Ahh, my quarter-life crisis: the sudden, abrupt changes in my self confidence and life outlook that are making puberty feel like a walk in the park. I am deep in the middle of my quarter-life crisis right now (the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?). So here’s the skinny:
1. Feeling the sudden, overwhelming desire to relocate
You may suddenly find yourself becoming consumed with one thought: I have to leave. NOW. It’ll be like a little voice in your head whispering, “Get out of town. Leave the country. Get as far away as humanly possible”
2. Actually doing it
At every point in our life, you’ll get urges to pick up and move somewhere else. A defining feature of the quarter-life crisis is actually following through. So you do it.
It happened to me. A year ago, I lived in the northeast. Now I live in Asia. Basically, I couldn’t have gotten much farther away if I’d taken a shovel and started digging straight down.
3. Changing your future plans at the drop of a hat, regardless of whom they affect.
You may find yourself developing a fear of staying in one place too long, of losing steam and settling into a life you may not be content in.
I’m nearing the end of my stint abroad. I’ve spent the better part of a year planning to move back to the place I’d left and pick up the life I’d had there, but I became overwhelmed by the fear of waking up 6 months later and realizing I was right back where I started. So I decided to move somewhere new and start over… again. TBD on whether this was a smart move.
4. Breaking up with someone who is perfectly good for you, on paper
You may start dating someone who seems to be perfect for you in every way. “I’m so lucky,” you’ll tell yourself, ” All my friends are dating jerks and I have this great guy/girl who thinks the world of me.” So when you’re less than euphoric over said individual, you start feeling guilty. Like… really guilty. You’re in your 20s now, you’re supposed to start thinking about settling down with a nice person. But you’re just not happy.
So you end it. It’s messy. Words like “selfish” and “immature” are thrown at you like darts. It’s even worse if this happens while you’re far away. Yelling at a Skype screen for two hours is maybe the worst way to spend a Monday night ever. Trust me on this.
5 . Secretly reveling in your drama and misery because it makes you feel alive
And yet, despite all the emotional upheaval, the long goodbyes and the tears, you secretly love it. Just a little bit. You love it because part of you knows that you will look back on this time in your life with nostalgic fondness. You’ll long for the age when you could throw out a less-than-perfect life and start over, again and again, until you got it right.