Quarter Life Crisis

I have been rather emotional and had a general sense of restlessness lately, I can’t quite put my finger on the exact reason why. What I do know is that a lot of areas in my life just feel disjointed and out of whack.

I have tossed this particular problem around a lot in my personal journals over the last several years, and have discussed it at length amongst friends. I have actually come to the conclusion that all of these mixed up jumbled emotions are merely symptoms of a quarter life crisis.

You might be asking yourself- “What! A quarter life crisis?!” Yeah I know it sounds ridiculous, but believe me it feels very real and I am not the only one who has stumbled down this path. There have even been youtube videos made about it, check it out this one below. (It’s actually quite funny and eerily accurate.)

I think a lot my tangled up feelings revolve around a sense of feeling out of step with the world. Why am I here? What exactly am I supposed to be contributing to the world? What makes me truly happy? I wish I had answers to these questions. If I did, I am pretty certain I could rid myself of all this existential angst I have been dragging around.

I’ve had this weird feeling of limbo the last couple of months and it makes me think back to a page out of a book I use for counseling sometimes- “The Blue Day Book for Kids.” There is a particular passage where the author asks “Do you ever feel too little to play with the big kids and too big to play with the little kids?” Yes! Yes that’s exactly how I feel sometimes! I feel like I am at this really weird in between stage in my life where I have had a regular 9-5 job for years, been married, have owned a house- essentially had a lot of responsibilities. But I still don’t have any kids, I’m single now, and while 26 is still very young, I feel like I have been too responsible for too long to just “party” all the time.

As a result it’s made it sort of weird to hang out with a lot of my friends. It’s like they fall into either/or categories… It seems like half my friends are free spirits who are still doing things young people do and are enjoying going out and having fun even on week nights (gasp what is THAT?) or they are married with children doing the awesome spouse/parenting thing. What sucks is I don’t really feel like I fall into either of these categories. Don’t get me wrong I love all my friends dearly, but sometimes I just don’t feel like I fit in anymore, too big to play with the little kids and too little to play with the big kids. Throw in on top of it the aforementioned fact that I don’t really feel like I fit in the world either, and you have the makings of some serious personal anxiety.

To be quite frank, life as a social worker sort of sucks. And by sorta, I mean seriously sucks sometimes. I would even go so far as to say I hate it with a passion on occasion. There are many days where I wake up resentful that I have to get out of bed and drag myself to do something I essentially despise.

This country needs access to counseling, it’s super important. Social workers are important, and I know without a doubt that the work I am doing is good. In fact, the other day out of curiosity I started a list of all the names of the kids I could remember that I have worked with over the last four years and I was able to come up with 110 names. And those are just the ones I could remember! I know I have made a difference in those children’s lives, and that is incredibly important too. However, I can’t help but feel that what is even more important is loving the work that you do… and  if I am being honest, I do not. At all. I can’t even tell you the number of times I have considered how much MORE of a difference I could make in the lives of all the people I touch, if I was really passionate about what I do. Often times it seems like I am merely going through the motions of counseling and I feel that is not only unfair to the kids, but to myself as well. It takes a seriously special person to do this work and if it weren’t for the kids I would have quit ages ago.

I desperately want to find my calling. I feel like it has to do with art somehow, but I am having trouble putting all the pieces together to see the big picture. I wish I had all the answers, but sadly I do not. I just have to keep putting my feet one step in front of the other trusting that, while I may not see my destination, I am heading in the right direction. The other night when I was feeling particularly down about all of this junk cluttering up my brain space, I received this inspirational email from one of my favorite websites- The Brave Girls Club. This is what it said…

 Life sometimes leaves us in limbo….without the answers we want, or without any answers. We suffer and suffer when we imagine the things that MIGHT happen to us……..PEACE WILL COME when we remember that WHATEVER HAPPENS…we will get through, we will be ok. BE OK WITH NOT KNOWING…knowing that YOU will always be ok….you made it through yesterday, you are making it through today…and you will surely make it through tomorrow….no matter what happens, you will make it through…..choose not to suffer with worry…….be ok with not knowing, and choose joy instead. 
Despite not having a clue where the journey is taking me, I love how the universe sends us little messages to let us know that we are still on track and our internal compass won’t fail us so long as we are brave enough to follow it…

What has your internal compass been telling you lately?

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