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The purpose of this blog is help people improve their Mind, Body, Soul (relationships) and their Money.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

(TOT) Thought on Thursday - Facing a Quarter Life Crisis - By Keith Dodge

Today we are lucky enough to have a guest post provided by fellow blogger Keith Dodge. Keith writes the movie blog - Oscarology. You may notice he is much more talented writer than I.  If you're in your late 20's or early 30's you may be struggling with a  Quarter life crisis. Keith's post explores exactly why you should NOT panic!


Celebrating the “Now What?” feeling

By: Keith Dodge

You are 28 years old. You have:

Learned to walk

You have graduated preschool, kindergarten, grade school, middle school, and high school (with


You were in lots of sports, plays, clubs, scout troops, and church groups, and you did all that

community service everyone wanted you to do.

You learned to drive a car and didn’t kill anyone.

You did that stuff so you could apply for lots of scholarships and get into a good college.

You were accepted to that good (great) college.

You partied your ass off.

You graduated.

You got a job.

You moved out on your own to a new city.

You met the one.

You got married.

You bought a house.

You’re working on having kids, or already have a few.


 The “Now What” feeling can be scary. You can suddenly feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled. You’ve been grinding it out, day by day, minute by minute, working toward becoming an adult. And suddenly, you are one. You have been coloring, counting, studying, working on group projects, taking tests, applying,

proofreading and planning your wedding since 1989. 24 years. You were promoted from baby to child, appointed to teen and elected as chairman of young adulthood. However, you are now officially retired from growing up. Technically, you have nowhere else you have to be; there are no more boxes to check off. You suddenly realize that you aren’t getting graded anymore. Well, you’re getting performance reviews at work maybe, but not grades. In hindsight, you can see the glittering path of achievement and all the hallmarks of an upper middle class hardworking Midwestern upbringing in your rearview mirror.

You’ve been driving for hours and you’re here. Now what are you supposed to do with the next 60 year of your life? Whatever you want, right? That’s what they say. But, what do you want?

You’re not really sure.

You have everything you think you wanted. Still, you’re not feeling fulfilled. You begin to wonder exactly how this can possibly be; you have done everything you were told to do, and you didn’t smoke crack or end up in prison. You have all of your teeth, and you’re not a hoarder or a crystal meth addict, so you most certainly have a high score in the Game of Life, which, by the way, is nothing like you anticipated as a kid when you spun that multicolored wheel and ended up with a pink and a blue stick baby in a car headed for a hollow white mansion on a broccoli lump of green plastic.

You need a barometer for adult life. Where are the teacher comments? Am I getting a red check mark in “drinks one shot too many and ends up puking at most get-togethers?” Am I getting a plus in “maintains a remarkable level of swag for the low level of their paycheck?” Who is the teacher now anyway?

Wherein, you suddenly turn an unflattering, sickly shade of green envy.  Although you are absolutely unable to go more than five minutes without checking in, liking, or hashtagging, social media turns on you quickly, because suddenly, you develop an acute case of Facebook Fatigue or LinkedIn Leprosy. 

If you have spent 30 minutes or more scrolling through a “People you may know” section and instantaneously developed a crippling sense of panic and failure, you may have LinkedIn Leprosy. Ask your doctor if hysterical crying and a Dairy Queen Blizzard are right for you.

I mean, shut the front door! Am I right? The girl who was that girl almost every single night is now an Account Executive at a big name PR firm in Chicago? The dude that always had slobber dribbling down his chin is now a District Sales Manager? And you, the one who always beamed with self-righteous pride at awards assemblies, the one whose description of their favorite vacation to Myrtle Beach was always put up on the overhead as an example of outstanding descriptive writing, are a lowly customer service representative?

Thus, depression, self-loathing, paranoia and anxiety settle in for a long winter’s nap. You put your past under the microscope and scrutinize your every move, as if Kirk Herbstreit was taking an invisible yellow marker to your formative years and pointing out you zigged on that play where you should have zagged.

I have been there. I have done this. And I’m here to tell you that this is no way to be. You need to take a deep breath and not be so hard on yourself. You need to tell yourself over and over (and probably over and over a few more times) that you have not failed. You haven’t even started. You are finally on your life’s journey, after all of that hard work, and it’s just beginning. You may have 4-5 years of work history under your belt, but guess what? There’s at least 35 more. Here’s some perspective for you: you have more time left to work than you have even been alive. That kind of sucks. Then again, it doesn’t.

You worked for more than 20 years to get here. You trudged through multiplication, bullies, detention, leaving your back pack at home, being dumped at Homecoming, forgetting black socks for band,overdrawing your bank account, hanging up on angry calls from the US Department of Education, and now, it is your time.

Now is when you will decide what you truly want in your life. Now is the time to chase your wuh-wildest and craziest dream, kid. You now have everything you need, and you have arrived. You still have your whole life before you, and unlike when people used to say that to you, you’re actually in the LIFE part now. You don’t have anywhere to be but where you want to go. You are giving yourself your own grade. You are only failing if you’re not really who you want to be. And you hate failing. So go out and be who you always wanted to be. Use that jealousy and do something with it. Lose that weight. Get a new job. Get close to God again. Write that blog. Date that girl or guy. Move.

Celebrate the “Now What” feeling. Realize that you have arrived at your first destination, and start your course towards a new one. Don’t look back. Look forward. The “Now What” feeling is nothing to be afraid of.  It is a realization that you have completed one chapter, one level, and you're ready to start working on the next. People used to ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The exciting part is that you don’t have to wait until “when.” When is now. Now you can begin working on the “what do you want to be?” part of life.

 What do you think? Have you faced a 1/4, 1/3 or Mid-Life crisis yet?

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