The Quarter life crisis: I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.

It was approximately 0.36am when, as I surrendered myself underneath the familiar walls of warmth around me, the increasingly present thoughts of dread came crashing down. I lay there in silence, staring out of the 10cm gap I always leave between the blind and the window sill, as if it provides a comfort that I would at least be able to see the monster who was going to eat me in the night. And then it dropped, a single tear. This scene could have been right out of a music video. A really fucking sad one, of course. An Adele original, wailing in terms that no one understands about a love from ten years ago that you should have most definitely forgotten about by now. Except I wasn’t crying about a lost teenage love . I really wasn’t sure why I was crying at all.

Adulthood tends to have this effect on me. This ever engulfing cycle of responsibility and expectations, hopes and dreams, successes and failures, excitement and disappointment. It’s a whirlwind which I face regularly, a wave of eagerness and fear all rolled into one. Sometimes it smacks you in the face like a breath of fresh air, igniting the ambition from underneath you. And other days it collapses on top of you, sinking you further into the hole that has formed at your feet. Today was one of those days. I’m 25 years old, and I am lost. Lost somewhere between kidulthood and adulthood. I am, as Britney Spears so eloquently put it, not a girl, not yet a woman. But I guess I’m not really lost at all. I know exactly where I am, and it’s not where I want to be. But it’s better than where I was five years ago. Ugh, but it’s not where I was last year. I’m just sort of, floating. Floating in this realm of uncertainty, desperate to have everything figured out but doing the absolute minimum to fix it.

As I lay in bed that night with the weight of the world on my shoulders, every thought and every fear ran through my head. My emotions were Mo Farah and my brain was his track. What the fuck am I doing with my life? What the fuck am I not doing with my life? I’ve put on weight, I sigh, as I pinch my belly underneath the covers. Maybe I’ll try one of those detoxes. But all I really want to do is sit in bed with a sharing size bag of bacon flavour crisps and not share them with anyone. Fuck I love food. Why do I love food so much. Everything tastes as good as skinny feels to me. I book myself in for a 10am gym session knowing that there is a good chance that I will cancel it in the morning, and put myself through more feelings of shame and disappointment. When am I going to buy a house? I don’t even want to buy one at the moment, I love the flat I live in, in fact I never want to move. But all my friends are buying houses, so I should too. And I especially want one at 1am in the morning. Will I ever get married? I don’t think I’m overly fussed about marriage. I’m more interested in the day and wearing a nice dress and getting drunk with my friends and a nice man who seems to share this mutual feeling of thinking I’m nice too. Maybe if there was a faint glimmer of a courtship on the horizon then everyone and their dog would stop asking me when I’m going to find a guy to settle down with. Am I not interested in that young postman? Or the Iceland delivery driver? Or any Male under the age of 40 that looks in my direction? I don’t even want a boyfriend. I want to go travelling. And I certainly don’t need a man for that. Uh, except I kind of do. Because “it’s not safe to go there alone as a girl” or as a group of girls for that matter. And anyway, it’s really fucking expensive to travel alone when hotels are double the price. I want a baby. Oh god, not now, definitely not now. But you know, maybe before I’m classed as an older mum and everyone mistakes me for my kids grandma in the playground. That’s what people think of mums over 30, right? And what if I’m barren Darren? What if nothing works down there and I won’t know until it’s too late and I’ve found a nice gentleman who won’t want to stay with me and my bad batch of human eggs. I’m lonely. Where did all my friends go? Well they grew up, duh. They have lives and they have responsibilities and they have boyfriends and they have hobbies and they have new friends. New fucking friends, ha! How do you meet these new friends everyone talks about? Am I ever going to have the career I want? Will I succeed with my huge dreams, or will I have to go back to working in Boots and selling people meal deals or fitting shoes for old ladies in Dorothy Perkins. Things don’t work unless you do, Jessica. Ah, but that would entail getting through the impossible task of getting started to start with. Just one phonecall, just one mood board, or just one fashion sketch feels like the pressure of ten concrete blocks crushing my bones. Then comes the actual blocks, the creative blocks. When grabbing for my phone and scrolling through Instagram for the 100th time today is a better option than sitting down and actually having to think. Tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow things will be different.

Except 95% of the time, tomorrow hasn’t been different. I’m still waiting by my phone for an email, a text, a sign that says THIS IS IT, THINGS ARE HAPPENING. And as things stop changing, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell yourself to stay positive, to keep in a happy frame of mind, that you have got this. Ironically, I would say that I’m an extremely positive person. I read self-help books, I go to yoga, I meditate, I watch motivational documentaries, I write down what I am grateful for and I practice the Law of attraction. But nothing, not even a serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul can stop the quarter life crisis from grabbing you and turning you inside out.

