When did you have your mid-life crisis? If a mid-life crisis is a time of panic and self-doubt [my life sucks!], I would say it has hit me multiple times already. Also known as Quarter-Life Crisis, as it is nowadays happening a lot earlier than it used to in the past, everyone seems to be affected, particularly around the age of 30 [when the infirmities of old age make their appearance..].
Career, money, settling down, having a family, success and wealth are the topics people panic about most. It is about finding that something that will give your life more meaning. But what is this something? [The world is your oyster – they say – find what you want and make it happen! … please, cut the crap].
The grass is always greener of the other side of the fence.
As cliché as it may sound, most of the stress and feelings of inadequacy young people experience today, originate in the belief that someone else is doing better, accomplishing more and having a better time elsewhere. [People brag, people brag a lot]. We look at what the others have or do – friends, family, acquaintances or even strangers [a bunch of dumb heads, do you hate them as much as I do?] – and we can’t settle on what we already have and be satisfied because we’re always agonising about what else we could be doing. It’s an endless quest to find happiness. [My life sucks so bad! Where am I gonna end?]
What makes the age of 30 such a catalyst for mid-life crisis?
The decade is frightening. The 5-year period is scary too, as it gets us closer to the next decade. When you turn 10 you are a child, when you turn 20 you’re basically still a teenager, the age of 30 marks the completion of the first real decade of adulthood life [holy crap!]. Most people would set their goals to be achieved by the age of 30 [Things to do do before I die .. ehmm.. turn 30] – if not 25 – and when life doesn’t turn out quite like expected, anxiety takes over. It feels like time is running out and we’re wasting it doing things that are not as great as we would wish, our life is not good enough.
A mid-life crisis can be a stimulus for change.
[Yay! let’s get married!] However, most people would discover that even after having made the leap to the side of the fence the grass seemed to be greener, happiness is still a mirage and the grass is greener elsewhere. It is an ocean of choices that never run out. [650 things to do before I turn 30: 1) get married; 2) get divorced; 3) fall in love for real; 4)…]. When there is so much to choose from… how can you choose?
A mid-life crisis can be a positive stimulus for change.
There are times in life when we feel ‘trapped’ in certain situations (a job, a relationship, the place we live in) and we start wondering about it. By exploring new possibilities closer to our interests, preferences, aspirations and values, a sense that change is possible will grow and give us the guts to separate from previous commitments and start a new journey. [Life ain’t that bad after all..].
Or – you can blow your money on something that will make you feel better (most likely a car if you are a dude, expensive shoes/bags/cosmetics/jewellery if you are a girl) [Epiphany: shopping is the solution!] and once the novelty of your new purchase wears off, just remind yourself of the good things in life and learn to appreciate life as it happens.
Until you realise that you are nearly 40 [HFS!] and your life still sucks.