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 FOMO Epidemic

Fear of Missing Out? Sometime we just need to slow down to truly see the things that matter most.

I have had the privilege of meeting diversely culturedfb people over the years. Therefore, it’s only natural that my Facebook account would have diverse stories from all over the world.  The same applies to my other social media platforms like Instagram where is see pictures of friends on vacations in exotic locations like Argentina whilst my Snappers send greetings from their corners of the world like Japan.  Although the intentions of such media platforms are in good faith, they also happen to be the source of the ongoing FOMO epidemic. Of which I am a victim.

The FOMO syndrome – for those not aware, the simple acronym spells out ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ aka FOMO as understood by the urban dictionary – is a psychological anxiety that if you miss a party or an event you will miss out on something great hence you try keeping up with the times (oops, not the Kardashians). In the end, this is harmful.

fomo friendsThere is nothing detrimental about having an eventful social life hopping from one party to another especially in our youth (it is the time). However, it becomes dangerous when you’re always up late, always intoxicated, but especially for those who can’t afford such a lifestyle. The unfortunate truth is that in this world some are privileged without compare while others are simply not. Yet again, there’s nothing that haunts you more like the thing you didn’t buy, a person you didn’t see, or a trip with friends that you did not partake. Can you relate?

At a tender age, my grandmother (from whom I take my name) was hospitalized. Upon my visit, it was dreadful to see her in such dire condition. I promised to visit her again as soon as possible. A few days later she passed on. I never got to fulfill my promise and I missed out on the last moments with a person who loved me unconditionally. The regret and guilt ate me up. Regrets can lead to depression but acting on fear never leads to happiness. Then why constrain and chain yourself to such a social construction? Why not be the opposite? Why not cultivate an attitude of self-reliance without feeling lonely?

Friends having a BBQ with drinks.If you ask a dear friend of mine to describe herself, she believes she has a calm personality. Nonetheless, everyone around her is prone to say that she has a vibrant nature. Now here is a girl with a refreshing social life, nothing is ever tedious. After a week on long nights and short naps, my advice was to take it easy. Unhesitant she agreed to a weekend of binge watching and movie marathons. Saturday morning began with a hoot. Let it be noted though, that all this time her hands were not far from her constantly  vibrating phone. Before noon struck, she stood up and started getting dressed. Did I miss something?

I’m aware my perplexed expression needed not any explanation. She simple began “there’s a barbecue over X’s place. So get up, get dressed cause we can’t miss out.” At that moment I made nothing of it. But there are simply some individuals that are incapable of staying indoors especially when the weekend begins on a Thursday. That’s all well and good, but is it all worth it when you constantly have to worry about fueling your car, don’t forget the social expenditure and the research paper that is due beginning of the week. From experience, the FOMO syndrome is statsdefinitely not good for the pockets.

The experiences and memories gained from such social interactions are cherished, there’s no disagreement. Sometimes though, you have just got to slow down and see the things that matter most. My personal guilty pleasure is star-gazing. I enjoy the climb up to the roof at home, laying down a blanket with my iPod and just staring at the stars while my mind wanders aimlessly. I take pleasure in the serenity that nature offers. Social media may have encouraged this FOMO epidemic. But fear not, take this as an opportunity to experience, make mistakes and learn. After all it’s a rite of passage to adulthood (as puberty is the rite of passage to maturity).