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Sam Dobson Writes: The Quarter Life Crisis

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Quarter Life Crisis

The other night I was at my best friend's new house for girls' night. There we were, sitting out on the patio in the summer evening warmth with red wine in hand. The agenda was typical for girls' night: catch-up, gossip, and reminisce. "How's married life?" "Did you hear about so and so?" "Remember that night in Mazatlan on our Senior Trip?!" As we discussed our grievances with work and our personal lives, what became of some old classmates, and the handful of memories on the menu for that night, I just blurted out "man, life isn't at all what we thought it would be, is it?"

I didn't necessarily make this comment with a negative connotation, but more as a general observation. Don't get me wrong, we are lucky ladies. Take my life for example; I own a home in the recently ranked 10th snobbiest small city in America, I married a pretty cool dude, and I'm a published writer (you can see my stuff in Cigar & Spirits Magazine, in case you didn't know -- insert winky face here). Even with all these blessings, I have to admit that my life isn't how I pictured it would be back when I was seventeen.

One day I woke up and all of the sudden I was an adult. When the hell did that happen? Didn't I graduate high school just a few months ago? No, more like nine years ago, NINE! Holy crap, where has the time gone? Now it's 2014 and I'm a little over two years away from the big Three-Oh. There we were on girls' night, my friends since high school and I, carefully analyzing in our heads just how we got to where we are, where our lives veered off the path we had hoped for. I love my life, I really do. It's just that, to be honest, I could love it more. Again, please don't assume I'm a selfish bitch who doesn't know how lucky she has it; trust me, I know. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want more and I don't see anything wrong with wanting to be better, to go farther, to achieve greater.

If you're life is everything you hoped it would be, then good for you. I really mean that. But if you get this daunting feeling sometimes that things should be different, a feeling that something is missing from your life, then welcome to the quarter life crisis club. The missing piece to my puzzle is my career. I do love working with dogs and helping homeless animals, it is a job that takes a lot but gives a lot too. It's just that my heart belongs to the pen and paper, or the laptop nowadays. My dream is to build a successful writing career and no matter how many homeless dogs I place or how many good days at work I have, I still feel like that piece of my life is missing (I will always continue my work with rescue, fyi). Because I'm human, this void does on occasion get me down. Now that my thirtieth birthday is rearing its ugly head, this void is accompanied with a panic that I'm running out of time to make my dream come true, to get the last piece of my puzzle.

Quarter Life Crisis

During the few days since our latest girls' night where we all came to terms with our varying quarter life crises, I have battled with my own thoughts and emotions on the subject. My husband will tell you that every so often I do (ironically) throw a mini baby fit about getting older, but I have decided that I am no longer going to allow myself to freak out about passing time. I do want more for my life (mainly career-wise) and I will continue to push myself to achieve those goals. There is a good chance that I won't reach my career goal, but if I continue to try my best and work hard, then in my mind I've succeeded. I guess the point I'm trying to make for all my friends in the quarter life crisis club is this, don't be too hard on yourself because your life isn't as your seventeen year old self had planned. Just do what you can to make the life you want today.

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