11 Dec 2016

Quarter Life Crisis - Am I Having One?

You've heard of the mid life crisis, of course you have. It's that time in an adults life (usually between 40-50) where they trade in their Citroen Xsara Picasso for a Harley Davidson and get a tattoo of a snake coming through the eyeball of a skull. The mid life crisis is much publicised and well recognised pretty much worldwide, but the quarter life crisis is a lot less prominent. Is a quarter life crisis even a real thing? In a nut shell yes, but there's so many different factors which could contribute to your quarter life meltdown!

The first one being the constant questioning of what you're doing with your life. Back in the day it was easy to know what you were doing with your life. The general expectation of ones life was to have a family, career and home by the age of 25. Back then of course it was easier to jump from job to job. These days however, leaving a job is a massive risk. The constant reminder of 'a job is a job' is whispered into your ear if you're unhappy with your current work life and a lot of people are happy to suffer through their unhappiness in the hope that all will turn out well. The positive sign here though is that Millennials seem to have a different approach to life, where happiness definitely comes first. With the shit we've been dealt the last 10 or so years (housing crash, double dip recession, Trump etc) it's no wonder our generation has started to try and shift the gears and take a different approach to life. I've tried my best to adopt this mindset in recent months and I finally managed to sack off retail and have now settled into a much nicer and better job! After so many years in retail I think I owe it to myself to reprogram my brain into putting myself first.

The second thing that could contribute to a quarter life crisis is comparison. By this I mean comparing yourself to other people your age. This is such a toxic habit and definitely something I wouldn't recommend doing. As harsh as it is, there's always someone from school who's doing better than you: they've got a better job, nicer car and they've just got engaged. That's not a problem though. The thing I've learnt in the last few years is that everyone has different motives and goals so some people progress faster, they get what they want faster than you but that's ok. If anything we should be encouraging each other to reach our goals and wishing each other the best. Your twenties/thirties are too short to be getting jealous of other people and these are the best years of your life (so I've been told) so why not focus on yourself and enjoy it while you can!

The third thing and what I think is the most relatable sign of a quarter life crisis is not having anything in common with your friends from school/university anymore. From the ages of about 16-25 you meet a lot of new people from different circles like education and clubbing but the majority of people are temporary. This 9 year time span is the time in peoples lives where their interests dramatically change, they go from loving certain things to absolutely having no interest in it at all. For me it's probably been football. A lot of my friends were made at Cardiff City & Wales games but in recent years my interest has declined and I've got different priorities like my blog. These days I'd prefer to spend my money on nice food or going for coffee rather than going to the football in the pissing down rain, surrounded by the smell of football farts and pasties. Not to say that I don't enjoy football anymore, I loved Euro 2016 and I'll still watch Match Of The Day but I'm just less active in the social aspect of football. I was going to the football since I was 13 and since then obviously my hobbies and interests have changed and so has my friend group.

My final point would probably be the realisation that there's no such thing as a perfect outcome. I don't know anyone my age who's fully content with how everything has turned out, or anyone of any age for that matter. When I was younger I imagined by the age of 25 I'd be on the property ladder, I'd have a French Bulldog and I'd be wearing a suit everyday. And to be honest I couldn't be further away from that! I rent a flat, I don't have a dog and I still dress like a child but I'm ok with that. The moment I stopped telling myself I had to have certain things at a certain age was when I decided to just roll with it. Take today for example: I've been out of my house all day by myself and I've been to the museum, gone for a coffee and managed to write this blog post. A while back my Sunday's would have been spent dying in bed with a hangover, regretting everything and having the bitch that is Monday looming over my shoulder. Those days are behind me I think as I've realised that booze is the devil and drinking just makes me depressed.

So how do you prevent going through a quarter life crisis? Stop caring about what other people think for a start. I genuinely think this is so important. I used to be so shy about blogging and being open on social media because I thought people would just laugh behind my back, especially because blogging has this weird stigma behind it. When I tell people I blog there's often a little sneer or a grin that says "really?'. A lot of people think it's about getting free stuff or just eating smashed avocado but there's a lot more to it. There's a real community feel between bloggers and recently I've found fellow male bloggers to be really supportive.

Another way to avoid falling victim to a quarter life crisis is to switch off. I've been guilty of becoming being sucked into worrying about the smallest of things for every minute of the day but you owe it to yourself to have some time out. Instead of checking your emails and scrolling through Instagram, get yourself a Dominos and have a Netflix marathon. Switch your phone off and watch the whole of Stranger Things in one sitting. It's worth it (not only for your mental health but also because Stranger Things is the best thing I've watched this year.)

I hope this helps anyone who reads it but in all honesty it's been good to get if off my chest!

(This is me dressing like a child, not giving a fuck)



  1. Great post Ryan! 100% share some if these sentiments bro

    1. Thanks my man, I got an email to send over your way later too btw!