Does this dread ever disappear, I wonder? Maybe when I start ticking off some “firsts” then the doubt and worry will fade away. Maybe when I actually become an adult. A real one. Not one who’s forced themselves to enjoy adult things likes olives and red wine. But an adult you know? I mean, okay technically I am one. If I went missing, the newspaper article would read TWENTY-FIVE YEAR OLD WOMAN. But that’s not the point. I haven’t achieved full adult status yet. Of course, I’ve switched electric providers. That’s pretty adult-y. And I’ve hosted a Christmas dinner party. That’s quite adult-y too. But I’m still not a real adult yet, am I?

I wait longingly, desperate for my transition to be complete; to know it all, to have it all. But then I remember my last minute night out four weeks ago, where “one drink” turned to 10, and “one quick dance” turned to a full blown Destiny’s Child routine. I think back to our girls trip, our decisions on a whim, our 2am drunken chats over pizza and our epic hangovers the next day. I thank god for my lack of responsibilities, for being able to lie in bed watching shit movies eating pesto pasta and not worry about anyone else other than myself. I laugh remembering all the stupid situations I’ve got myself in, and smile because I have no one to answer to for them. Maybe being 25 isn’t so bad after all.

Published by

Jess Davies

Claiming a tiny corner of the internet as my safe space to share my thoughts, opinions and jibber jabber.

6 thoughts on “The Quarter life crisis: I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.”

  1. Loving the blog so far Jessica. That was a great read.

    I have the same thoughts and feelings which have been amplified recently due to my current circumstances. Am I where I want to be? Have I done enough in life? If the worst happened tomorrow are things in order? That last one may sound a bit extreme but as I said my current circumstances have totally changed my way of thinking.

    But then you have days where you’re content and happy with your lot in life. I have no real complaints but i’ll probably always worry about the future.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. They’ve been great so far.

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  2. Isn’t being an adult a trap, aren’t all the things you describe what people have done for a hundred years or more, we’ve just got nicer phones. I don’t own a house, and am definitely at a mid-life crisis point. But what I’ve learned is it doesn’t matter, if you look you’ll find people to compare yourself to, but you shouldn’t because in the race of your life, you’re running with yourself.

    People around me will say, oh you’ll settle down, you’ll have kids, you’ll own a house, and as I get older I wonder if they are saying that to convince THEMSELVES, that they’ve done the right thing, as I head off to Glastonbury, and they can’t go because of the children. That there’s a lie we’re all sold at the age of 18, and not all of us buy it. I don’t believe our sole purpose on this planet is to repeat the past, albeit with nicer phones.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about being childish, I’m talking about not needing to conform, in life sometimes you take two steps back, and everybody else takes twenty steps forward. Somebody I used to manage, is now more successful then me, on a higher salary, but that’s how life goes, you do compare though, you do think, surely I should be doing more.

    When you’re younger you feel you have all these choices, that your life has endless possibilities, and as you get older, it feels as thou these diminish, your options are closed off, all because you’re older. Truth is though although you gain knowledge, and experience, I’m not sure you ever feel adult, in some ways I still feel like a 20 year old,… it reminds me of a line from Liberal Arts movie ” Nobody feels like an adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret.”

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  3. And that’s why you need a court. The court decides which claim seems closer to the truth based on proof .People can believe whatever they’d like to believe and they’d like to treat others the way they like. That led to what happened in wars, millions have died. And there’ll be wars when there are enough people believing they don’t need the court any longer, when they’ve decided they’d rather believe any claim that seems true enough or good enough, and since there’s no way to convince the other side, violence is the only way out.

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  4. Now that I’m older and definitely officially an adult I view many things differently.
    In the right situation I have as much fun as I ever did. Not feeling old is a key to happy adulthood.
    One thing I’ve thought about many times, is even tho all 25 years of life experience lead up to being an “adult”. In terms of our brains, if science is to be believed , it takes on average 25 years for our brains too reach adult maturity.

    I can say with 100% I felt like the world opened up completely after living 5 years with my adult brain at age 30. I felt a maturity I’d never felt. I knew myself better. What I wanted was all over the place, still. But I knew what I needed with actual clarity. And I still had fun. But what I needed to do I stopped thinking about it and I just did it.

    Imagine my surprise when after 15 years of adult brain, at 40. I felt like all that I thought was so right during my 30’s was now replaced with something even more truthful and strong. It was like a more focused change in perspective that I didn’t see coming. It was as if my 30’s were the accumulation of knowledge and my 40’s, even the beginning, were to be a coming of age. The wisdom. Like the super cliché, life begins at 40 haha

    Now I’ll be 44 in December and I’m excited to see what 50+ will bring. I also know this, I don’t fear any of it. It will be what it will be. I also know the depression and drug abuse of my 20’s is a past memory, but one that made me stronger, smarter and wiser today. I had some fun during those times as well, but now days it’s fun without the hurt and anxiety. I sometimes still don’t believe it, but it just all got easier.

    Enjoy the food. Enjoy the drinks. Enjoy the laughter. Enjoy the sollitude as well. That’s when you learn to listen the best. To know what you need 🙂

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  5. Jess this blog is so relatable it was like reading my own thoughts! Thank you for sharing 😊 it’s so good to know others feel this way too x

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