First published January 23, 2014
Welcome to 2014: the Year of my Quarter Life Crisis.
I am not entirely sure what this crisis will be, but as I hurtle towards the age of 25, I detect the slightest hint of impending doom and a suspicion that 'crisis' is more likely to be 'crises'.
Crisis number one: writers block.
Perhaps 'crisis' seems a little over-dramatic, but with my article due in a mere couple of days it certainly feels like a crisis. As I anxiously sit in writer's limbo-land I am finding that once you strip back any form of inspiration, take away the occasional encouraging word and call into question any kind of self-assurance you once had, you are left with one question:
Why am I doing this?
I ask myself this question on the stomach-churning days that my article gets uploaded. I ask myself this question during the times when I am criticised for something I didn't say, or intend to say. And I ask myself this question when I get personal messages, such as a recent email extending commiserations to the "God-wacko that wins the unfortunate title of Casey's husband." Awesome.
I have found that writing can be a rather precarious and incriminating art form. No matter how carefully I comb through my articles, I have no control over how people interpret my words. Once you submit an article it's out there, as it is. There's no dialogue or opportunity to tweak here and there. There's no chance to defend yourself. As a control freak that wants to please everyone, this fact has been known to induce the occasional bout of hyperventilation and threats to throw in the towel.
Crisis number two: car crash.
Thanks to an epic roundabout fail my baby, my 3 month old car, the first car that's ever been mine is now sitting in the yard of a tow company. The passengers were fine (thank you Jesus), the car didn't fare so well.
Ah, life. I see what you did there.
The frustrating thing is that it wasn't my fault, but I find that it's when I feel safest that something will come out of left field and surprise me. The older I get the more aware I am that you can try and do everything right, you can obey all the 'rules', you can plan everything to the letter but life is always going to get you.
You can't avoid it, and you can't just keep going around in circles either. Even when you want to just stop, lock all the doors and cry, you have to keep moving forward. Look for the good, fix what you can, adapt and keep driving.
I mean, at least I got a handy metaphor out of it. How's that for a silver lining.
I guess the reason why 25 scares me is that I always thought I'd be so much more sure of myself by now. From my innocent teens looking up, it always seemed that 25 was ancient and I'd be a real grown-up by then. I don't feel nearly as adult as I thought I was supposed to.
So I write. I write because I have questions. I write because I have doubts. I write because sometimes things just piss me off.
Most of all I write because I used to feel like I was the only one. There is nothing quite so isolating as feeling like there's something wrong with you for feeling or thinking a certain way. It is my hope that for every person that criticises, misunderstands or flat-out disagrees with my articles, there is also one that reads them and finds hope.
Given that I'm two crises down and an infinite number of crises to go, now is as good a time as any to remind myself of that.
So welcome to 2014: the Year of my Quarter Life Crisis. My mental seat belt has been firmly fastened, I have located my metaphorical life jacket and I am slowly coming around to the fact that no matter what I do, this year is going to happen.
Who knows what's going to get me this year. Watch this space.
Casey Murray works in marketing for a company that sells nail guns, where she eats large amounts of chocolate and wears pretty dresses in an attempt to avoid becoming 'one of the boys.' In her spare time she likes having inappropriate conversations with friends and writes to try and make sense of it all.
Casey Murray's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/casey-murray.html