Just the Stirring in My Soul

Quarterlife

My early college roommate sent me this article over the weekend after a recent phone conversation where we both realized we were experiencing the same kind of frustrations.  With the exception of the relationships section, the article felt eerily familiar.  I highly recommend the read as it essentially serves as a thesis to why this blog began in the first place.

In a nutshell, the article describes the “Quarterlife Crisis” phenomenon that this generation of twenty-somethings seems to be finding itself in:

Unrelenting indecision, isolation, confusion and anxiety about working, relationships and direction is reported by people in their mid-twenties to early thirties who are usually urban, middle class and well-educated; those who should be able to capitalize on their youth, unparalleled freedom and free-for-all individuation. They can’t make any decisions, because they don’t know what they want, and they don’t know what they want because they don’t know who they are, and they don’t know who they are because they’re allowed to be anyone they want.

Boomer and post-boom parents with more money and autonomy than their predecessors has resulted in benignly self-indulgent children who were sold on their own uniqueness, place in the world and right to fulfillment in a way no previous generation has felt entitled to, and an increasingly entrepreneurial, self-driven creation myth based on personal branding, social networking and untethered lifestyle spending is now responsible for our identities.

While I certainly don’t fall victim to the needless spending, drinking, or relationship problems associated with this life phase, I completely identify with the overall theme of the discussion.  Even though it can most likely be attributed to the quiz’s underlying superficiality, I was happy to see that most of my answers were “A” to the “Are you having a Quarterlife Crisis?” quiz at the end of the article.  As she always does, my mom summarized the situation best:

Life in our 20’s has always been difficult, because you want to step off the bus where your parents left you.  You forget that you must start at the beginning, not where you left off at our house.  Enjoy the ride, you will kick yourself later if you don’t.  Life goes by fast, so enjoy the moments, handsome.

Yes, my mom thinks I’m handsome!  More importantly, I did as suggested this past weekend by enjoying a relaxing, action-packed Memorial Day with great friends down at the lake house.  I guess those simple joy kind of moments are what it’s all about in the grand scheme of things and I believe I have a lot more to look forward to in the future.

4 Responses to “Just the Stirring in My Soul”

  1. Mommie Says:

    I look forward to enjoying some of those action-packed weekends at the lake in the future too! I sure hope you took lots of pictures so you can share your weekend with me 🙂

    Love ya handsome!

  2. Macon Says:

    Don’t even lie Mark, you meant to pick B for the 1st question on that quiz. But, in all seriousness I did enjoy this article

  3. walthers2 Says:

    ive been thinking a lot about this article since i first read it. i think it briefly touches on something that has been mentioned before; namely that with an increase in fast and easy ways to communicate, we are losing ‘old fashioned’ human contact, like going out to eat or getting coffee or even a phone call or postcard from a friend. i think more than anything this so-called quarter life crisis (life/4 if you will) has to do with a general loneliness and boredom associated with lack of personal interaction. think about how many hours a day we spent directly with friends or family when we were growing up or in college… now think about how many hours a day we spend with loved ones. my favorite years were the ones spent doing absolutely nothing all day with people i loved, where as now i do a whole lot of work with people who mean less to me. something to think about.

  4. cbgb Says:

    i like what chris said, and it reminded me of something i came across in a book i’m reading, “Letters to a Young Therapist” by Mary Pipher. Don’t be scared off by the therapy part, it’s applicable to our generation in every possible way.

    “Depression, anxiety…drug and alcohol abuse, not to mention hyperactive children and eating disorders, arise from our deeply dysfunctional culture. Who can be healthy in a culture in which children watch movies about hookers and serial killers? How can we expect people to be happy when they don’t know their neighbors, see their extended families, or have time for naps on Sunday afternoons?

    As a culture, we are mired deep in denial about our effects on others, on the earth, and on generations to come. We ignore the problems of children, refugees, the aged, and the poor. Our media encourages us to live at a surface level, to think about window treatments instead of world peace or our own spiritual needs. We are educated to be compartmentalized. Our culture makes us sick, physically and emotionally.”

    it’s simple but there’s a lot of truth in there, at least for me.

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