Getting through a quarter life crisis

IMG_4870Do you celebrate yourself & your accomplishments on your birthday? I love birthdays for many reasons because I think it is a GREAT excuse to celebrate yourself! Today is my 26th birthday & I have SO much to celebrate! The very first thing that I want to celebrate is officially being out of my early twenties. I’ve mentioned this many times before, but I pretty much describe the disfunction of my early twenties as a quarter life crisis. The feeling of being on the other side and finally  moving in a positive direction is an amazing feeling! So, today I want to take the time to not only celebrate myself & my accomplishments, but I also want to explain how I worked through this time in my life to get to the other side. If you are going through this time in your life- this post is for you! ❤

Blog- Quarter Life Crisis

Ah, the quarter life crisis.

It was something that I never really thought was a “real” thing. I just thought it was a phrase that people my age threw around & joked about. But, here’s the thing, I now whole-heartedly believe that it’s a real thing now. Your twenties can be a confusing time as you are figuring things out, adjusting to the “real world”, learning about yourself & where you are supposed to be in this world. I think time is a blessing in disguise, a necessary time meant to happen so you can experience some form of hardship, learn & keep moving forward.

I think it’s also important to understand that this looks different for everyone. What might be hard for me, or anyone one else, doesn’t mean it will necessarily be for the next person. I remember feeling bad for feeling down about where I was in life, guilty about having these harsh feelings towards where I was in life. I now know that this is completely normal.

I also think this can come at different times in life for different people & can also look different for everyone. It’s important to not compare one’s experiences to your own & try to base normalcy off of others. For me, my “Quarter Life Crisis” appeared from 22-25. The thing is, on paper, on social media, I “looked” happy & life “looked” like I had everything together. I had a job right out of college in my field with good benefits, I moved out of my parent’s house 5 months after graduating from college & was mostly financially independent, I got into a relationship—seems ideal, right? But, I was miserable. I was unmotivated. I was confused. I was frustrated.

Why am I not happy? I have everything I should ever need/want at this point?

This is what I believe now to have been an a quarter life crisis. Things didn’t make sense, I was confused, I didn’t know what to do, I was unhappy. So, I HAD to embark on a journey of self-discovery to get to where I am today. A quarter-life crisis doesn’t sound all that positive, but trust me, there’s a silver lining- more importantly, there’s a purpose for it.

This time in my life pushed me out of my comfort zone, forced me to figure out more about myself, become stronger & more empowered, start living the life I’ve always wanted to live. It literally needed to happen, because I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the experience. If you are going through a hard time in your life, a quarter life crisis, where you don’t know what’s going on & you just feel lost & confused- it’s OK- great things are about to happen. Trust me.

Now, after 2.5 years living back at home  with my parents, getting myself back on my own two feet, I’m moved into a beautiful apartment, in a wonderful relationship with my amazing boyfriend, started my own business working from home & truly enjoying every single day. If it wasn’t for this experience, I would not be in this position. I would not be where I am today, I would not be this happy.

I truly want you to get through any obstacles, road blocks, hard times like I did. It is possible & I am going to tell you my main tips for getting through this time. Like I’ve mentioned before, these times look different for everyone, what might’ve worked for me might not work for you. But, I do think some of these tips could be implemented in some way, shape or form for everyone.

What I did to overcome the quarter life crisis


 Focused on myself

This might seem cliché, but taking care of ourselves is often the first thing we forget to focus on during stressful times. I remember the time where I felt like everything had fallen apart and nothing about my life I was satisfied about. I felt like I had worked so hard and wasn’t getting anywhere.

I knew that if I wanted things to be different, then I had to take actionable steps to actually making that change. I wanted to embark on a mind, body, soul journey and really start taking care of myself. I started journaling, going on morning walks, eating better, getting on a workout schedule, signing up for yoga classes, making plans with friends. You know what truly makes you happy. Even if in the moment, you don’t necessarily desire those things at the moment, but making small goals each day to reincorporate those things could be super helpful.

I let myself feel emotions as they occurred 

Do you ever go through a rollercoaster of emotions, where you feel angry, upset, frustrated? Do you beat yourself up for having those feelings? The thing is, you can’t help what emotions come up. If they come up, they are there for a reason. It’s OK to feel angry or upset. Let yourself deal with the emotions as they arise. For me, I noticed that I would feel better after I just let myself feel. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we often want to avoid those negative emotions because they are uncomfortable in the moment. Just remember not to beat yourself up about it.

