How To Survive Your Quarter-Life Crisis

Photo: Courtesy of  Cola Paclibar  (GVOM)

Photo: Courtesy of Cola Paclibar (GVOM)

It was a bright Monday morning in May, and it dawned on me that in 3 months, I will be reaching another important milestone — celebrating a ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­quarter of a century of being alive.

I vividly remember the feeling like it was only yesterday. There I was, sitting at my office desk, blankly staring at the computer screen, thinking if there was more to life than being stuck in an endless routine. There was nothing more dismal than waking up feeling defeated, tired, and consumed doing something that puts out the fire in your soul.

Basking in negativity and life’s disappointments left me jaded and dispassionate about every aspect of my life. That pivotal moment opened my eyes to the realization that I was merely existing instead of living life to its utmost potential.

Oftentimes, I wonder where it all went wrong. I was utterly sure of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life back in my formative years. In my early 20s, I was confident in my 5-year plan after graduating from university — get a job, move abroad, stand on my own two feet, and travel around the world — but even if everything went according to plan, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t genuinely happy and content. There was something beyond stability and material luxuries that was missing.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my purpose and the will to move forward in life doing what I thought I loved. I settled for mediocrity and confined myself in my comfort zone just because I lost the courage to take risks and go after the things that make my heart full. I wasn’t getting any younger, so I didn’t want to waste another second letting life pass me by. Not this time.

So at 24, I left the corporate world and took the leap of faith into the unknown in search for the missing piece that would fill the void. I have never been so sure of anything in my life before. The uncertainty and spontaneity that came with pursuing your heart’s desires brought life and meaning back to my soul. I found solace in art, music, travelling, relationships, and above all -  utilizing my passion for the written word to shape and touch people’s lives.

The moment I started focusing on the things that mattered the most, honing my craft, believing in my capabilities, and simply living life one day at a time — everything began to fall into place seamlessly. Since then, I’ve never been happier.

If you feel stuck and lost in an awkward time in your adulthood, do not be afraid and discouraged. Acknowledge the fact that at some point in your life, you will hit a crossroad. It will be challenging and confusing, but it will be substantially life-changing. Have the courage to go after the things that make you feel glad to be alive and the strength to let go and walk away from the circumstances that hinder you from reaching your full potential.

It only takes one decision to change the course of your life. Embrace uncertainty, adversity, and the beautiful process of becoming your most authentic self. Take a life break, rearrange your priorities, and visualize where you want your life to go. Always be patient and have faith.

Growing up, society imposed that we should be something by the time we reach a certain age. Oftentimes, we get fixated on that mindset — the superficial things — and the finish line to the point wherein we forget to enjoy the journey itself. Living your life according to norms and people’s expectations will rob you off your absolute freedom, self-confidence, creativity, and the future you have envisioned for yourself. Do not rush success and greatness; it will come when the time is right and when you least expect it.

Sometimes you think you have it all figured out, but then you realize that you’re entering the second half of your 20s only to find yourself starting over again. And that’s okay; it’s usually through experiencing the dreaded quarter-life crisis when most people find their breakthroughs — I did, you can too.

Words by Francesca Escarraga

IG: @francescaescarraga

Cola Paclibar