This is one of my favorite posts from All Groan Up because it seems to give all of the crazy that has been going on in my life since I graduated from college a little bit more meaning. It’s so easy to just quit while you’re behind, especially when nothing seems to be going your way. But it will get better, and it will make this time in your life worth it. I’m still stuck in the quarter life crisis myself, so these aren’t words of wisdom that come from experience. It’s just something that I know. And I have to believe it, because if I didn’t, getting through the day to day would be near impossible sometimes. So, without further ado, here is why your quarter life crisis is the best thing that could have happened to you:
Because you will learn.
- You will learn how to fail.
- You will learn how to struggle.
- You will learn how to persevere.
- You will learn that, sometimes, life must suck before it’s sweet.
- You will learn that, sometimes, life will dismantle you so that you can be rebuilt.
- And you will learn how to explore again like you’re eight years old in the field behind your house.
Now, why are these good things?
Let me tell you a story.
When I left high school, and even college, I really didn’t know how to fail. I wasn’t good at taking criticism at all, to be completely honest. College was, understandably, more difficult than high school, but I still only succeeded.[i] So when I left, I was pretty dang sure that I could do anything, because failure wasn’t an option for me.
But I was wrong.
I failed at graduate school. And while that stung for a very long time, I have a year of my Master’s program under my belt now, and I can see the past a little more clearly. I went to the South to get my PhD, because that’s what I thought I should be doing. I didn’t really want to do research forever. I didn’t really want to teach. It’s just what I thought I should be doing. Without the passion and drive to want the end result, I failed. Miserably.
And then I struggled. For a long time. Even after I met H, I was still struggling. I got so bored at my jobs that I was starting to write daily blogs and read everything I could find and write entire novels – all while at work. I struggled, because I didn’t know what I wanted.
And then I found it. That’s when I started working through the struggle, toward perseverance. I don’t think I’ve completely made it yet. I still feel stuck a lot of the time (because, right now, stuff still sucks more often than not, and I’m still feeling fairly dismantled), but the sweetness and the rebuilding are coming. I’m a year away. Maybe less!
I love to write, and I love to read, and correcting people’s grammar and perfecting the sentence are things that I love. How did I realize that? But running out into the field in the backyard until I found the wildflowers that smell the sweetest. Okay, obviously, we don’t actually have a field in our backyard. But I read everthing I could get my hands on. And I wrote down every idea I had. And I went back and fixed things and added things and deleted things and then realized that I liked the reviewing process more than anything else (although I still love to write, without a doubt). So I pursued that. And now I’m here, in a place where I can hopefully start looking at editing as a sustainable career in the future.
I’m still in it, but I’m already thankful for my quarter life crisis. I didn’t know who I was, so I went looking for myself. And it turns out, I’m different than I thought I was, but I’m okay with that.
Because I’ve finally figured out who I am. And that’s the entire goal, is it not?
Keep pushing through. These really are some of the most important years in your life. And wouldn’t you rather have a little bit of a crisis now and avoid a big crisis in thirty years that causes you to get hair plugs and buy a red sports car and start dating someone half your age, just because you feel lost?
Yeah, I thought so.
[i] Unless you count calculus, because I was failing that for a while.