As New Year’s approaches, I find myself running through the resolution check list in my head. I extended my Bar Method membership as a result of this, but is that enough? As I move farther and farther into adulthood (eek) I’m thinking my resolution should revolve around seeking a state of emotional satisfaction, rather than a strictly physical one. So here’s my current state assessment of myself and of my life – I’m sure at least some of you can relate:
A common phrase that tends to be passed around in your twenties is that of the ‘quarter-life crisis.’ I’m making the choice to call this phenomenon something different, a life plateau, because I don’t see this as a crisis but in fact maybe just the opposite. I think I’m bored when I really have no right to be. I have a well-paying and respectable job – but I find the time between 9am and 5pm so mundane that it’s hard to consider the money and experience worth it. I live in a great city rent free – but I’ve lived here my whole life and can’t help but question whether I’m playing it too safe. I love my friends to the moon and back – but so many of them are friends I’ve had for years and I worry I’m limiting myself by not branching out. I take time to travel around the world – but it doesn’t feel like enough adventure or enough time spent travelling.
Essentially, I find myself at a comfortable but boring point in my life – like a plateau – and I’m searching for the best way to add challenge and excitement back into it.
I know I can’t be alone in this.
When I look around at my friends and family, I often wonder if they, too, are plagued by questions of should I? Can I? What if I? I have always surrounded myself with big-dreamers and go-getters and I used to find myself caught up in jealousy when I’d think over their lives and their actions. Now that I’m out of college and at a point in my life where I’m maturing more rapidly than ever before (sorry boy readers, but according to science you still have a few years before you hit this maturation period) I no longer find myself in a state of jealousy, but rather in a state of reflection over others’ lives. While this is quite a relief – as everyone with Facebook knows being jealous of your friends’ pictures can be quite a tiring feeling – it has led to much more introspection, and ultimately to my life plateau.
My parents think I’m crazy because every day I call them with a new big plan. In the last few months I’ve gone through cycles of learning German to move to Germany, applying for a job in New Zealand where I’ve never been and know no one, ordering bath, lotion and candle making supplies to start my own side craft company, planning vacations to Bali, Budapest and Greece, applying for different Game Show Network shows and maybe the Amazing Race, and my personal favorite of calling different travel companies to set up an expedition to Antarctica. My parents laugh at me because they know I already have it good, so why do I keep searching and searching for the next best thing?
Perhaps it’s a generational rut because of what we grew up with, or perhaps the joke of a quarter life crisis really is accurate after all. Either way, I know I’m searching for something that I can’t quite find yet. The answer may not be in moving to a new country, switching careers, or learning languages, but I’m going to keep trying until it hits me.
So when New Year’s comes, I may not have a concrete resolution, but I’ll clink glasses, chug champagne, and cheers anyone willing to jump off this plateau with me – even if we don’t succeed the first time!