While your peers are making life changes in career, relationships, business, tax, status, and location, you are contemplating on what else life has to offer. Some have changed. Some people have the same things since the beginning, but they are practically satisfied. You cannot simply understand why you can’t feel ‘settled.’
It’s always tempting to think that the grass is greener on the other side when all you see is news feeds. But you don’t know people on deeper levels (even your friends). We only know people by what they want us to know. Who are we to say that we don’t deserve the life we have? Who are we to say that they have a better life? We don’t know what they go through at night? As what I said, “The greatest battles in the world do not happen in the streets. They happen in our heads.” Hence, evaluate your life, not others.’
On the other hand, the fear of mediocrity is a product of OCD (Obsessive Comparison Disorder). Do not be complacent but remember, brilliance is seasonal. Let go and let God decide when.
Stop using phrases “My life could have been better if, “ “If only I have, “If I were”. There are no specific traits or steps that are key to success or happiness. Life is not tailored for you. You learn to fit in what God has given you. You have to figure out life on your own. As you go along, you learn what works for you and what does not. Do not dwell on weaknesses but concentrate on the things you have control.
The most popular advice on quarter life crisis is to travel the world but traveling alone does not solve anything. It only gives you room for thinking but it does not fill in whatever insufficiency you have in life. It does not heal wounded souls nor it does not help you find the answers. But travel still. It might work.
While it’s true that we should find our purpose in life, take note that not everybody can be Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela. Not everybody will win a Nobel prize, Grammy, or Magsaysay Award.
Our favorite book character, August Waters, shared the same sentiments. He feared oblivion. He wanted to be heroic. But his life was cut short for him to do something monumental. Even if all he achieved was a teenage life of cancer, did we not fall in love with him? For those who know the story of Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster, can we not say he lived a well-lived life?
My friend once dreamed that she died and she panicked in her dream not because she had not taken MA yet or became a doctor. She said: “I want to be loved.” Isn’t that all we need on our deathbed?
While reading an article in Huffington Post, there was one comment from the reader that struck me most: “It’s funny that people will work so hard in business to keep their clients, their business, their money, but don’t do the same in their personal lives…”
Your fancy titles, impressive resume, and attractive Facebook profile only matter to you. It is quite meaningless to be obsessed of what people think about you when in truth, they don’t care about you. They are not interested to know what you do in life, what are your activities, what are your hobbies, what is your passion. Casual conversations made me realize this. Hence, prioritize your interests and your dreams. Make yourself interesting for your own sake.
Life can be simplified. If you have a quiet life, find noise. If you have a busy life, pause. There should be balance of things for life to be appreciated. If you are bored, find other things to do. If you are still bored, find more things to do. Never rest. If you are burned-out, take a break. If you are still burned-out, take a longer break. Continue to vandalize your calendar with vacation and bucket list until negative feelings like these subside.
I think the best way to overcome quarter life crisis is to learn life like a dance lesson. (got this thought from Lourde de Veyra’s graduation speech.) A quote from Kurt Vonnegut: “Unannounced changes in life’s itinerary are like dancing lessons from God.” The only way to learn how to dance is to follow your instructor. We don’t go against the current but we go with the flow. We don’t fight against unexpected and unwanted life events but we join with the tides of life. If someone leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along (Sarah Kay). We do not question the absence of some things in our life but we focus on what we already have.
It’s depressing to not know what you want to happen in your life but while the opportunity is not there, live life to the fullest and make the most of what you have.
You’re not missing anything in life. You are just processing but for an optimist, you are just enjoying. It’s like having a special meal on a restaurant. You are savoring every ingredient just to know how good it is. You are like a food critic but take your sister’s advice: “Do not over analyze life.”
You are made of pieces forming and falling. Compose yourself.