and loyalty are questioned. They ask “Why didn’t they keep you? Or why did you have to move? Did they not find your skills suitable?” Talk about limiting yourself in all aspects.

I reckon that the quarter-life crisis has more to do with career and money more than anything else. Everything stems from it -- may it be about moving out or buying your own car or not being able to find someone and having a family. Why can’t people understand that IT’S FINE! No one has drawn a time table for all these. They’re merely trends. We don’t have to follow all of it per se.

To wrap things up… the quarter-life crisis is a load of crock. It exists because we like creating problems of our own. So just stop it. Whatever it is, just stop it! You’re giving me wrinkles… and I don’t have money for botox.

Nor do I have the tolerance for that kind for pain.

So let’s not worry now, yeah? Screw the quarter-life crisis. It just something that people made up so they can have something to write about… like what I’m doing now.


Blogger nel said...

I guess you are questioning the structure of life that we all have to adapt to be call a normal human being ... :)

8:00 PM  
Blogger alpine path said...

Well.. People are trying to better their peers in all things and that leads to so much pressure and stress in everything, especially career and money. Hope we realize this and learn to enjoy the present rather than keeping on comparing with one another and losing what little peace of mind we have. Good going, yaar!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Arun said...

all human beings are cursed with some amount of consciousness(to succeed). as longs its there this will never go and its ok.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'll stop if you do!

7:15 PM  
Blogger thisisme said...

Thank you!! I'm so tired of people trying to make me feel guilty for not reaching "milestones" that they think I should have reached. Isn't it more important to be happy? I reached that decision, and that is what I'm trying to do with myself.

5:16 PM  

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