How to Get Through Your QLC (Quarter Life Crisis)

July 22, 2013 2:17 pm

I can’t get away from it. Twenty seven years of age, presently living with the fiance’s parents in their (thankfully large) vicarage home, unmarried, no children, no house, and a temp job that is certainly feeling like my long-term job at the minute. It is quite clear, given the fact that I am suddenly feeling the effect of time weighing heavily upon my shoulders, that I am in the zone of the dreaded QLC – the Quarter Life Crisis.Quarter life crisis

This is happening to a lot of my generation increasingly it seems. The mid-life crisis, it seems, while still happening, was actually much more popular when the habit was to go to university, be successful in one’s younger days and then feel, once one hits the late forties, that one could have done so much more than their job, maybe even their marriage and dwelling place. This is why we have over fifties buying ridiculous cars which they look strange behind the wheel of, divorces of previously stable couples around that age, and job changes etc. etc. You know the stories.

But no. The economic situation has affected my generation so much that the life crises are actually coming into effect a good twenty or more years before they’re due. Thousands of us are looking around and suddenly realizing, contradictory to what we were promised by teachers, parents and Disney, putting our mind to it and working hard has not paid off and we are not necessarily where we wanted to be. We have made decisions thus far based on how we wanted our lives to be and yet, suddenly, as I did, we look around and see everyone else is suddenly married, having their first or even second babies already, and settling down in a job. Of course, more often than not, you don’t envy them for their CHOICE of these things, but still – they have it and you don’t! What did you do wrong??? Was it your fault you chose to attempt a degree at journalism, so you could one day pen your thoughts and write love letters to the world, whereas your cousin decided to study Beauty, married a mechanic and bought their first house just after they had their firstborn?

So many of us are now so angry at how the government and the bankers have screwed us over by denying us the stability of the future we were promised we would have (‘Things’ll be much better for you’) that we have to sit down at the tender age of twenty-five and admit to ourselves that something, sadly, isn’t working, and we’ve got to prioritize and figure out what the hell we’re doing.

I’ve been having my QLC for a good year and a half now. I lost a job I was doing part time to follow my quarter life crisisacting career, my best friend moved out of our flat and ended up costing me loads of money, and I’ve had long talks both about my future and our relationship, with tears rolling down my face, more often than I care to admit to my long-suffering other half Jonathan. It has hit me hard, especially with the added aspect of my hereditary depression, which has made any considered deliberation over future actions a very arduous and difficult process…

But finally, somebody said what I had been waiting for somebody to say since this whole thing started: “You can let it beat you, or you can beat it. It’s your life.”

And they were right. Before recently, I had never wanted to sit down and give myself a back-up plan after my acting, because it was my main passion and all I wanted to do, but desperation and a predominantly empty bank account has forced me to figure out what it is that I could do without losing my mind, bringing in a decent wage and being able to provide for my family.

For me, my back-up plan become plainly obvious when I realized who I admired the most and decided I wanted to do their job: counselors. I have been so helped and inspired by these guys over the years, I know now that THAT is a back-up plan worth having. Worth studying. One that I can say ‘Well, I tried the acting for a while, but it doesn’t matter – I’ve got a great job’ about.  This is going to take a lot of study and determination on my part, but I just see myself in ten years, when I’m finally there and can afford my marriage and kids, and know how much happier I will be…

And that is my advice to any others of you out there, struggling with similar problems, when suddenly your job seems on-going without any chance of promotion in sight, when you realize you’re the last in your clique to be single and never married before, when you’re parents are still asking endless questions that you have no answers that will improve your self esteem for. You need to have that conversation with yourself. You need to research and spend time on yourself – because you deserve it – figuring out what is going to help you grow and deal with your life. You need to realize that your path is not shaping out the same as other’s, because we really DO have our own path. Some people can plan out exactly how their lives are gonna go and be lucky enough to have it all work out. On the other hand, things might get stuck in your way. You don’t need to give up and get older and bitter. You just need to change your game plan.

You’re never too old to start living a happier life.

Good luck xxx

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