I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about setting time limits for yourself when pursuing a man. For almost a year she’s basically been rearranging her social calendar so it can accommodate the “chance” that this guy might finally pay her some attention, while he has lived his life with no consideration for the part she may or may not play in it. 6 months is my limit. If you’ve spent half a year, texting, direct messaging, calling and lastly confronting and he has made zero effort to show you he’s interested, it’s time to chalk it up and cut your losses.
I’m realizing that’s kind of what a quarter life crisis feels like. You reach a point in your life where you realize if you haven’t hit certain markers to achieve your goals, it may be time to get new ones. It’s plagued by the sobering thought that as much as you want your dream, it may not return those same feelings. For months I’ve been fighting this lump of anxiety in my chest and fleeting feelings of failure and inadequacy. And I can’t help but feel guilty because on paper, my life actually looks pretty good. I have a profession that I enjoy going to everyday where I get to help young people AND get paid. I’ve recently gotten into a tax bracket that gives me the promise of financial stability, I’m surrounded by a select few family and friends that love and support me and I’ve gained a following from freelance writing that gives me a nice paycheck on the side. But as I approach thirty more and more come creeping the reminders of goals that I had hoped to accomplish by my late twenties.
I can’t have possibly peaked yet, I just got started being an adult. This can’t be as good as life gets. I remember when I just graduated high school. I was a late-bloomer. I wasn’t quick to get excited about goal setting and career paths. I was happy if I could get off work early from the Dairy Queen on a pay Friday and spend the weekend away with my boyfriend in his dorm. I didn’t want for much and in many ways that was the best time of my life. But then a few years later I decided I wanted more than being my boyfriend’s bottom broad and “soft serve operator” listed under my special skills on a resume. That’s when my very own American Dream started forming and I realized I wanted a job that didn’t encourage you to wear jeans, real bills that looked good on my credit report like a mortgage and a car note, and I even got a career goal: I wanted to be a writer. I’ve been blogging for about two years and while I didn’t expect to be Necole Bitchie by now, I guess I just would have hoped to have made a little more progress. In many areas of my life I feel like I’m working harder and harder and seeing less and less recognition for it. And I have to be honest, as passionate as I am about something I love to do, at the end of the day we all want to be recognized, not on the cover of Us Weekly necessarily, but appreciated and noted for your work. Even better if you can be compensated at the same time.
Facebook has a way of making you feel like the biggest loser in the world when you’re posting about your new Jessica Simpson wedges you nabbed on sale while your friends are posting their shiny princess cut engagement rings or their newly decorated nurseries. I also noticed friends that I swore were riding with me to the end are now veering onto some paths of vastly different priorities. I always found comfort in the fact that I was in pursuit of something great, and for that I had to sacrifice rushing into being someone’s wife or mother. I was going to be a writer; I had a blog and 246 Twitter followers who were fans of my work to prove it. But as I checked my blog stats on New Year’s Day and they weren’t what I hoped, I found myself wondering if I’ve been wasting my time. Just like I told my friend in pursuit of her Mr. Right, maybe I had missed some key red flags that should have happened to signal that I could experience some significant success as a writer.