I’m not going to waste anyone’s time or eyes with apologies for delaying my posts. Deal with it.
So, anyway. I turned 23 on Wednesday; naturally, my thoughts have consisted of few matters other than getting old, what the next year(s) hold(s) for me, and pizza. I’m sure in 20 more years, I will be hairflipping about the first item on that list. For now, though, I’d like to consider what has been dubbed the “quarter-life crisis,” and how my early twenties are giving me quite the run-around in terms of identity. For right now, I know that means that I am a very recent college graduate, of varying degrees of skill and savoir-faire, a house renter, prone to making sweepingly profound statements about life and mortality. Snark aside, I’m confused and irritated and kind of stressed out (looking back at a LiveJournal I had as a 17-year old: “I’m busy and exhausted and MySpace is taking FOREVER“; not much has changed in my life, I guess). So you might say the whole early-twenties thing is like a second puberty. Heaven help me.
The first time I’d ever heard the phrase “quarter-life crisis” was when I was 13. Ten years ago, if you count as poorly as I do. At the time, I was obsessed with theatre and stage-managing a production for my local community theatre group. One of the cast members for said production, a freelance writer, was in her mid-twenties and writing a column about that fascinating topic for one of the (…appropriately) much-maligned city papers. 25 seemed, and maybe still seems, like both young and old to 13-year old Emily. Of course, I imagined myself at 23-25 as consummately professional and living a life that was rich in all senses of the word, having found my calling in the world of theatre and probably living in New York City. And actually being rich. Like, Scrooge McDuck, swimming-in-a-bath-of-gold-coins rich.
What makes a person successful at 23? The obvious, clichéd response is that it “depends on your definition of success.” Much to the imagined chagrin of my 13-year old self, I am not swimming in gold coins; my professional goals are laughably far from literally being on stage; I most certainly do not live in New York City, nor do I have any real interest in doing so. Instead, I declared a French major at a liberal arts college instead of a BFA at a theatre conservatory school; decided I wanted to do PR and then nixed that and then decided upon it again; lived in Atlanta, which was the greatest decision of the three. I don’t know if I can consider myself successful. I think that’s perhaps the crux of the “quarter-life crisis,” that I could go in about 50 different directions and don’t know where to start. My tenure as Digital Design Fellow has been extended for another year, which is good for several reasons. But what happens after that? Will I overcome my QLC?
You know it’s bad when you’re referring to your crisis mode by its acronym.