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

The World is Mine Oyster

No one in life is lost, just touring before arriving at their final destination.

“I’m anxious…”

Sonia would say. “Why?” Even she does not know although she is certain that there is something missing. I have the same feeling. It’s an emptiness, a feeling of incompleteness, but what specifically it is, I am yet to discern.  Truth be told, it is bothersome. I can feel it deep in my heart. It grows deeper with passing days. Is it because I am idle? Unlikely. This feeling cannot be eclipsed by temporary activities.

At such times, it’s common to seek relief. Though many ascribe to various different causes, the reality is that psychological illness is a disease of the mind and is curable with the proper medication. Some turn to comfort food hoping to feel better and others to drugs to escape a reality that they feel is too much to bear. These “solutions” are only a temporary fix. We are lost inside a maze filled with possibilities that we presently haven’t found the right path to truly becoming whole.

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Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. It’s considered the most common mental disorder. Leave aside the usual down with the blues, feeling under the weather or being in a funk. The difference between a normal person and a depressed person is that, a normal person is capable “jump starting” themselves out of this situation unlike a depressed person. It affects millions of people physically, mentally and emotionally yet 80% of individuals affected do not receive treatment.

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Nonetheless, being lost does not imply a lack of emotional attachment. Rather one could have a loving and supportive family as well as close knit friendships and relationships, yet there’s a void to be filled. It’s an indication of self discovery. Once you have started to question yourself, you are already on the right path to enlightenment. The only problem is we do not know how long the journey of discovery will be. J.K. Rowling is a good example of this journey. Until the age of 30 she was a struggling single mother but today she is one of the most recognized and wealthiest writers in the world.

In order to have the mountain top experience, we have to pass through valleys and trenches. What does this mean? For one to appreciate the happiness in life, you must first experience suffering. Therefore, I encourage everyone to understand that the void, the loss and the hardship are the fruits of our joy and success. Therefore, we must hold on tight.

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I am a firm believer in life’s purpose and destiny. As Lao-Tzu, the famous philosopher says “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” It may not be clear from the beginning, but everyone ends up where they are intended. In the meantime, Shakespeare advices that “laughing faces do not mean there is absence of sorrow… but, it means that they have the ability to deal with it.” The breakthrough will take patience hence tackle life with a smile. You don’t know who that smile will touch and how they will play an influential role in your life. The world has lots to offer so I will persevere because a close friend once told me ‘hard work beats talent any day’. Your attitude should be, “the world is mine oyster”.