My Quarter-Life Crisis: I Wanna Be A Grown Woman Too!
“You know you’re about to be grown, right? You are grown at 25, but when you turn 26 this month, that’s really it. Next is 30!”
My dear, dear, blunt friend told me that this morning. And while she smiled and went on her way, I was left with the nerve she hit. Not the last one, thankfully, but if I’m not careful I may only have a few left! Between wrestling through childhood struggles, figuring out what I want to do with my life, and being reminded of my singleness by all the weddings and baby showers, this past year I’ve been having a quarter-life crisis! And from the texts I get from my friends, I see I’m not alone.
I remember going to college full of hopes and dreams for my future, and graduating with a head full of doubt. Four years later, while I’ve had the opportunity to work with some talented people and had a great deal of fun along the way and still am, I often wonder whether I’ll ever get anywhere near where I dreamed I’d be in life. I’m getting to do what I love (writing) by way of different platforms, but doing what you love doesn’t always pay the bills. Every now and then I find myself on Indeed.com considering applying for a full-time job somewhere I don’t want to work, so that I can stop living the life of a starving artist with supportive parents. I want to be able to pay my bills, give gracefully to my church and other organizations, save, shop, eat good and travel like other grown folks. Well, I do some of that now, but I want to be able to without praying for a freelance or babysitting gig afterwards to make up for the money I just spent treating myself. I want to live comfortably. But I also want to do what I love. Is that asking too much? I mean who buys cake not to eat it too?
Maybe it’s my parents’ fault. Yeah, that’s it. They spoiled us, especially me. Now, I can’t imagine having to work somewhere I don’t want to. Then again, I blame all the famous people on television that say you can do anything you put your mind to. Or maybe it’s the (false) prosperity gospel teaching that made me think naming and claiming was the key to unlocking my dreams. Better yet, all the positive thinking speakers and authors sold me some false hope too by giving my words more power than they actually have. None of these people sent a memo to the economy, employers, or my future husband that they were suppose to give me what I desire.
But wait, I’m 25, so I can’t really blame anyone else for what I decide to believe, can I? I can choose what to believe now about success—namely that success is not defined by status. If I’m supposed to be a janitor, then being a CEO is beneath me. That might sound strange, but success is determined by purpose and purpose is prescribed by God. And if you’ve ever heard any Bible stories, then you know God’s purposes are quite different than ours and His means are always unconventional. I could be right where He wants me to be, but too busy looking at where other people are to appreciate and invest where He has me. Now, don’t get me wrong, because of my spoiled upbringing, I do have to check my laziness and be sure that I’m not actually hindering myself. And I should dream and set goals that seem far-fetched, because I don’t know what might be in-store for me. But I also have to pursue contentment in the here and now. I have to embrace the truth that contentment is not about having what you want; it’s about wanting what you have.
Here’s to 26 and whatever it has in store!
Caresse Spencer is a writer for urban and Christian culture by way of Reach Records, Blueprint Church and the Rebuild Network who is currently working on a campaign (All is Vanity) with artist/songwriter Natalie Lauren to help women discover the best path towards getting more out of life. Check out her website CaresseDionne.com and follow her randomness on Twitter @caressedionne