Being in A Quarter-Life Crisis, at It’s Peak

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Dear you millennials, slash quarter-life crisis sufferers, slash ‘I-have-ambitions-but-my-life-is-too-screwed-up‘ kind of person, this article was written for you. Well, okay; for us. I decided to pour it down as a note, so I can read it again on one cloudy day, to remind me that I once had a clear perspective about all these issues.

I’m about to turn 26 in the next couple of weeks, sooo if you’re looking for an enlightenment, no. You will not find it here, as this article was just written by a  woman juggling between full time and freelance job at the same time, feeling that she still has a lot of unaccomplishment, still on the stage of finding her true calling. Sounds familiar? Well, please allow me to initiate a virtual group hug.

That One Big Question We Are All Dealing with

In my 25 years of life, I’ve been worrying a lot. I keep 60% of it in silence and pour down the rest 40% to the closest person. (If you happened to ever see me worrying, trust me it was only 40% of it, and I still kept the larger portion for myself). Now that I look back, the root cause of my worries is just some unnecessary stuff my mind created, which is mostly either about the unknown or the future. And as a quarter-life crisis sufferer, just like millions of you, the biggest thing to worry about, for me right now is still;

“Am I walking on the right path?”

I know, I know, that question can lead to unrealistic thought and irrational fear. The thing I always forget every time I got struck by a hard situation, is that indeed we should not be too worry about it, as long as we still hold the steering wheel to hit the road. And while you drive, you either enjoy it or feel burdened by how bumpy the road is. Even though you drive towards the same destination, the way you feel about it can make a lot of difference. We’re worrying too much about the result, that we often forget to take a glimpse to enjoy the process.

Process is underrated. We always look forward to the end goal, and forget that ‘the process’ it is which builds us. I think another #101 about how to stop being worried of the unknown is by being present and appreciating our progress. No one prohibits you to celebrate your progress. It’s an achievement too. Treat yourself when you made a small leap such as when you successfully finished a report that drained your energy for almost a week. You deserve it!

Back to the big question “Am I walking on the right path?” – I don’t know.

But, “Am I heading to the right direction?” – I suppose yes, as long as you do agree with the next following paragraph in this article below..

You Might Need to Find Those Dots You Need to Connect

I’ve been always a believer of ‘connecting-the-dots’ theory. I never regret any steps I took in my entire life so far. When I told people that I was graduated from Architecture Engineering, and now that I’m diving in marketing realm, lots of people asking me those two words; why and how. Long story short, I connect the dots, and all of them just help me to shape which direction I want to take.

The direction doesn’t just easily pop out. Lucky, if you’re already sure that you’ve found it in your early step. Sometimes, it just comes along with the things you are doing. And if along the way you decided to reroute to another direction, it is never wrong! Believe me, that sometimes, you just need a direction solely for the sake of short term flame; to keep you motivated to start your day, at least.

Comparing Has Never Been A Good Ideda

Now let’s take a step back to track down your path all along.

We walk, we run, at our own pace, just make sure that you keep on moving forward. And just because for now we seem to have a slower pace than others, doesn’t mean that we’re doing it wrong. Well unless you know you’re on a slow pace mode, and you’re starting to compare your life with others, yet you do nothing and to make yours better, – that is wrong. Comparison is a toxic. People’s life can’t be measured in linearity, as we got our own stories. What you see on the surface might be different with what’s they keep beneath. Like doing a window shopping on a bookstore with foreign language you don’t understand, all you can do is just ‘judge it by the cover‘. However cover don’t tell the whole stories within, that it possibly just deceives you.

Or, imagine when you see a big random house when you commute with car. You admire the building, the garden, even those cute dogs they own, you even compare it with a small flat you own. But you don’t know the story, who’s in that house, what they do, the struggle they made to be able to own such a house, even whether they feel content or not with the things they have right now.

That is why to compare is exhausting. It’s all just a surface that you can see.

A friend of mine claimed that his life is not as lucky as his peers, in terms of financial and career. But in the other hand, one of his ‘financially-lucky’ peers, feels that money and title are nothing compared to the envious feeling he has everytime he hears some stories about the other peers talking about how they spend their time with their spouse or family. Well, sometimes in life you just can’t choose your fate, that the only thing you can do is to deal and be fine with the reality. So everytime you start to compare, remember that at least there’s another person out there, who’s dying to have a life just like yours. What I learn lately, is however great other people’s lives seem out there, sometimes it just doesn’t validate that they feel fulfilled and content more than you.

