Here’s a thought: Do existential crises even exist?

Here’s a thought: How do you know that you’re on the right track when it comes to something as big as – I don’t know – life?

Lately, the phrase “existential crisis” has been thrown around a lot among people I know. According to what I have seen, I still have a few years until I reach this metaphorical breaking point. A point where I will question what I have – or haven’t – achieved in what seems to be a short time frame of approximately 25 years.

Essentially, people are looking for fulfillment in their life, and as the idea goes, they aren’t seeing it right now. They don’t want to live life passively, so they decide to make a drastic change – move across the country, quit your job, go travelling… something, anything, that will take them – physically – out of the situation that they are currently in.

Quarter life crisis. People have told me that it’s unavoidable, other people tell me that it doesn’t exist. What used to be a mid-life crisis is now put on hyper speed, as if someone pushed a fast-forward button.

A couple of sub-thoughts come to mind as I think about this “quarter life, existential crisis” thing:

  1. Is there immunity? Can there be immunity? Or is everyone destined to feel this sense of hopelessness around this time?
  2. I can foresee people reading this and wondering what I – a person who isn’t close to this quarter age – could possibly have to say about this topic. I don’t proclaim have answers or to be able to relate to how these people are feeling. But, what I can say is that I’m slightly worried. For myself, and also for everyone around me.
  3. I’m inclined to say that this dissatisfaction is not a person thing. As in, it’s not my fault if it happens to me, and it’s definitely not your fault if you are currently feeling this way right now. The dissatisfaction is fueled by everything around us – media, the Internet, peers, social media. It’s a tough society to be living in right now. We’re constantly fed things that we think we need, fueling internal and non-existent competition against ourselves and other people. The fulfillment well will never be satisfied. It continues to run dry.
  4. I’ve had multiple moments where I’ve questioned my life where I was going – are these instances the same kind of thing? Or is it completely different, because I wasn’t of the ‘quarter life’ age?

So this brings me back to my original thought – how do we know we’re on the right track when it comes to life?

Unfortunately, we don’t have access to crystal ball that can look into the future. Fortunately, that means that we have the ability to go through life on our terms without shaping it around a specific ending.  We are free to choose how we go about our daily lives – what we do, who we meet and talk to, where we go, et cetera – and all of those ultimately shape who we become.

The existential crisis that our society faces is that we aren’t happy with ourselves. There is always something to be changed or to be improved. And I’m all for self-improvement. But it should always be self-improvement because YOU want it, not because other people told you to and not because you want to outdo your peers on social media.

Do things for YOU, because YOU deserve the best.



(lead image credit)

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