Three years ago I was walking home from the metro after a bad day at work thinking that my life was in shambles. I was 24. I was in a job that was pretty cool, but with a manager who verbally assaulted me on a daily basis. Coming home, I was living with three other girls that weren’t meant to live with one another (the stories I now tell at Happy Hours about that situation are titled Poop Stick, The Trumpeteer, and SWAT Team. Buy me a drink sometime and I’ll tell you about them). My boyfriend had just moved two hours away and I didn’t know how to climb back to some sort of happy place.
Now, three years later I’m happily married (to that same guy) with a job that I love and an apartment that could use some cleaning up, but is now my “home”. I didn’t need a big break, meet the love of my life (because I already had), or strike it rich to figure out my quarter life crisis. I just needed perspective.
Unfortunately it took me a while to realize that my problems weren’t that bad, that things could always find a way to get a little bit or even a lot worse. I’ve always been a happy person and being in this funk just wasn’t doing it for me. I found myself staying out late so I wouldn’t have to go back to my house full of crazy. I found myself spending my days cowering in my cube in case my boss came by to tell me I was stupid. My quarter life crisis came right on time.
On one especially awkward night at my old house, I was being screamed out for suggesting we turn on the air conditioner (it was 85 degrees in my room and I was sleeping with cold cloths on my head in order to fall asleep). Things were bad, names were being called, and I ended up sitting on the floor crying. I called my mother to tell her that she and my dad may need to help me move soon. I told her that I couldn’t take it anymore and that I was going to break my lease. She listened, was understanding and then told me about her day… she had just found out that her cancer had come back. Yet her crazy, selfish daughter had spent an hour venting to her on the phone about how sucky her own day had been. I cannot describe my mother’s grace in words, but I knew I needed to be more like her. I knew I had to figure out how to change things. But first, I had to go home. In the next few weeks I commuted from the DC area to my childhood home to help care for my mom. My problems at work and at my house were no longer relevant. Funny how your perspective can change in an instant.
It’s taken me a while to get to where I am today, and let me say that I’m still by no means “figured out”. My mom is still fighting like a warrior as the cancer progresses. I go to a counselor every other week. And I’m sure I still handle some situations like a certified hot mess. However I am able to accept and deal with things better because I learned about perspective.
If you are interested in contributing to the Quarterlife Crisis series feel free to contact me.