Well, of course, sometimes I still need to learn on how stop comparing and complaining too. Cheers!

Those Magic Words; Go Follow Your Pas……..

They said, fulfillment is all we, as human, need at the first place. Well, we’re living in the era where we’re provoked to seek for fulfillment above all the things in the world. Yet, I’m too tired of reading articles and books yelling us that the way to achieve the real fulfillment in life is by ‘following your passion’ or ‘finding your true meaning of life’. Fulfillment for me has no limit. As Maslow’s famous hierarchy told us that we, as human, always expect to level up for each stage of needs that we’ve achieved. See, all these decades, we’ve been bombarded by the paradigm that fulfillment is all about the achievement, and that finding and living your passion another thing you need to achieve in order to feel fulfilled.

What if some of us were born without a true calling? What about a friend of mine who’s very talented in art but has no other choice rather than dealing with 9-6 job as a PR, due to the need financial security and parents’ expectation? Or what if you’re being average in every little thing here and there?

Aside of millions of privileges our generation have, we, millennials are told that we are special. We are claimed as the true entrepreneur generation. We’re the generation that comes as a fruit from our parent’s hard work. They struggled a lot to ensure that we have a better life, and when we’re all grown up, we have this privilege to live our own life. Choosing our favorite study in college, starting our own business, working as an employee in startup company, hanging out with friends after hours. Well those are some privileges that perhaps your parents couldn’t afford in their younger days. Now at least let’s be grateful first to be born as a millennialist.

But do all millennials have to be driven by passion in every step and every breathe they take? What if passion is just a thing that we have to build within, so we can feel enjoy and less burdened with anything we have on our plate right now? Good for you if you’re now having your passion as your daily job, am happy for you! Well I’m also happy for those who have their passion as a hobby on a leisure time, as an escape from their full time job as a corporate employee. But it’s okay, if you’re not, or haven’t finding your passion yet. Just because you haven’t found your true calling, doesn’t mean you’re failing as a millennial. You live, you have a job to pay for your living cost, you are fine, at least for now. And as long as you don’t give up about your life, I assume you can manage to make your future to be just fine too.

So Here’s My Two Cents…

Mastering life has never been so easy, we all know that shit just happens sometimes. Even God put the learning that human’s life is full of obstacles and trials since the lives of Adam and Eve. It’s clichè, but all we got to do is just…. surviving, and never stop moving forward, even barriers and obstacles can even help to point out the way we should take. That is why, just focus on what you’re doing right now, have the very best version of you in present, and if you haven’t found the direction yet, trust me you will find one along the way.

Just because you still don’t know your true calling, just because you feel that you’re slower in making a progress compared to others (no.. stop comparing!), or just because you feel you haven’t achieved anything in life (though in fact you’re able to manage to live your life with your own – it’s an achievement!), well it doesn’t mean your world stop revolving now and after.

It has never been an overnight process.

But it always worth the wait and effort.

You’re not failing 🙂

 

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And The Beginning was An End of Everything

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This is a story about a girl, a guy, and the inevitable truth about a journey.

*

She was just one of those girls who took 7am train to downtown.

 

This bookworm was a cat person,

At anytime she just loved her own companion.

 

She never wore anything other than black.

She always kept her long brunette hair braided to the back.

 

Coffee was her one and only addiction.

Right there before she knew about affection.

 

She knew nothing about love and desire to be loved.

She called people crazy to worship each other just to feel loved.

 

Truth be told, she had never really loved someone before.

*

He was just one of those guys who took 7am train to downtown.

 

He never liked cat, or any other animals, except those that fly.

As he was just one of them, oh social butterfly.

 

He got a pair of mysterious deep blue eyes.

The ones that his pals called it ‘as cold as ice’.

 

He couldn’t let a day wasted without packs of cigarette,

Like he never got bored of silently watching that brunette.

 

Seeing that strange brunette every morning grew his curiosity more and more.

And he enjoyed it, just like having the waves quenching his shore.

 

But deep down, he was not sure of his ability to love anymore.

*

It was a busy morning train.

And on weekdays, no one ever loved 7am rain.

 

Grumpy faces here and there.

Evaporated into the gloomy atmosphere.

 

And when he entered the train, he saw her right away,

She was reading a book, it was Nietzche’s ‘The Birth of Tragedy’.

