How to Handle a Quarter-Life Crisis

I have had a hard time putting anything of purpose together for a week now. I took my camera out, enjoyed Memorial Day with it at Sherwood Island in Westport, did the family picnic thing, and went out for the normal bar nights with no spark of inspiration anywhere. Despite the good times I had and the equally impressive photos I took, these things will mostly be stored as another memory for the record book, because my writer’s block still was not able to have been broken by beautiful Weeping Willows, Long Island Sound… nature, people or a good time.

I wanted to bring you more. I, personally, wanted to be happy and fully satisfied with the post following my writer’s block rant last week. The comments on remedies to relieve writer’s block helped so much and I appreciated the feedback knowing people cared, or at least because they, too, have been through this all before.

Where I got my thinking on

I saw a friend yesterday afternoon who gives me the much-needed foot-straight-in-your-ass advice. This time it actually broke the skin.

On June 22nd, yours truly is going to hit the quarter century mark, and let me tell you honestly about the struggle it has been for me to accept this. I am truly upset about turning 25 years-old. I guess it has weighed heavy on me since the weather got warm.

I sit on my computer and I write… a lot. I have all these big ideas but where do those ideas go after a while?  What the hell have I accomplished? Where am I going? I live by the day, by the weekend, by the summer months that promise parties, concerts, or anything with the equation: youth + warm weather + good friends = the best part of life. It is, in a sense.

Fooling around at Captain’s Cove Seaport & Restaurant

Life is about these things, no? Youth included, only because we are capable of so much, both physically and with the capacities of our imagination. Life is also about the long run. Yeah, the… long run. So after talking to my friend on that post-Memorial Day afternoon, something just clicked. I may be considered young to so many people, but in retrospect the days are getting shorter for us all, and I, unestablished in any true 9-5 work-related way, am no exception.

Instead of dwelling in all of my shortcomings, I want to do my best at making the days and weeks before the big 2-5 as proactive as possible- accomplishing the little things that big kids do- to find a smooth transition between the very separate world of youth and older-adult-ladyhood.

So I made a list. There is a certain glory in lists that people either overlook or embrace as much as I do. Not only do I swear to complete my Life List, but I make much smaller lists all the time: to-do’s, what to pick up at the mall, things I have to do by the weekend… blog topics.

So here is another, but this is the only list I will ever make of its kind. This list is special in that I see it as both depressing and motivating. This list will slingshot me into mid-June, when I become old enough to rent a car in all 50 U.S. States, but I can no longer audition for the Real World.

Three things I need to accomplish by June 22nd

1. Find a publisher. I wrote a poem well over a year ago for someone and rediscovered it a couple of months back. I extended the poem, which is about a mischievous dog, and turned it into a really fun and quirky children’s book. This is also part of my Life List, but completely jumping into this adventure by searching for a publisher of children’s books is a nice balance as I walk into adulthood. 

2. Put my résumé out to real jobs. Sure, I have a job. Sure, I freelance. Sure, I blog and write all the time. If I am going to make it through 25 years-old and into the abyss of adulthood, I need to get my ass in an office chair- err, well, a really cool, down-to-earth office chair. The 4×4 cubicle is not where I see my life, but if I can reason that putting my résumé out there to places that I have always wanted my creative energy to end up, (magazines!) then that does not seem so bad. No more excuses.

3. Balance out my social life. This is going to be a tough one, but I have over three weeks to start. Going out all the time is great and all but it is a huge burden on my wallet. I need to learn to take it easy with the bar-hopping and put money aside for the bigger picture, which is moving out. I spend money every day on things that are so useless. By my birthday, with the exception of that celebration (which I will be sure to make grandiose), I have to get into a healthier lifestyle where bars do not run my week. Hangovers are so 24 years-old. 

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It might be a quarter life crisis
Or just the stirring in my soul

Either way I wonder sometimes
About the outcome
Of a still verdictless life

Am I living it right?

-John Mayer

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How did you deal/will you deal with your quarter-century crisis?

(Because I really need to know!)