Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Age Old Question

I normally wouldn't do this...but the Cole Classic is coming up and I'm just $380 short of my goal of raising $1000 for Engineers Without Borders.

I'll be swimming 1km (equivalent to 20 Olympic sized pools) from Shelly Beach to Manly Beach on February 6th, and any help would be awesome...

I'll be turning 27 in a few short days and all I feel is ambivalence. On one hand, life is great right now and I'll be entering the prime of my life. On the other hand, I'm officially out of my mid-20's and not getting any metabolism is slowing, I need to start watching what I eat, and I need to start thinking about the long term future for my physical and financial well-being. Adulthood...wheeeeee

I remember being a freshman in high school and thinking how old and mature the seniors looked. I remember watching Loveline on MTV and hearing relationship problems of people aged 18-25 and thinking they were so grown up and their lives a world away. Now that I've been through that period it's funny to think about how I pretty much feel the same now as I did when I was 16...I just look older. Some personality traits may have changed, like being more confident and assertive but mentality wise I'm pretty much the same. Anyone else feel like a kid trapped in an adult's body? Then I wonder why in the US you can join the Army at 18 but you can't buy alcohol until you're 21....and that the soldiers fighting in wars are just kids.

Prior to moving to Australia, I recently went through a period best described as a Quarter Life Crisis: the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties. I suppose it still lingers to some extent.

Characteristics of someone undergoing a Quarter Life Crisis include:
  • confronting their own mortality
  • insecurity concerning ability to love themselves, let alone another person
  • insecurity regarding present accomplishments
  • re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
  • lack of friendships or romantic relationships, sexual frustration, and involuntary celibacy
  • disappointment with one's job
  • nostalgia for university, college, high school, middle school or elementary school life
  • tendency to hold stronger opinions
  • boredom with social interactions
  • loss of closeness to high school and college friends
  • financially-rooted stress (overwhelming college loans, unexpectedly high cost of living)
  • loneliness, depression and suicidal tendencies
  • desire to have children
  • a sense that others are doing better than oneself
  • frustration with social skills
Little by little I've noticed friends of mine going through a similar experience, with reasons ranging from disappointment in one's job or lack thereof, or disappointment in relationships with others. However, the primary reason I've noticed is a feeling of after working a few years of "Is this it?"

My generation was taught that once you go to college and graduate and get a job you're set for life. But what's next?

Get married? Have kids? Buy a house? Then what? What if you don't want any of those or don't think you're ready? Looks like you need to suck it up and figure it out...

I think a lot of it has to do with people not taking the time to figure out what makes them happy, or what they love doing. Or maybe they know, but they're afraid to take the plunge for financial reasons, responsibilities to others, or something along those lines. It took me a while to figure out what makes me happy and what I love doing, and I'm sure my priorities will change over time and I'll have to adapt accordingly...but until then I'm going to see as much of this beautiful planet as I possibly can and do everything under my power to make it happen.

Everyone deserves happiness...but will everyone put in the work to attain their happiness? You (should, not always) get what you put in right?


At January 29, 2011 at 3:49 AM , Blogger karentl said...

this reminds me of the article kev emailed us over the summer:


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