When I was around 23, I had a quarter-life crisis. It’s a cute term for a terrible, terrible feeling that most people my age can relate to.
I’m feeling the same way now. Not growing, not grown. Stuck in limbo. Stuck in a pit stop that is, honestly, the pits.
I mean, some things are looking up. I had failed miserably in my habit upkeep for about three months, but I’m back on track now, working hard to stave off the inevitable psychic collapse.
Okay, that sounds dramatic. But that’s what it feels like. Underneath the hope in my new projects and plans, there’s this fear that they won’t work at all, that I’ll be stuck at my retail job for all eternity, that I’ll never find time to date and will end up alone, that my legacy will be a few happy customers and some good D&D memories. “Legacy…what is a legacy?”*
I was at work the other day and had this thought that kind of helped and really hurt. I wrote it down on one of our memos so I wouldn’t forget it because I thought it was pretty good.
“Don’t confuse purpose with certainty.”
I used to confuse these two all the time or at least, kind of. I mean, I thought that if I “found” my purpose, then certainty would be a kind of tag-along, the other side of the golden purpose coin.
I thought purpose was the end all and be all of confidence and peace of mind. But the more I read about people who, in my opinion, definitely have purpose, the more I’m convinced that’s not the case. They all struggle with doubt. Famous authors who’ve written a dozen books before doubt their own ability. Famous YouTubers struggle. Everyone does. It’s not a case of the haves and the have-nots at odds over feeling peaceful. It’s a choice anyone can make.
In fact, I think the best caveat to my little quote there is another one;
“Purpose is a byproduct of action.”
That one may not be my own; I seem to remember reading it somewhere before…
And I can’t forget my own advice about a creativity crisis either, that sometimes the years go by with nothing to show but effort, but that effort is absolutely key to making a change.
Now, those actions. What actions am I currently taking and what actions will I take to get a sense of purpose?
- Keeping up with habits daily
- Writing this blog
- Not complaining about things I can’t change
- Accepting negative situations and feelings (I consider this action, because it’s a purposeful choice every time I’m tempted to do otherwise)
- Reading a hell of a lot of books
- Write daily (instead of monthly)
- Do more art
- Learn how to make websites
- Parent myself to do the hard things (courtesy of Mel Robbins)
- Be honest
- Finish more to-do lists
I have a lot more actions to take regarding specific projects I’m working on, but I want to keep those under wraps for now.
The problem is, being a multipotentialite, I can barely stick with one course of action for very long before I need to move to another. I tried that rotating priorities board, but it didn’t really stick. Daily lists are more my style.
Anyway, plans aside, the crisis is well underway, or would it be continuing from those years ago? Does it ever really end, or is what we call the quarter-life crisis merely the full brunt of adulthood assaulting our tender hearts and spirits with the crushing reality that childhood dreams can never be realized? Or am I just waxing doleful and moronic?
We’ll never know.
*Lyrics from Hamilton, the greatest musical