There are times we go to bed thinking ‘maduthu ee jeevitham’, seasoned by ‘ingne okke nadnna mathiyo?’ by the people we know. Mostly by the ones we don’t. Well, how comforting is it to know that we are not alone and that it has an actual (pretty cool) name to it? Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you the next naadakam of the century- The Quarter-Life Crisis!
The dictionary meaning of quarter-life crisis as per Wikipedia goes – “Involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life which is most commonly experienced in a period ranging from a person’s early twenties up to their mid-thirties.” Sounds familiar? What is so ‘special’ about being in your mid-20s or early 30s and facing every goddamn failure during this freaking period? Jeevikkan anuvadikkilla lle?
Let’s have a look into the whats and whens of this, followed up by how you can possibly overcome the dominance of such a crisis in your life. One small step at a time, right?
The Enth, Eppo, and Enginey
We have had people, peers, friends and sometimes ourselves, say things like ‘allelm vermbo ellaa paniyum onniche verullu’ or ‘enikk maatram entha ingne!? (not the ‘enthina daivame enikk ithrem soundaryam thanne’ crisis. That is vere etho crisis!) Why do we feel this way? It’s the quarter-life crisis kicking in.
This is majorly because the period between your 20s and 30s is when you have to make major decisions regarding your career or education (which often feels like paapi chenna idam paathalam). It’s at this when you don’t know if you should just quit your emotionally draining job that pays peanuts. You want to get that Master’s that you’ve always wished for, but feel scared about being an overqualified, jobless raccoon. And we all know that if you decide to do something out of the box, you are pretty much looked up as ‘out completely!’
The mid-20s are also the time we move out of our homes and start staying on our own terms. Probably with our friends or maybe alone. And for all of us who stay alone, we slip into pockets of self-doubt and misery as frequently as one finds gutters during the rainy spell. We do bounce out of it somehow, mustering all the energy that we have, but sometimes we don’t.
Also Read: Did Your Life Turn Out the Way You Planned?
This is also the time when we are almost done with random hookups and stray dating. We feel the want to, maybe, tone down a little and settle. We see a lot of breakups, budding of new matured relationships, and lesser but meaningful friendships.
Our social batteries glare red when we are fifteen minutes into a party. We turn down most weekend invites because you’ve got ‘hot girl stuff to do’. In reality, you end up washing your piled up clothes for the week. It is a time when you sit back, think of all the decisions you have made in life, and you wish and hope you could do a whole lot of Ctrl+Z there.
Ellaathinum parihaaram undaakkaam!
But engne bro ennalle? We cannot make massive resolutions and hope to turn our life around in a nick of time. That, too, when we are going through such a phase. Small but positive changes can give the right kick and motivation. These accomplishments promise a sense of achievement and a feeling that we are living- inside out.
Take kunj kunj breaks. Take a weekday off. Preferably a Friday or Monday. Do nothing. This is not the time for you to finish your pending assignments or catch up with your (stupid) clients. This is a day where you go for walks, play with dogs, sit in a cafe, and chill on your own angne angne angne. And you know what makes all this better? The sadistic pleasure of thinking about your co-workers/ classmates sweating it out at work. Hehe!
Pick up that long-lost hobby or start a new activity. By hobby or activity, I don’t mean that you have to pick up a pair of binoculars all of a sudden and go bird watching. You can do something as simple as finishing a book or a painting. You can even start joining cults you enjoy or a baking class. Or better, start your own self-care routine.
Take social media breaks. Social media is undeniably a major factor in making us feel what we feel on most days. How can people be so freaking happy all the time? How can they have it all at 25? How did he find a girlfriend and how the hell are they going on trips (should I inform her veetkaar?) etc.? This is because we see the part of their life that they ‘choose’ to show us. So take an occasional break and invest that time in something good for yourself. (P.S Never unfollow pages like Pinklungi that keep you sane).
Do not hesitate to book a consultation if you feel like it. With all the discussion and awareness that is going on regarding mental health, what prevents us from seeking help is the fact that we are stuck at home. We know it’s a cumbersome task to convince parents and everybody else, so look up genuine online groups that offer support. Make sure that they are 100% genuine.
The mid-20s to 30s is the time when we feel people are supposed to have the most fun in life. When we look around, we feel that everybody else, except you, is in much better shape. But it may not be so. Focus on yourself and keep going, one baby step at a time. Let’s overcome this quarter-life crisis together.