5/9/08

Quarter-life crisis

I've always joked about the quarter-life crisis.

And I've always said it would happen at 24- because, you know, 24 is OLD.

Wikipedia defines Midlife crisis as a term used to describe a period of dramatic self-doubt that is typically felt in the "middle years" of life, as people sense the passing of youth and the imminence of old age.

OK, well, then I think a quarter-life crisis is warranted.

I am currently going through a period of dramatic self-doubt. It is being felt in the "quarter" years of life... as I sense the passing of youth... and the imminence... well maybe not of old age, but of "maturity"... or expected maturity.

I'm right now, at this very second, freaking out about my birthday. Not the marking of being another year older... per se... but that I am finding myself more and more in this terrible limbo-state. Where I've stumbled into situations that belong to people beyond my years. I'm only 22 (ok, can I cheat and say 23 now? It's less than a day away) .... so why do I have a career. Why did I embark on an adventure, that likely is too big for my little self.

I mean, really, most of the time, I'm proud of what I've done, what I've "accomplished" so far... but it leaves me wondering... when was I supposed to be carefree? When was I supposed to be "youthful"...

All my life I've been worried about the next step. About the consequences.

I started keeping insanely good grades for university in grade nine. I thought, genuinely believed, that universities would look at my entire academic record, starting way back then. So I worked my ass off. And yes, eventually it paid off. I got two full scholarships to two Ottawa universities.

So I went to Carleton. And the work wasn't over. I had to keep an A- average to maintain my scholarship. So I studied, I stayed at home. I had fun with my room-mates... but never much ventured out of that protective unit. They were a lot like me, homebodies... with their sights on academic success.

And so I did it, I didn't pay a cent to Carleton the entire four years I was there (in fact, they sent me cheques because I picked up a couple extra scholarships along the way). Whoopee.

And three weeks after finals, I started work for CBC, in Quebec. Moved to the north in September. Never more than a 2 week break in-between. And now I have a career. When did this all happen? When did I suddenly enter this adult life... one I thought I wanted, but don't know what to do with.

My birthday is tomorrow. And I think I'm having people over. But the very idea terrifies me. I wish I didn't think so much.

The "young" part of me wants to just have people over, get smashed, and not care if they are having a good time, and wander outside with my bottle of tequila, dancing to the music bursting from within. (ok, I stole that entire sequence from an episode of Grey's Anatomy. Bite me.)

The "old" part of me, wants to micro manage everything, and worries about people enjoying themselves. Wants to make sure everything goes smoothly, people don't get bored.... but doesn't even know how to do any of that.

So instead, I'm an anxious twenty-something stuck in-between wanting to be goofy and have fun, and wanting to be a mini-Martha Stewart hostess.

Grah.

3 comments:

Another Twentysomething May 9, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

Balance, my dear. It's all about balance. Your life should not be all work no play, nor should it be all-carefree, all play. That's what weekend and vacations are for, being carefree and fun. I don't know how to prescribe balance to you, but you'll find it, and see that no matter what, age is just a number and it's all what YOU make of it.

Perc & Bob May 9, 2008 at 5:08 PM  

As said previiously, it is all a matter of balance in work and social life. Enjoy yourself. have confidence that you are very good at what you do and things will take care of its' self. must run in the Sharkeys Genes 0- we are driven ! well as least some of us! And enjoy your birthday !

Perc & Bob

KOTN May 13, 2008 at 8:43 AM  

I just turned 34 back in March. Know what we did? Got all hammered on Blue Raspberry Martinis and played Rockband.

Lighten up :)