Dreams are one thing, having them come true, another. No one really tells you how difficult it’s gonna be to find a job, to know what you want to do, to have purpose, to be successful, to know thyself, to be happy, to be secure, to be everything and have everything all at once.
Post-studies, we’re expected to have it all figured out. And when we don’t have everything down pat, we flip out. Thankfully, I am in a much better place and currently armed with the disposition to be grateful for EVERYTHING. Attitude of Gratitude, ika nga.
I had such a candid and blunt discussion with Berlina on our drive down…was it Buendia? (where I freaked out and hit the brakes when I saw a “person” jump off a building. It turned out to be a cat. Never knew cats were suicidal. I’m guessing it has a lot to do with having 9 lives? Either way, it freaked me out.)
As I was saying, Berlina and I got to talking about the quarter life crisis (What’s new? Harhar) It ran the entire gamut. It’s become so rehashed, that it makes me want to fast forward to the next chapter. Like a past relationship that makes you go, “YUCK, NEXT!”, this emotional rut seems to be so commonplace, it’s starting to bore the pants out of me.
What was so refreshing about the conversation though was that we both admitted to having “ill will” or evil thoughts—a result of the occasional jealous streak. We asked ourselves, “Are we bad for feeling the way we do? Are we horrible people for occasionally getting envious of others and their achievements?
Don’t get me wrong. I am generally a very happy and pleasant person. It’s the nagging self-doubt and insecurity that gets in the way of being happy. Not just for myself, but for others as well. After much reflection though, I told myself it had to stop. There was and is no use looking to others for what I need to find within myself to begin with.
I used to scoff at the concept of the inner compass, thinking it to be utter B.S. I guess I was wrong. I shouldn’t have been looking to others for advice, approval or “visual cues”—because in so doing, I was also losing the opportunity to really know myself.
It’s not to say that I’m now self-assured and done with the crisis. But this is a start—realizing that self-doubt takes you nowhere, whereas gratitude, self-confidence and hard work will definitely take you places.
So, to my colleagues and friends in the Quarter Life Crisis:
You’re doing fine. You’re doing great, actually. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re where you’re meant to be at this very moment. Continue the climb, no matter how much it sucks or drains the living hell out of you. You are NOT ALONE.
While we won’t be quick to admit it, we’re all cluelessly navigating our way through this perfect storm. The stupid quarter life storm? Yeah, we’re all swimming aimlessly…together.
It’s okay. In fact, it’s okay not to be okay. But take comfort in the thought that it is going to be okay. Whether you’re working or not, toiling from 9-5 or not, the perils (emotional or otherwise) are the same. You want to get past this quarter life phase, and yet it’s a necessary “evil”.
Better to be confused and frustrated now. Better to question and explore now. Better to go crazy now. Better not to know now. Better to make mistakes NOW. Now than later. Now than never.
Our dreams are one thing, making them come true, another. Reality has a way of bursting our bubble. It has a way of testing your strength, of filtering your dreams, of streamlining your life to leave you with what’s most valuable. Reality bites—not to our detriment, but to our advantage. We’re sharpened by these disappointments, bettered by life and experiences. We are molded into the people we’re born to be.
Some of us landed “dream jobs”. Some didn’t. Some of us ended up with work that have nothing to do with what we’re truly passionate about. Some of us may not actually care. Some do. Some of us have it easier. Some of us have it a little harder. Either way, you are doing great. You’re where you’re meant to be right now. Things really do have a way of falling into place. Have faith.
So, I guess it’s time to congratulate you too—for your patience and resilience. Cheers to you, to me, to US for staying afloat despite the sea of quarter life “downers”.
Congratulations on a job well done (whatever job that might be)!