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millennial quarter life crisis

Is this it? Is this what they were talking about over and over?

You sit up from your bed, hair coming out in all directions of your head. Nausea pulls you over. It lingers on a strange limbo between morning grogginess and sickness.

The plain white walls of your room stare back at you. Waiting. It’s time to get up. An inch of toothpaste on the toothbrush. Brushed hair. And? You look around for your shirt. The nice one. The one you got on the clearance rack at H&M. The one you bought with money you didn’t have once you got your real job. Your big person, adult job, as people liked to joke about.

It’s nowhere to be found.

Crap. You only have 10 minutes before you need to be out the door. A piece of white fabric makes an appearance in the corner. That’s it. The shirt.

You grab it and dash out the door. The next nine hours are spent staring at a computer screen. Emails, meetings, the usual. Home awaits you after your hour-long commute home.

The evening awaits. A few hours of pure and clear free time. Everything comes to a standstill. A low burning ache reaches from your legs and works it way up to your back. Thoughts should in and out. Your brain lately has felt like a churning pile of slush, moving gradually from one day to the next with no real progress. You feel stuck.

Is this it? Is this the millennial quarter life crisis?

No words come out. Your lips are dried, cracked, and unable to articulate. Things are not the way they were supposed to be. The thought of your job sends elicits pangs of unsettlement. You want more. You want different. Spending an hour getting ready, an hour driving, nine hours working at a place you dislike confuses you.

You’re supposed to like it. You spent years getting a degree, studying, testing, but it doesn’t feel right anymore. The direction is wrong and a solution appears deserted.

You don’t like your job. The words swirl around in circles in your head. They get written down on paper but never said. Transitions are confusing.

Wanting something different feels taboo. Vague. Nights are filled with 10 pm couch contemplations over a tub of ice cream.

Bolts of inspiration make you come alive. Options feel endless. Traveling the world, pursuing a different career, moving through a transition, it all feels possible until it doesn’t. Student loans, car insurance, and rent. Your entry-level pay can only handle so much, savings being dropped to the bottom

So your legs stay planted on the couch. Moving doesn’t feel like an option. Minutes drift by and you sink further and further down into the fabric.

It’s a turbulent period you’re in, full of shoulds and wants that just won’t away. You don’t want to be alone with them. It hurts to listen to them too much. A smartphone is the seemingly the perfect escape. Your hands reach for it faster than you imagine. A dim blue fills the room. Then the scrolling starts. People with new cars, perfect jobs, a great life. Concentrated eyes don’t notice the lingering thoughts. The thoughts that grow bigger with each scroll. The feeling of inadequacy.

Keeping up the mindset becomes commonplace. It greets you every day and you slip into it. Doubt starts to feel like an old friend, greeting you at every turn. If feeds you the ‘shoulds’ that you contemplate. It tells you it’s okay to feel down. Initiative isn’t part of its agenda.

Doubt feels strong but it isn’t as strong as you think. Ever so often your inner voice tells you to go. Get up. Take the small step of starting. Show up to that downtown gathering. Register that domain name. Take that class. Most of all, that little inner voice tells you that you are capable. It gives you examples of it.

With every step, doubt treads backward. It grows smaller. Maybe it never vanishes, but tenacity takes over and becomes your new friend. It shows you that with every step you take action, you feel more committed. More hungry. Bolder.

Your quarter-life crisis is real, but it’s neither final nor fatal. Take the first small step.

A little different kind of post since my 23rd birthday is right around the corner (#junebirthdaysrock). I think this is the age I realize I’m just getting older, haha :). Next week I’ll be posting a post on steps to take to get through a quarter-life crisis. I wiped up a nice little workbook to go along with it. Stay tuned for that!

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Colin // RebelwithaPlan

Colin Ashby is the writer behind Rebel with a Plan, a website dedicated to people who choose to rebel against the norm of living in debt and feeling financially unenlightened. He believes everyone has an eccentric quality to embrace and that lattes are sometimes a necessity (despite what the personal finance community tells you).

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