I’m sure everyone is all too familiar with the concept of the quarter life crisis by now. It’s that feeling of being lost, confused and scared as you become an adult – you’re no longer in school, living on your own for the first time, unemployed and trying to find a job or a better job, etc. You know, all that scary grown up stuff that’s supposed to happen to when you first enter the so-called “real world”?
Well, somehow I managed to avoid the quarter life crisis back when I was 25-26. I went right from grad school to the working world. (Technically, I graduated 2 months after I moved across the province and was already working full time.) Even with my Dramatic Arts degree and the recession happening, I was starting my career while most of my friends/classmates my age were still living at home, working retail or fast-food, and/or going back to school because they couldn’t find meaningful work. By comparison, I had my life so much more together than most of the people I knew my age.
Fast forward 4 years and that post-graduation, quarter life crisis has finally caught up to me. (I hope that means I’m going to live longer, and that this isn’t really a mid-life crisis in disguise!) Most of my friends are now getting settled into their careers (and families in some cases) while it feels like my “career” has fallen apart.
– I never imagined that I would seriously be considering unemployment a better alternative to returning to my so-called “dream job”.
– I never imagined that I’d spend my 30th birthday on medical leave, dealing with some serious mental and subsequently physical health problems.
– I never imagined that it would take me over 9 months to find a new job with 6+ years of post-secondary education, and 4+ years of professional experience.
– I never imagined I’d be applying for jobs at the mall again, longing for my babysitting days.
My gut is telling me not to go back to this job – at all. I’m scared that going back will undo any of the progress I’ve made. I’m scared that I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life working towards this and now I’m about to walk away from it. But I don’t think anyone in their right mind would tell me that going back is right thing for me to do – except for the fact that this is my only option at the moment because I don’t have another job… yet.
But – I HAVE AN INTERVIEW ON THURSDAY!!! I know an interview is still miles away from a job offer, but I find myself endlessly daydreaming of all the wonderful things landing this job would mean. This is only my third interview in all this time after all, (stupid blue-collar city) and third time’s the charm, right? (Right?!?!)
The motivation from daydreaming and over-preparing is however, quickly overshadowed by the fact that my “return to work date” is currently schedule for exactly 2 weeks from today. (Or “DOOMS DAY” as I’ve marked it on my calendar.) Even if everything goes the way I hope it does with this new job opportunity, I highly doubt I’ll have a job offer before then. I’m still going to have to face my current bosses at some point, very soon, and I don’t know what I’m going to tell them. I NEED MORE TIME! But I’m not sure if I can get it… (Can’t my mom just write me a note?)
Again, I know things could be a lot worse than they are. I (foolishly) haven’t been applying to as many jobs as I should be, partially because I’ve been focused on prepping for this interview (this week), but mostly because I (foolishly) have been too proud to apply for a lower-paying job. Yes, even after all of this, I’m still (foolishly) putting money above my health.
Supposedly, having a quarter life crisis is a good thing. It’s a turning point in life, and an incredible opportunity for positive change. That “getting lost is the only true way to be found.” If this isn’t true, I’m going to be very upset!
Have you gone through your Quarter Life Crisis yet? Did you come out better on the other side? Do you have any advice for me or anyone currently in the midst of theirs?
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