Talked to people

We often try to bottle up our emotions and not talk about what’s really going on. You can journal all you want, but sometimes you really need to talk to another human. Multiple humans. The best place to go is your family and friends who truly care about you and are there with active listening ears. You can even go to counseling if you need it & it fits into your schedule & budget.

Talking it out also helps you release your emotions & even get advice from others. When you talk to an outside source, they might be able to provide you with ideas that you never even thought of. In talking to people, you might even get a connection from them for you to reach out to and help you along your journey. The more people you talk to and connect with, the better.

BUT, it’s also important to not go into information overload. Know when you are getting too much conflicting information, but take on as many opportunities that come your way from this piece of advice.

Stopped putting so much pressure on myself

I had put so much pressure on myself to get things together, that I could not even focus on the task at hand. The more pressure I put on myself, the further in the hole I seemed to get. Then, I would get even more stressed & frustrated that I couldn’t even focus on anything else or take care of myself.

When I got fired from my job, that’s when I just stopped putting pressure on myself. I was emotionally exhausted and I was done feeling that way. Seriously, the moment I stopped putting that pressure on myself & started focusing on myself, things started falling into place. Some people work better under pressure & that’s completely fine. You have to adjust to what works best for you. Sometimes you have to go through these situations to really learn about yourself.

I never gave up

When times get hard & it seems like nothing you do is working, it’s can be super easy to just give up. What’s the point? When the track record isn’t very good, it’s very hard to continue to stay motivated. You can work as hard as you want, but I believe the most important thing to remember is not to give up on yourself! You can take all the advice & when it seems like nothing is working, it is very easy to get discouraged. This time usually means an incredible breakthrough is coming. It’s unknown when it will happen, but this time is necessary for all of the amazing things that are coming your way.


Like I’ve mentioned, our experiences are all different. My experience might be different from yours & vice versa, & what you need to get through it might be different from mine. I think the main thing to remember is not to give up on yourself & take it one day at a time. Let yourself feel all the feelings as the come, knowing they are there for a reason. If you keep going, keep learning & keep giving yourself permission to go through this experience your will get through it!- Blissfully Jess2

 

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Life After College

Before I dive into life after college, I want to extend my congratulations to those recent graduates!

College is such a wonderful, formative time for most people- it definitely was for me! It’s typically the first time we are away from home, exploring what else there is in the world. When I got to college, I immediately fell in love with the whole experience- from living in the dorm, my psychology major, cheerleading, etc. It was all a great experience & I learned so much about myself. Even though I only went to college about 20 minutes away from home, it was fun being away from home, doing my own thing and meeting new people. I loved my college experience so much, I was honestly not looking forward to graduating. I was excited for a new adventure, but I was sad to leave.

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Walking across the stage to get your degree is such a surreal moment. It’s a moment of pride and excitement. Whatever your story is, it’s always a moment of pride and excitement for the future, full of eagerness to get the career going. I had a job lined up right out of college & I was ready to embrace the excitement of the next chapter of my life. College was great & I was sad to leave, but I knew so many great things were waiting for me. I was so excited to embark on the new journey & see exactly what was in store for me. So, what’s life after college really like?

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On May 3, 2015, I walked across the stage to received my BA in Psychology from THE Otterbein University here in Columbus, Ohio. 

From my own observations, it seems like people get into their career, either confirming that the chosen career path is the right one, or that it’s not a good fit. My plan was to get an entry-level position in clinical work & eventually go back to graduate school to get a higher clinical psychology degree. My envisioned passion was receiving my doctoral degree as a psychologist, being of service to others & helping others. I ended up getting a job here in Columbus at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as an assistant to Psychologists. I administered psychometric assessments to children with developmental disabilities. I won’t go into much detail, but it wasn’t for me. It was a very rewarding job and I learned SO much, but it didn’t end up being fulfilling & I didn’t feel the passion I was expecting. It was a confusing time because I had ALWAYS seen myself in the clinical field, being of service to others as a psychologist. Learning that this path was not for me was hard to comprehend & even more confusing trying to figure out what to do next. I still had a passion for psychology & helping others, I just wan’t sure what I was meant to be doing.

At the time, I thought I was the only person my age going through this, confused about where I was supposed to be. I knew that I had to go in a different direction, but I didn’t know where I was supposed to go. The unknown can be so stressful & confusing. It’s important to understand that everyone’s experience is different, because I also know a lot of people who truly enjoy their chosen career path right after college.

