BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

for the twenty-something

(Giane, my smart German-looking student, sent me this essay circulating in the Internet. Some are true for me, some are not. The ones that struck me most are the ones I italicized).

They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is
when you stop going along with the crowd and
start realizing that there are a lot of things
about yourself that you didn't know and may not

You start feeling insecure and wonder where you
will be in a year or two, but then get scared
because you barely know where you are now.

You start realizing that people are selfish and
that, maybe, those friends that you thought you
were so close to aren't exactly the greatest
people you have ever met and the people you have
lost touch with are some of the most important

What you do not realize is that they are
realizing that too and are not really cold or
catty or mean or insincere, but that they are as
confused as you.

You look at your job. It is not even close to
what you thought you would be doing or maybe
you are looking for one and realizing that you are
going to have to start at the bottom and are

You miss the comforts of college, of groups, of
socializing with the same people on a constant

But then you realize that maybe they
weren't so great after all. You are beginning to
understand yourself and what you want and do not
want. Your opinions have gotten stronger. You
see what others are doing and find yourself
judging a bit more than usual because suddenly
you realize that you have certain boundaries in
your life and add things to your list of what is
acceptable and what is not.

You are insecure and then secure. You laugh and
cry with the greatest force of your life. You
feel alone and scared and confused.

Suddenly change is the enemy and you try and
cling on to the past with dear life but soon realize
that the past is drifting further and further away
and there is nothing to do but stay where you
are or move forward.

You get your heart broken and wonder how
someone you loved could do such damage to you
or you lay in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone
decent enough to get to know better.

You love someone and maybe love someone else at
same time and you cannot figure out why you are doing this because you are not a bad person.

One night stands and random hook ups start to look
cheap and getting wasted and acting like an idiot
starts to look pathetic.

You go through the same emotions and questions
over and over and talk with your friends about
the same topics because you cannot seem to
make a decision. You worry about loans and money and
the future and making a life for yourself and
while winning the race would be great, right now
you'd just like to be a contender!

What you may not realize is that everyone
reading this relates to it. We are in our best
of times and our worst of times, trying as hard
as we can to figure this whole thing out.

Send this to your twenty-something friends...
maybe it will help someone feel like they are
not alone.