I believe the quarter-life crisis is a relatively new concept that only really came to prevalence in the last decade or so. And I have to say, I think it is a very, Very good thing.
I like to imagine that quarter life is 25, even though I know that estimate is quite optimistic. But even so, I choose to believe that at the barely-adult age of 23, I still have a few years before my breakdown.
I also like to believe that I may successfully be able to avoid a quarter-life crisis of my own, even as I advocate it as an important moment of epiphany for most others. Allow me to explain:
I am extremely fortunate in that I already know what I want to do with my life, and I’m actively working towards it. I want to be a screenwriter, so I’m working on my personal writing while supporting myself through freelance writing gigs, which I also enjoy. I know that I may never make it as a writer, and if I don’t, I’ll be ok, because I’ll find something else I love and will persue that.
I don’t want my life to be about work, but I do want my life to be useful and beneficial. Work is a reality of most everyone’s life, so I want to make it a welcome, even a joyous reality in my own. An old boss of mine used to say, “How you spend your days is how you’ve spent your life,” and it’s so true. Frighteningly so.
So don’t wait until your life is half over to decide to start living it the way you want. Have your freak out now. Stop wasting time in a job that you’re only at because you think it’s where you ought to be and find the work that fulfills you, the work that is where you want to be.
Should is a very dirty word. Don’t let it hold you down. Do the crazy thing, the impractical thing, even the stupid thing. I quit a job without anything else lined up in the middle of this shit economy. Pretty stupid. But I did it because that job was crushing my soul. And you know what? Now, just over a month later, I’m happily self-employed, have written two new short scripts and a draft of a new feature, and things are looking up.
So stop shoulding all over yourself. Have a quarter-life crisis. Figure out what makes you happy. And do it.
Because, why not?