The Vixen Thinks: Picking up the Pieces of a Quarter Life Crisis


The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you! 

I've started writing this post about three times now. I originally intended to have it up on Friday 22nd March but what I'd written at that point just didn't feel right. I was getting upset while I was writing it and it all felt too personal to share on the blog. That wasn't my intention at all. I want this to be a post that helps at least one person who is in a similar position to myself. What it looked like on Friday night, was an attempt by me to gain as much pity as possible. It looked more like a personal diary entry than a blog post intended to help and advise others. That's absolutely what I did not want this post to be. I feel I'm coming to the end of my "quarter life crisis" now. I am feeling good these days. I've learnt a lot about myself already this year, and I know because of this, my life is only going to get better from here on out. So, rather than explaining how I reached an ultimate low point in my life, I'm gonna tell you the type of thinking that brought me back into the light.

First of all, what is a quarter life crisis? I'm sure we're all familiar with the term mid-life crisis but quarter life crisis isn't one that crops up so often. Basically, so many of us reach our early to mid twenties and feel dissatisfied with life. We suddenly start doing anything and everything to bring back a sense of youth and purpose to our lives; we might start partying even harder or in my case, disappear inwards and just accept my "fate" as a "real adult". In this day and age, it seems no surprise that a quarter life crisis is a thing that happens. The current economic climate means getting a job is hard, never mind landing your "dream job". There are thousands of people in a boat similar to mine: they went to college, they got into uni, they graduated. But having a degree isn't all it's cracked up to be. It doesn't instantly gain you a job and chances are, you'll end up in a job that has very little or even nothing to do with your degree. While I don't regret my degree at all because university was 3 of the best years of my life, I have finally come to accept that it isn't something that will get me a job. Understandably, these facts of life can leave us feeling a little lost. I don't know about you, but university was the only life path I was sold during school, I really didn't feel there were other options and I was led to believe that a degree automatically meant a great future. I was unemployed for three months before I found a job, and I'm still only part time now. I had, and still have to be honest, people asking me left right and centre "What do you want to do for your career?" "When are you going to get a real job?" It's enough to drive anyone a little bit crazy.

Like most of life's problems, I believe that a quarter life crisis arises from a desire to please everyone else while ignoring what you yourself want. From around the end of February to this very day, I decided to stop listening to everyone else. I decided it was time to listen to the little monologue in my head that was all about how I REALLY felt. And you know what? From the very second I started accepting some truths about my life, I transformed. I wasn't miserable anymore. I could get out of bed. I could eat. Things around me started rapidly improving and when things weren't what I wanted, I simply changed my attitude towards them. Perhaps the biggest step in my transformation was accepting that actually, I really do like working in retail. Yeah, I just wrote that. I like working in retail, and in particular, I like working where I work now. In fact, I am quite happy to remain where I am now for the foreseeable future and I'm absolutely working my ass off trying to get a promotion this week I finally got my promotion to Team Leader. I'm working harder than I ever have done before and I'm exhausted, but I'm happy. I have a purpose again and I have something to work towards. It shouldn't be a revolutionary thought, but I'm afraid it was for me: just because you have a degree and society expects you to get a 9-5 office job that bears some relation to your degree, that's NOT AT ALL what you have to do.

So, I accepted that I like my job even though it doesn't fit most people's definition of a "real job" for a graduate to take on. What next? Well in all honesty, it's amazing how much being content with your work fixes. Of course though, having a job you genuinely like isn't the only thing that's important. I had to change my attitudes to a lot of things. For example, I miss the independence of living away from home but moving out is totally and utterly not financially viable for me at the moment. Initially, I just accepted that as long as I lived in my family home, I was going to be miserable. Looking back on it now, I just feel so ridiculous for being so defeatist. Don't get me wrong, it is hard to change your thinking, but it isn't impossible. I reminded myself there are good things about having a parent provide for you, I get to see my sisters a lot, I'm in an excellent location for getting myself to work. There's a positive in every situation and what I've actively been doing recently is trying to find those positives and focus on those rather than letting the negatives overwhelm me. Over time, I've noticed that the more I practice this manner of thinking, the more naturally it comes to me.

Of course, besides work there's another subject that can cause people in my age group (make that any age group!) to go temporarily insane. Relationships. I won't go into detail about my love life on here because as I've mentioned in a Vixen Thinks post before, relationships are something I believe should be kept private and personally, when my love life is private, it works better for me. What I will say though, is that for the longest time, I didn't love myself. For the longest time, I've believed that you can't love anyone else or even be loved my anyone else until you love yourself. Obviously my beliefs and reality were a little incongruent for a while. I've known for the longest time how important self love is, and I used to shout about it from the rooftops. I'd write about it on my old blog and Tweet about it regularly. Yet somewhere along the line, I stopped applying this stuff to myself. I didn't like myself. I annoyed myself. I was constantly beating myself up for the way I was behaving/not behaving. Eventually though, I had enough. I was still reading blogs like Gala Darling so that information was still there, I just wasn't acting on it. It's all about taking action. Once I actively started doing exercises that would help me love myself once more, I started improving and today, I'm feeling quite happy with who I am and in turn, I'm just happy in general. Once you realise how valuable you are as a person in your own right, suddenly having an "other half" doesn't feel so important because you realise just how whole you are.

By all means, this isn't a definitive guide to a quarter life crisis, and there are millions of other things out there that could help you. These are just the issues that personally affected me and the way I decided to deal with them. I'd love to hear your suggestions for dealing with a rough patch in life!