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There are periods of life that are more complicated than others. Periods during which you wonder how you got there. Periods when you feel empty inside. You think that there is always that little thing you are missing to be finally happy. You ask ourselves existential questions: “What do I want to do in my life?”, “What do I want to accomplish?”.
You have finished your studies, you’re looking for a job or you might have a job that you don’t like and which has nothing related with what you wanted to do. You have more responsibilities than you want and you have to do everything on your own. In short, you’ve become an adult.
A few months ago, I felt into this period of uncertainty. However my life was going pretty well. My job was enough for me, even though I knew that I wouldn’t stay there all my life. My relationship with my boyfriend was good. My family was fine. In short, I’ve really had everything to be happy. But I was at my worst.
I managed to delude myself at work but as soon as I went home, I laid on the couch and I couldn’t move.The only thing I could do: watch an old TV show on Netflix and do nothing until bedtime. The simple action of cooking pasta was unbearable.
This phase lasted a good month. I persuaded myself that it was the lack of holidays, that I really needed to see something else to get better. I was finally going to have time to think about what I wanted in my life. I had time to do it when I went home but it was so much better to continue my TV shows!
Two weeks before my holidays, I thought it would be nice to do personal development during my vacation. I did some research to find blogs or books to read. I found THE book that has revolutionized my life : 20 Something, 20 Everything. In this book the author explain us what is the quarter-life crisis and how to deal with it. It really helps me to moving on from my depression.
For some people, this period of time is pretty easy to deal with and they don’t feel depressed or lost. But for the other part, this period is like hell. If you are between 20 and 30 years old and you recognize yourself in the following things listed below, it’s very possible you’re having a quarter-life crisis.
You’re questioning your entire life
Suddenly, you want to know who you really are, what you have to do to be happier, and what is the meaning of life. You question and analyze every aspect of your life. Is this person good for me? Is this job worth all the hours it’s taking me? Would living abroad make me happier?
Actually it’s exhausting because you’re questioning yourself about a lot of things all day and taking a decision becomes impossible.
You have too many options and you can’t decide
On one hand, you want to quit your job and rise penguins in a foreign country. On the other hand, you want to be a boss with a huge salary in a big company. And you also thought about a beautiful house in the suburbs with a dog. In short, you don’t know what you want! Your situation doesn’t change during this questioning and you’re frustrated.
You feel stuck in a job that you hate
After college, you’ve applied for a job that you thought will be the more related to your studies. You already knew that it wouldn’t be the job of your dream but it would be ok.
The week after your arrival, you already knew that it would be a nightmare… It’s the total disillusionment! But you need to live, to pay your bill, to eat and to make sense of all the effort you put into your studies. You feel compelled to keep your job. You may have no idea what else you could do in life. You don’t apply on another job because you think that it will be the same. In short, you feel stuck.
Having a promotion isn’t really exciting to you
If you feel stuck in your job, having a promotion is the last of your worries!
Even if you’re ok with your job, having a promotion isn’t all that much exciting to you for many reasons. The number one is the responsibilities attached to the new job. You don’t want to be at the same place as your boss and have the same life as him/her. When you think about the promotion, you realize that what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy.
You think that your best years are behind you
You think that your life is already done, you’re too old to do “something” in your life. You think about your high school and college years and you tell yourself : “If I had known…” You were carefree, didn’t think about responsibilities. In short, it was a good time.
Now, you think it’s too late to change your career, to move into a new city or to party like in college.
You have all that you want but you’re unhappy
Have you ever felt that you had everything to be happy (a job not too bad, a husband / fiance who loves you, a family you can count on ….) but you don’t feel happy?
It’s exactly what your parents or friends tell you but when you think about it, it’s not the feeling that you have.
You may think that your life isn’t meaningful enough, that you’re just watching it go by, that is something missing for your happiness.
You compare yourself easily to other who are “successful”
As you’re questioning your entire life, you may have no self confidence. So you’re always comparing yourself with people who seems to have everything to be happy. It’s worse when you’re scrolling social media like Instagram. You see all the perfect picture of “perfect life” or “perfect holidays”… and the first thing you’re telling yourself is “my life sucks”.
You feel alone
During these periods we feel stressed, lost and we are crying for nothing. We feel totally alone because we think that nobody can understand our situation.
I had the same feeling when I was in this situation. Actually it was difficult to explain what I was feeling because nothing was really wrong. Then I found that I was really not the only one to be in this uncertainty. I’ve had a lot of conversations with my closest friends and my co-workers who find themselves in some way in the same uncertainty as me. The conversation that struck me the most was the one with my best friend. I thought she wanted to continue her job in which she was good, meet someone etc … When I asked her the question: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years,” she just told me ” Not here”. She explained to me that the life she was living was not the one that made her dream.
The good news is this situation doesn’t last eternally!