I think it’s safe to say that, for a 26-year old, I’m not doing too bad. I’m independent with a fulfilling career. I’m pretty good with my money. I have wonderful friends, a supportive boyfriend and the best (and most hilarious) family a girl could ask for. I’m happy, healthy and, by the definitions I have set for myself, I am successful.
Which is why the fact that I’ve spent the last few weeks wallowing in a petty state of quarter-life crisis makes virtually no sense at all.
I think my long-time friend, Jeff framed it nicely today when he said, “you’ve got that nomad’s spirit in you”, which I liked (he also said “Naw brah, 30 is the new 20″, which I also liked). Not to be taken too literally, I think he pegged me down pretty accurately – be it emotionally or physically, I always feel like I should be moving, going somewhere, working toward something.
After a hectic summer, especially August, I’m only now getting the chance to slow down a evaluate where I’m at. It’s not a bad view – I set some goals for myself back when I moved home from Toronto and I can say proudly that I’ve met, and in some cases, exceeded them. That’s pretty cool.
But now what?
It’s September and all around me people are headed back to class, some for the second or third round. I’m still not used to the fact that September doesn’t look like that for me anymore. It’s unnerving!
So what’s next?
Adulthood looks so much different for my generation than it did for my parents. There’s that underlying expectation that someone my age would start working toward buying a house, getting married and starting a family. Not that those things aren’t on my radar at all, but they aren’t things I feel the need to funnel my energies toward any time soon.
How weird is it to feel so good about your current situation and yet so twitchy about not knowing what comes next?
So anyway, at the risk of sounding whiney and borderline neurotic, taking a look at my life (for my nerd friends: look at my life. Look at my choices!) and realizing that I seem to lack “direction” was starting to trouble me. I discussed all of this in rambly, frantic fashion with my boyfriend and not only did it not scare the bejezus out of him, he also managed to counter with a comforting suggestion.
He pointed out that what I’m lacking isn’t a direction so much as some new goals.
I’ve spent so long working toward getting to where I’m at now that I didn’t pause to think about what I wanted to achieve afterward. Hold on, I feel like I’m having a Tangled moment here…
So I’ve decided to set some goals to work toward. Currently on my list:
- Learn French (I’ve wanted to do this for ages and while I can’t afford lessons, I think I have enough resources at my disposal to make a legitimate crack at it).
- Develop and maintain a personal fitness plan (Again, can’t afford the gym membership right now but I’ve got some good people that can help me get on track on my own).
And, for something slightly more defined parameters:
- Have all current debt paid off in the next 6 – 7 years (This includes my hefty student debt. I do believe in magic! I do, I do!)
It’s not much for now but I think it’s a good, realistic starting point. Just the planning alone has got me feeling better and more encouraged about the future.
Your turn: What goals are you working toward right now? Do you ever find yourself feeling the same way? What other ways do you work through it?