People chuckle when I say “quarter life crisis”. Then they laugh when I say I’m having one. Maybe throw in some eye rolling. Oh sure, a middle aged man can run off and buy a silly little sports car convertible (no, Dad, I am definitely
not referring to you and your new Corvette…) and Jennifer Lopez can date a 25 year old, and everyone just shrugs it off as a mid-life crisis. Totally acceptable.
But what about the halfway point? The mid-life crisis is usually a period of regretting things you may or may not have done earlier in life, of wondering what happened to the first half of your years, what would have happened if you had made different choices. You are, essentially, worrying about the same things that I am–just from a different perspective. I’m looking up at life like it’s a great big mysterious mountain filled with insurmountable obstacles, and you’re looking down wishing you’d enjoyed a few more of the views along the way. I don’t want to have to endure the mid-life crisis–the regrets–so I am freaking out now about what to do.
“Oh, Kaleena,” they always shake their heads. “You’re doing just fine. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. ”
That’s right around the time I want to scream , “I KNOW, you (insert frustrated and garbled expletive), that’s the F-ing problem!” I have my whole life ahead of me and I have no. idea. what. to. do. with. it.
Let me rewind.
In August of last year, the entry in my personal journal contained only the following words:
“My boyfriend of five years just left me. I’m getting fatter by the minute. I have no career. I have no money. I have no goals. THIS IS OFFICIALLY A QUARTER LIFE CRISIS.”
After settling down a bit, a month later I wrote this:
“I’ve been doing a lot of pondering recently. Reflecting. Ruminating. Vascillating between what I want to do and what is realistic. And then it occurred to me: why can’t the two be synonymous?
We recently had a brainstorming meeting at work in which we envisioned the future of our company in 20 years. The rut we all found ourselves falling into was saying that what we wanted wasn’t realistic. We knew that we wanted to grow but couldn’t envision it happening because we didn’t have the money. So the exercise was to imagine that someone waved their magic wand and gave us all the money we needed, thus putting aside our reservations of what is realistic, and to really look at what we wanted for the company.
One day, turning onto the road in the direction of my office, I decided to apply that exercise to my own life. It was practically an epiphany! I was suddenly able to see through the fog of my self-doubt and discern what a few of my dreams actually are. Whenever I’ve been asked what my “dream job” would be, I always ho-hum, mumbling things about how I have no idea what I really want to do, but that if a genie came out of a lamp I would wish to be a traveling writer/photographer for the National Geographic– “but that will never happen, I’m not a good writer, I want a steadier income, I don’t know the first thing about photography, etc etc” I would always be quick to add.
So here is my epiphany: why can’t I pursue my dream job?”
And thus, to make a longer story short, this blog was born. It’s a far cry from National Geographic but at least I accepted my desire to write and here I am, putting the wheels in motion. I even bought a DSLR camera and took a photography class, so keep an eye out for some developing photography skills. Mad skills.
The plan for this blog is to write about travel, adventures, overcoming the “QLC”, and hopefully inspiring my readers to take advantage of all life has to offer. There will also be a lot of sections on food (cupcakes! cheese! pasta! oh such glorious wonders), maybe some brewery reviews, and probably a few anecdotes from my absurd romantic escapades, just for fun. Where it will lead–I have no idea; the goal is to eventually be a travel writer, though I am open to going where the road takes me. But I realized that, in a way, all those annoying people were right– I do have my whole life ahead of me, so I might as well get started on figuring it out.
In the mean time, I’ll draw some inspiration from good ‘ol Steve Jobs:
“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”