Elisa Parry, Kiara Mucci, Society
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Lessons of a Quarter Life Crisis

by Elisa Parry

It had been the kind of day where I needed a good wine, a good rant and a chicken schnitzel please. I put the call out for reinforcements and within the hour was safely ensconced in a pub.

‘Can I give you a hug?’ asked my friend.

‘You can, but I might cry.’

She settled for a supportive arm pat. My eyes sweated a little bit.

The thing is – I’ve found myself at a few cross roads lately. Being an exceptionally bad decision maker, one fork in the road is a fork too many for me. And when it seems like someone has emptied an entire cutlery draw on the road, I can get a little overwhelmed.

I’ve recently turned 25. That means I’m a good few years out of Uni, a good few years into my career, and a good few years away from whatever comes next. And that’s the real biggy – what comes next?

Enter quarter life crisis.

There were some obvious warning signs like quitting my job; and some less obvious ones – like joining a dance class to learn how to twerk. But it all comes down to the realisation that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Even though I might have accidentally, and rather unwillingly, grown up already.

2014 has been just a little bit out of the ordinary. I’ve lived in three houses, quit two jobs and it’s only August.

Do you remember the opening scene of George of the Jungle where he’s hurtling through the forest on a vine screaming at the top of his lungs waiting for that almighty thwack against the tree? I’m currently mid hurtle, and though it’s been a bumpy ride, I think I’ve managed to learn a few things along the way.

1. It’s okay to lose your shit sometimes.

It’s only natural to not want to be the person crying on the street while on the phone to their mum, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. People will look at you strangely while you’re waiting by the traffic lights, snot flowing freely, blubbering down the line. But if your shit has been lost, you will find it again. And if it takes a few public breakdowns along the way, it’s a small price to pay.

2. Making big decisions will always be really hard.

I’m the kind of person that takes three weeks to decide if I want to buy a pair of jeans. My friends refuse to go shopping with me as I ruin all possible enjoyment during the 700 hours it takes for me to decide if I want something or not. I’ve always struggled with decisions. Plagued eternally by two words – “what if”. Having had to make a few tough decisions lately, I’ve decided the real question is will you regret it if you don’t do it? If you think the answer to that is yes, then you may as well give it a try. And if it does all goes to shit, refer to point number one.

3. Despite what it looks like on Instagram, everyone else’s life isn’t perfect.

Whilst you could easily be mistaken for thinking it, not everyone between the ages 18-35 is a model on some permanent European Summer Contiki. Sometimes it’s best to take your eye off what everyone else is doing, and just focus on what you need to do. And if that means organising an emergency debrief schnitty with a friend, then schnitty away.

The trouble is first world problems have a habit of being taken too seriously. And sure, it’s been a mental couple of months, sure this year hasn’t turned out quite as I planned. But I’ve found plans are often overrated. And when you’re happy, healthy, surrounded by amazing family and friends, it’s a hell of a lot easier to believe it when they tell you “everything will work out okay in the end”.

Image by Kiara Mucci.

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