Thursday, May 12, 2005

what the hell is a quarterlife crisis anyway?

Well. I am in a funk. Have been for a few weeks, actually. (Noticed the drop in postings?) As you may or may not know, I have been in the throes of a quarterlife crisis now for a little over a year. And it's not fun. Sometimes I do okay, other times I feel it more, and right now is one of those times when I'm feeling it. Thought I'd research the phenomenon a little further to make sense of it myself, and in turn pass that sense along to you.

According to, those of us in our early to mid twenties who are (mostly single) and struggling to make sense of:

health and fitness
living (day-to-day stuff, apartments, etc.)
interests, hobbies, and entertainment

could possibly be having a quarterlife crisis. Here's where I'm at:

EDUCATION: As I look up to my left a little, I see a copy of my Minnesota teaching license, and my two diplomas: for my B.A. and my M.Ed., both from the University of Minnesota. I'm feeling properly educated, and no qualms about this area of my life. No desire to go back to school any time soon.

FINANCES: A big old mess. I'm in debt up to my eyebrows and I am a teacher. I have pared my living expenses down to the minimum, and am now considering moving into a studio apartment (opposed to my one-bedroom I'm living in now) to save money. My car is falling apart and I have a long commute to work each day. I feel like I'm doing everything right, yet getting nowhere really stinking fast.

HEALTH AND FITNESS: Well, I've learned a lot about healthy eating over the past year or so, and have a very active job. I've lost some weight, gained some muscle, and am feeling pretty good. Personally, I think I'm in the best shape of my life. So this area is fabulous!

LIVING: I have been living on my own for over a year now and love it. I don't think I'll ever be able to have a roommate ever again. The only downside to solo living is I am the only person available to do the chores, and I have to do ALL of them: clean the bathroom, sweep the floors, wash the dishes, take out the trash, do laundry, scoop out the litterbox, do the grocery shopping, put gas in the car, feed the cat, cook dinner, buy toilet paper, pay the bills, etc. Sometimes I wish I had someone around to help me out with some of this day-to-day stuff. It's hard, being on your own and having to do EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. At least when you have roommates, someone else takes out the trash once in a while. Well, if you have at least okay roommates, I guess. But I had mostly awful roommates, so I'm not about to take on one of those any time soon! I am also working at living "green" -- which is a new, interesting challenge.

WORK: I do, ultimately, love my job. I wouldn't work anywhere else right now.

DATING: What's that? (Obviously an area of concern)

TRAVEL: Again, what's that? (See: finances.) (Although not much of a concern, since I don't actually enjoy travelling much. But it's pretty sad I'm nearly 26 years old and have never beeen out of the country. Not even to Canada.)

INTERESTS, HOBBIES, AND ENTERTAINMENT: I do manage to keep quite busy, both on my own and with friends. I love living in the city, and I love living in my apartment. I cook, bake, read, walk, get coffee, go out to eat, go to the movies, go to the theatre, sing in my church choir, shop, write, do yoga, and see great bands (well, and some not-so-great bands) play around the Cities. It's actually been nice rediscovering all of the things I enjoyed doing before college and graduate school took over my life! I do need to volunteer more, though. AND, this area is highly dependent on finances, so I end up doing a lot of things that are cheap or free. That sometimes gets really stinking old, although it does force me to keep being creative.

Hm. It felt kind of good to make sense of all of those things. And I guess you get to read them, too. Hope this helps explain what the QLC is for those of you who don't know, and helps those of you who do know feel a little less alone in your misery!

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