Upon graduation from college, a 20-something received a book called Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties. As with many gift books, it sat on a shelf gathering dust. Fast forward five years and the title resonates within the drone of one's seemingly mundane life.
If you're mentally and emotionally paralyzed at that age, you're not alone. A friend responds to another's query, "Am I going crazy?"
"It's like the new midlife crisis for young people who start to question what they're doing. Everyone's having them," said the friend.
If you've been satisfied with the memories of your early successes, then your complacency can breed a subconscious fear of failure. I've experienced this in my own life and witnessed it in those close to me.
I do believe, however, that facing oneself at 25 will minimize the midlife crackups so common in later life. Remember: You'll be a man turning 40 in a New York second.
I'm hoping this "quarterlife crisis" concept will catch on just as Gail Sheehy's Passages was the definitive read for the Baby Boomer generation. Questioning one's purpose in life is ageless. Finding a purpose in life is an ongoing quest.
You can run, but you can't hide. Life is a constant stream of evaluating and re-evaluating goals and priorities. And at each stage of life, those goals and priorities change, as they must in order to keep growing and thriving.
The key is to face it, embrace it. Have courage and commitment. Change is the only constant.
Adapted from Writers' Digest, January/February, 2006, "This Writer's Life," Kevin Alexander, pp. 32-33.
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