If you are going through a similar experience, here’s my advice for you:

Don’t Be Stubborn


This experience made me realize how stubborn & close-minded I really am. When you don’t allow various options & make excuses, you are shutting yourself off from a world of amazing possibilities. I didn’t realize it, but I would make excuses for every possibility that was brought my way & constantly stressed about the fact that I did not like where I was. I was concentrating on the fact that my chosen career path was not for me. The saying “When one door closes, another one opens” is very true because I really had no idea about the amazing opportunities that were waiting for me. Waiting for me to stop being stubborn & close-minded so I can start down the right path I’m supposed to be on.

Take advice from others


OK so this goes along with my first tip. My mom would always give me options & send me job opportunities & I would come up with an excuse for not considering them. I, for some reason was not open to getting help or advice, even though I needed it. When you open your mind to the information that others have to offer you, you can be opening your mind to things you never even thought of. Sometimes an outside source might be able to look at the situation differently and provide you with exactly what you need.

My mom ended up finding a Business Psychology Master’s program that closely fit what I was looking for in terms of a psychology route. I joined the program & ended up earning my Master’s degree in Business Psychology in January 2018.

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If I didn’t take my mom’s advice & guidance, I definitely would not have been able to continue on the path to where I am today. So, take all the advice & guidance you can get, because they might just have the answers you need!

Don’t Over-Stress


So, this one is extremely hard- I first-hand know this! It’s hard not to over-stress about a situation that you have no control over, especially when it comes to your life & career. But, stressing out about it will not do anything but make things worse for you. Trust me, it’s exactly what happened to me. Typically, stress makes your brain all foggy & you won’t be able to focus very well. The moment that I just let myself stop worrying about everything is the moment everything seemed to fall into place. You can read more about this on a previous post on: Getting Fired Was The Best Thing to Happen to Me.

The transition from college to the real world can be hard, but it’s also such a great experience. You learn & grow in college, but growth happens even more so when you’re in the “real” world. You literally have your whole life ahead of you. You’re in control of your own life & your own experiences. Even though life after college the last 4 years has been pretty stressful for me, I’m actually very grateful for it. If you’re going through the stress, the thought of knowing things are going to get so much better should be incredibly empowering! It might not seem like it in the moment, but if you take my advice, it will be worth it!

Other than figuring out your career path & where you’re supposed to be in the “adult” world, you end up learning even more about yourself. I went through a pretty formative experience in college, but more so in the years that I’ve been out. Even when things kind of felt dysfunctional & overwhelming, it needed to happen. Sometimes those things need to happen to get to where you are truly meant to be.

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Welcome to “Adulting”! 


In college you are just getting a small glimpse of what it means to be an adult. The government says you are legally an adult, but you do not understand until you are out of college. You’ll start to experience things like:

-Extra responsibilities, like bills & taxes (boring)

-Making friends is hard & awkward… how does one even make friends?

-You use your planner to help you remember to spend time with your friends or even just to text your friends

-You prefer to be home from a night out by 11pm (maybe even 10pm)

-Hangovers are 10x worse in your mid-twenties

I think the most interesting part is everyone around you starts getting married & having children. Your Facebook newsfeed will go from parties & other college-related things to being full of babies, engagement announcements & wedding pictures… & you will actually love it.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW


Whatever you do, wherever your journey takes you, do not get discouraged. Don’t read into what other people are posting about on social media. If it seems like everyone else is landing their dream jobs, living the perfect lives, while you are struggling, that’s not what’s happening. I did this exact thing and after talking to others about their experiences, that’s just not the case. You cannot compare your success to others because it truly looks different for everyone. Don’t beat yourself up if you think things seem to be harder for you than others. Like I’ve already mentioned, this journey looks different for everyone. If it seems hard & overwhelming for you, it just means that you are on your way to bigger & better things. Sometimes things need to get harder before they get better & that’s OK- it’s just a part of the journey!

It has taken 4 years to get myself settled- it doesn’t mean that’s what will happen for you- but I am very happy I went through the experiences that I did. Without those experiences, I would not be where I am without them. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed college, I can tell that I am going into the better part of my life as I am about to turn 26. Trust me, the same thing will happen for you!

Life is just a wonderful journey! Enjoy it!

- Blissfully Jess2