Quarter Life Crisis

Trusting in our struggles will help us pave our maze called life.

Is it a funk? Are we lost? Perhaps just confused? Feeling under the weather? The blues? Depression? There are many ways to describe it, just so you know though, you are not alone.

I admire people who always know what they want, where they stand and which battles to fight. They are the type of people who set clear objectives, make plans to achieve them and do not waver in doing the necessary to attain their goals. Their lives are a fluid succession of events dovetailing into each other in harmonious succession like a perfectly performed aria.

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Unfortunately, unlike the straight horizontal timeline they have paved, the world is a formation of curves and circles, thus getting from point A to point B can be adversely altered by multiple variables such as their choices, their circumstances and their willingness to get up when they fall. It is a time when things come crumbling down, hope is lost and faith is at its edge. Life’s path is a maze, not a straight line. Since its unpredictable the best plan of action is having a contingency plan. Amidst the wrong turns, conflicting forces of right and wrong, truth and error, justice and injustice people fall into a deep abyss otherwise known as the quarter life crisis.

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Under this circumstance, all the promises of a new chapter in life filled with opportunities have become bittersweet memories of our care free days. Uncertainty has filled our minds affecting our decisions, we’ve become cynical and insecure about life.

Furthermore, in our technological era where success has as many yardsticks as the person evaluating: money, fame, number of patents or number of Grammys, pressures amongst the youth have multiplied. Long gone are the days where employment was a worthy measurement of all the time and effort from parents and guardians. Today, it is all about independence and self-employment. Why be a follower in a world of leaders? There have been rapid growth in fields that didn’t exist a mere decade ago and as a result they’re shaping and changing the dynamics of success in our developed world. Recent attractive phenomena include blogging, app developers, YouTube content developers and social media specialists to name a few. These professions are earning its founders a major income supply.

Who are the most famous names of our decade? Mark Zuckerburg or Rihanna ring a bell? Zuckerburg is the owner and founder of Facebook. He was able to transform a simple idea on communication and convert it into billion dollar business. Adding fuel to the fire, he was only 19 years old. If that not enough, at the age of 16 Rihanna signed her first record deal. Today she is renowned as the world’s most influential singers and fashion icon. They are not the first and definitely not the last. There are vast biographies of youth with similar stories. The question then is, why not you and I?

Now then, in such a golden age where anything is possible, is it surprising that the number of youth experiencing a quarter life crisis is broadening rapidly? The stakes are higher for today’s youth causing a third of ‘twentysomethings’ to feel depressed according to research by The Depression Alliance. A third does not seem conspicuous but once compared to 10 years ago, a period where tie-dye fun and quality ‘me’ time were the norm, then it strikes a chord.

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We the youth are in the most challenging yet intriguing period of our lives. Rather than fall into societal’s trap of monotony, our generation has the endless opportunity to build what we want without succumbing to social constructs. Instead of side-lining our dreams in the notion of ‘adulting’ we can readjust them to make them a possibility. This era offers advanced technological achievements that enable us to turn our miniscule ideas and hobbies into marketable ventures. Therefore, no more feeling down in the dumps, we can open our eyes to the endless possibilities. It is time to embrace our quarter life crisis as a blessing than a curse. It is an experimental phase, time to take risks and fail on numerous accounts because once we stand, we won’t fall easily.

Check out Tuzo Talks on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8ScknmsWrg

Circumstance

You are defined by your actions, not by your circumstance.

Nothing is new, I couldn’t sleep. So, from my bed, at 3 in the morning I decided to look outside my window. Compared to the hustle and bustle of the week, it was peaceful and quiet. The office building opposite lit up the street but not one car makes its way down the road. I liked the tranquility. I realize, as my day has yet to come to an end, to someone else, less than an hour away their day would begin. Is it fair?

Every day the sun gracefully rises and sets to the west and every day carries different meaning, struggles and happiness. As I stare out my window, wide awake, I ponder upon the complex network of multi-cultured people that dwell on this planet, each one going about their everyday life. Again I ask, is it fair?

Just yesterday I read a quote by John Clarke – which also prompted my need to write this article – it stated “how can a slave and master both worship the same God, when both of them expect their prayers to be answered by this very same God?” I don’t know about you but Clarke definitely got me thinking. Atheist aside, we all believe in God (despite the various denominations). Belief is supposed to raise hope and give purpose to life. The fact is, all human beings have free will. It’s the ability to decide what we believe is best under our circumstances.

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Religiously, on the basis on free will and circumstance, how is it then that some are condemned for the choices they make? Who determines the right from wrong? As an atheist, over the years its been scientifically understood that humanity’s primary objective is to survive.  Only the fittest among us shall survive hence procreate over generations, which is through adaptation. Then again, in the endeavor to survive, why are others judged for their choices? It’s a perplexing concept.

As a Christian, my belief has always been that God gave us free will but we become responsible for our actions. Socialization instills in us the nature of morality, the right and wrong, the good and bad. Therefore, the decision we make have a personal reflection on oneself. Upon meeting a liberal English pastor, I began reflecting on my belief. According to him, I have a privileged outlook of life. Same goes to the many educated individuals in the world who don’t suffer in poverty. My socialization and status quo are privileged thus should not be taken for granted. He further explains, a child who is born and raised under poverty for instance, whose parents like all, only want the best for their child however incapable turns towards prostitution as a girl or dealing drugs as a boy, are they to blame for the choices they made under their circumstance? Since humanity is all about survival, then this child, with little to nothing, is s/he to blame for the poor choices? As to them, as a matter of life and death, they choose to live inadequately rather than the alternative. A common phrase ‘it’s better to do something than nothing at all.’ To be clear, I am not justifying any actions on the basis of poor circumstances. Rather, I want to understand the choices and behaviors that are influence by circumstance.

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Alternatively let us consider the other coin, the world of the elite. It is not uncommon to use marriage as an instrument of securing wealth and social status. There consists of arranged marriages, marriages of convenience as well as marriages of transaction. Hereby, both parties mutually benefit economically as well as socially. According to the elite however, such behavior is considered acceptable. They have to consider the survival of generations. Nevertheless, when the same principle is applied between a member of the elite and a partner of a lesser cohort, society constructs such behavior as social climbing. The connotation of which is negative.  Shouldn’t those who are privileged be role models at promoting positive free will and not the vice versa?

The world is a complex food chain and human behavior makes it all the more difficult to decipher. It’s taken years for sociologist to understand patterns of human behavior, and there’s more in the horizon. Circumstance acts as the significant determining factor of human outcome but is not the sole factor for our actions. We as humans are responsible for our free will. Therefore acting on our instinct to survive we must use the cards dealt to create a fruitful outcome.