 

Under the circumstance, they sat beside each other that day.

The brunette girl and the blue eyed guy finally said ‘hi’.

 

That was the beginning yet the end of everything in their previous lives.

*

And after fifty minutes of talk and laughters,

They exchanged their numbers.

 

And after two days text,

They decided to bring it to the next.

 

And after two dates and a morning train to work skipped,

They kissed.

 

And after thirty kisses,

She knew that she could love someone and had desire of affection, afterall she was no heartless.

 

And after thirty kisses,

He knew that he could love someone again, real one, other than just a summer fling.

 

And after dozens of ‘i love you’s and hugs.

He learnt to get used to play with her cats.

 

And after five sleepless nights they had together,

She followed him into his nightlife and becoming one of those avid party goers.

 

And after ten parties they attended,

She couldn’t live without cigars and a silver Zippo from him with her name embossed.

 

And after hundreds of cigarette butts they shared,

He learnt to enjoy coffee, and her addiction to it had been overpassed.

 

And after fifty cups of coffee they shared,

She stopped wearing black and let her long brunette hair unraveled.

 

And after days of her unraveling her brunette hair,

He started to read Nietzche.

 

So that was the way it was.

That was the beginning yet the end of everything in their previous lives.

*

Then she, became a social butterfly.

And he, talked about philosophy.

That was the beginning yet the end of everything in their previous lives.

*

And after hundreds days of laugh,

There they encountered some fight and sigh.

 

And when a kiss lost its power to fix the fights,

Then they knew the affection they once had for each other had gone from their sights.

*

It was a busy morning train.

And on weekdays, no one ever loved 7am rain.

 

Grumpy faces here and there.

Evaporated into the gloomy atmosphere.

 

And when she entered the train, she saw him right away.

He was reading a book, it was Nietzche’s ‘On The Genealogy of Morality’.

 

Under the circumstance, they sat beside each other that day.

The brunette girl and the blue eyed guy decided to keep the silence between and stay.

 

Fifty minutes had gone, and the train stopped at its last destination.

They went out without any words, heads full of contemplation.

 

He took the right way, and bowed to stroke a wild cat he saw sitting on train platform’s bench.

 

She took the left way, walked and waved to some group of friends waiting for her while lighting her cigarette.

*

So that was the beginning yet the end of everything in their previous lives.

Wasn’t it just like a journey on a train?

When you embark, it would be either you started your new journey or ended one.

And when the train stopped and you went out, it was either you just ended your journey or started a new one.

* * *

About The Prohibited F Word

Hidup lo kebanyakan takutnya. Be fearless, lah!” ujar seorang teman beberapa hari yang lalu setelah saya usai bercerita tentang kekhawatiran saya terhadap suatu hal.

I was likeShit I have to overcome this issue! Real soon‘. Been diving in this bad habit for a long time, I think the most prohibited F word is actually this F.

FEAR.

What is the worst scenario in your life?’ tanya si teman setelahnya.

I don’t know. Got no future? Being alone for the rest of my life perhaps?

Ya, terus? What would you do if your life plans weren’t work?

Crafting another one,‘ jawab saya.

And when you’re getting older, and still being single?

Then I’ll be on my own. Maybe I’ll live somewhere far off,

Well that’s it. Your plan doesn’t work? Then make another. And if you’re being single while you’re getting old, doesn’t mean that you can’t settle down, as there will always be men out there. Or in your case, if you decide to be on your own and live your dream somewhere, just go with it. Meaning, you have already got the plan B to overcome all your fears,

Dang! True.

Mengutip kata-kata teman saya, ‘Think about the worst scenario that could happen to you. When you know it, and you can deal with it. Then why are you worried about fear?

We overthink things. We complicate things. Padahal terkadang problem itu cuma ada di pikiran saja, which means it always be us who fully holds the control.

Few years ago, I was even worse than who I am now, in terms of this habit. My insecurity level was higher than my body itself. And it costed me a lot, that I still have to face the harm of it, until now.

And here I tell you the mantra:

Don’t ever spend your energy to overthink some things you can’t control. Don’t ever think about it till you have it slapping you right on your face.

*

Keesokan harinya, di tengah perjalanan bersama teman yang sama….

Gue mau minum soya milk gue deh, tapi jalan tol macet banget, sampainya masih lama. Takut kebelet pipis di jalan,” ujar saya.

Lalu percakapan di awal tulisan ini pun terulang kembali…