Teenage Crises (#Blogmas: Day 5)

I once told my dear friend Ester, that I was feeling a lot of pressure and thinking about a lot of heavy stuff. I was questioning what the purpose of studying and being in school was, and what my life would be like after school. I didn't have a clue what career path I was going to take or what my passion in life was and basically what my purpose in life is and what I should be doing in my brief and probably inconsequential time on Earth.
Normal stuff really, for a typical teenager to worry about.
I felt like I was having a 'mid-life' crisis (I even bought a leather jacket later that year as further proof) but Ester helpfully pointed out that I was too young to have one. So, I instead started calling it a 'quarter-life' crisis for accuracy. Ester, being the excellent friend that she is, laughed and told me no such thing existed, and that I should get over myself.
She was right on one of those two things. One, I did need to get over myself, but she was incorrect in believing that a 'quarter-life' crisis was not an actual thing.
Which brings me back to a name I have previously mentioned on this blog, Dan Howell (aka danisnotonfire) and his 'The Quarter-life Crisis Trilogy'.
When I stumbled on Dan's videos I already found him so relatable and funny and just uplifting at times, but to actually see a series of videos of him talking about his own 'quarter-life crisis' I felt so validated in freaking out and worrying about my future as much as I did. And it's nice to see someone have the same thought process as you, because you feel a little less alone in navigating that always turbulent sea of stress and feels.
I've been having this quarter-life crisis for a good 2/3 years now, ever since I got my scholarship to Singapore. I have never been in such a competitive education system, and it was a bit stifling because I usual have things outside of my academic life to lift me up from the drag of the school system, but I was in an environment that sorted of frowned about extracurricular activities. Sadly, I was almost convinced that the stuff that I enjoyed and cared about didn't matter, because what did matter was grades. Thankfully, I have seen the light, and I didn't buy into all of that. And really the only way you can cheat the system is by standing your ground and say, hey! I don't have to live up to your narrow standards. I don't have to be a lawyer or a doctor or a scientist, to make in this world. I just have to do me, and be the best me I can be. You may not dig it, but I will make it just as well as any other teenager out there, as long as I have the determination and willpower to do so. (Fyeah idk why I'm getting so pumped abt this but i like it).
But having a Quarter-life Crisis was not the end of my problems ladies and gentlemen. As Dan quite neatly explained, a quarter-life crisis is different from an existential crisis. An EXISTENTIAL CRISIS (cue deep Morgan Freeman-like voice) is when you start questioning the meaning and purpose of your existence. An existential crisis is usually triggered by the sudden awareness of one's mortality. You are going to die one day, and the moment you realize that, you begin to realize how short a human life is compared to like all of the universe, and everything begins to seem so insignificant and you are in stuck in this endless questioning of why.
Why are humans seemingly destined to life monotonous lives, where all we do is study then work have a job, have a family, blah blah blah blah. How am I supposed to have a meaningful life and make a dent in the universe, when I look at the sky full of stars and feel so small?
My existential crisis started early, way early, back in 7th Grade which made only 13/14 years old. Morbid thoughts for a young kid to have I know, but I feel like having these crises and sorting my way through them, though very messy, has also helped me become a stronger, more mature person. And maybe I am far too mature for my age, but I'd rather grapple with all these feelings now while I still have a chance to affect positive and lasting change to the remaining years of my life, than have these crises when I'm like 50 and too old to do much to change the way my life has gone.
I like to think every teenager struggles with this sort of thing, and really we're all sort of in the same boat. In today's day and age, a young adult at a mere age of 18 or 19 is expected to have some sort of plan set out for the next 20 years of their life, which is pretty impossible. We are expected to have things figured out by now, but life is too messy to ever fully have one's shit together.
And you know what that's okay. We are all in the same boat, and I just wish that people would realize that more often and be kinder to each other and be more willing to offer one another support.
Life is short, and though it might seem meaningless, nothing good ever comes out of worrying excessively. The best we can though is be hopeful and optimistic and give everything we have to trying to find that meaning and make a dent in the universe no matter how small.
So embrace your neurotic quarter-life crisis and channel all that energy into being a better person.
I know I will.
Thanks for reading!
--Karin Novelia, Swimming Through The Sea of Feels


Post a Comment