• Cara-Lee Compton

The Quarter-Life Come Up

Ever heard of a quarter-life crisis? It's a type of #anxiety young people experience because of their future and what quality lives they'll have.

Cambodia, Phnom Penh Rooftop Bar
Somewhere in Cambodia on a rooftop, in a bar.

My quarter-life #crisis hit me real hard when I turned 24, going over into 25. It started with what I was studying. Although there are many aspects of law that I really enjoy and love, like criminal law and jurisprudence, nothing ever gave me that "this is it, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life" feeling. So I started freaking out in the middle of my third year about where I'm heading and who I am, eventually questioning my own existence and #purpose in life.

In the midst of this quarter-life crisis I decided that instead of doing the whole teaching English in China thing, I'll do a solo trip to Cambodia. Within no time it was booked, and I was paying it off monthly with my Au pair money. January 2019 came, the month I turned 25, and I was packed and ready to go. I met up with a group from G-Adventures and it was truly the best two weeks of my life. To my surprise (100% sarcastic), I came back with LESS clarity, even considering becoming an air hostess, just so I could travel and work at the same time. Please tell me someone out there relates?

The constructs of our society fails us. Growing up, you are shown a few boxes and forced to choose one and get into it. "What do you want to be one day?" never expects a radical answer, never prompts a dream that is so far out there, grown-ups themselves can't even perceive it. It always aims for the obvious, money-making professional #careers. That's eventually where we end up after doing a degree, or three, because someone somewhere said you won't get anywhere without one. It sucks the life out of you and before you know it, at the age of 25, you find yourself making all these life-altering choices you were forced to make in high school, again! At least, and for this I am probably most grateful, my parents have always been THE BEST at backing me. I told them I wanted to be an archaeologist (someone that digs up stuff, imagine) when I grow up (I was 7), then I told them I'm becoming President (I was 17), THEN I told them I'm not going to pursue law, nor politics as careers but rather something in the entertainment, media, broadcasting and/or journalism industry (something my dad called for years. I was 25 when I decided this, by the way).

What am I getting at? HERE IT IS - it doesn't have to be a quarter-life crisis, refer to it as a quarter-life come up and turn this thing around. This means that everything you are experiencing, all your doubts and fears, are the exact opposite of what you actually feel. The confusion, stress and unpredictability you are feeling is BECAUSE you are moving in the right direction and for the first time you have the confidence to truly pursue what makes you come alive. It's the reason you don't want to settle, the reason you're dreaming bigger than ever before! Don't want to be in the industry you're currently working in? Don't see yourself as the doctor, accountant, lawyer or engineer anymore? Not satisfied with what you're getting out of life? NO crisis honey, only come-ups.

Reconsider everything you've been working on, and measure it to the high hopes you have always had, those above-average standards you've set for yourself. Don't settle because it's easier or makes more sense - someone literally invented a light bulb and a car and the internet, things that could not even make sense because it never existed before then. Do something, create something, change something, that makes you wish you could tell your 12 year old self 'hey girl, your future is amazing'.

Back yourself and make something great of this quarter-life come up, I believe in you, your future need you!