My quarter-life crisis

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that as my 25th birthday approached, I grew increasingly introverted and retrospective—this was the first time a birthday had made me truly examine the direction of my life. My accomplishments were not scarce: I survived adolescence, heartbreaks and high school. I’d even gone on to graduate from college, live in another country and learn a new language. I had a full-time job, a car and a mortgage. The stars had aligned for me, and I managed to find and marry a man who could not have been better tailored to suit me.

Yet my birthday this year felt as though it were encroaching upon my settled and uncomplicated life. I began to wonder if I was squandering my existence by complacency with my habits and routines. People would ask me what was new, and I never had much to say besides, “Nothing. What about you?”

Eventually, the hunger pangs of ambition returned to me in full force. I decided to complete a triathlon, my first race of any kind. (I ended up taking second in my age division!) 

I wanted to learn how to sew. (I bought a machine and took a 4-week course.)

I wanted to learn more cooking technique, so I took a couple cooking classes and have begun cooking my way through The Science of Good Cooking from America’s Test Kitchen. (This book blows my mind! Buy it! The Science of Good Cooking)

I wanted to learn to play tennis, so Tom and I have been practicing at night when it’s not too hot. 

I resolved to sing at the top of my lungs in my car more often. I carved out time to read and write more. I wanted to volunteer, so I signed up with the Best Friend’s Animal Society in their Kitten Nursery. (Eeeeeee!!)

These were all great ways to spend my free time, but one of the biggest things pressing on my quarter-life crisis stressed mind was that my job was sucking the life out of me. Dramatic? Sure. An accurate cliché for how I felt? You betcha. We dedicate so much of our time to a job or career, so it’s no wonder that it has the power to completely transform who we are. I noticed that I was critical more often than I was kind. My patience would max out in a matter of mere moments. I didn’t like to do anything spontaneous for fear that it would exhaust me and I wouldn’t have the mental capacity to keep my head down and work hard. Passive aggressive behavior, gossip, and back biting were a daily struggle. I would cling to the few people I worked with who made those 40 hours a week bearable, but sad as it is, one negative experience often erases several good ones.

This is not who I wanted to be! I have a passion for the beauty in everything, so why was it being buried under episode upon episode of resentment and altogether nasty feelings?

I’ll end this torrent of negativity now with this: I was thrown a life line. I was hired by a company known for its good work environment and humble employees. I would get an eye-popping raise. I would get a chance to start over, something that I’ve been aching to do.

My quarter-life crisis made me sick almost any time I thought about it, but as we are wont to do during hindsight, I see that it was absolutely essential and beneficial for my welfare and progression.  In case you have doubts, God knows what He is doing when it comes to your life. Sometimes it’s much more simple to give it your best shot and let Him take over. Just consider that bit of knowledge Quarter-Life Crisis Management 101.

Oh, and I failed to mention we also bought a car. What’s a cliché if you don’t really go for it?

This beauty was our natural gas car steal of a deal! We are in love.

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