You’re about 25 years old and then it hits—the first life crisis. The quarter life crisis. The one where you have to tackle a career (or lack thereof), pay off college debt if you have any (and face up to potentially having studied the wrong thing), marriage and kids (should you or should you not? Maybe you want to, but there is no man and time is running and… Or maybe you don’t want to, but everyone else is and…) and you suddenly realize you won’t be young forever. From now on, you will start getting wrinkles. Horrors!
Don’t worry—you’re still alive. You still have a shot at this thing called life. And those wrinkles—they aren’t all that serious. Worst case scenario: there’s always botox… or a healthier diet!
Handling the (Seemingly Impossible) Task of Getting Your Ducks in a Row
While one of your friends is working at an up-and-coming company, advancing fast through the ranks, and another is already married and pregnant, you’re still deciding what to do. Or, you’ve just figured it out, but don’t know how to get there. So you’re freaking out because you feel time is running out and you are a failure in comparison to your friends and… Stop. Just remember this instead:
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. ~ Francis of Assisi
Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in ten. ~ Bill Gates
Success or Finding Your Path Doesn’t Have to Happen Right Away
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself in your twenties, or simply fulfilling dreams like traveling the world like a vagabond, or living like a starving actor in Hollywood.
Maybe you also need time to grow and heal from your childhood. Find inner confidence and a true outer radiance because of it. That’s cool. In fact, it’s a lot better than rushing around trying to live up to some invisible ideal of how to do “the right thing.” There is no right path for a career, marriage and life. There’s only your path and other people’s paths. Playing it safe won’t get you anywhere.
Take time to have fun. Then, when you’ve decided what to do, build your skills and courage and do it your way.
You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. ~ Christopher Columbus
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ~ Steve Jobs
Vera Wang was someone who tried different paths before she settled. She became a fashion designer at 40 after being a figure skater and an editor for Vogue.
Julia Child moved to Paris when she was 36 and ended up becoming a chef, famous cookbook writer and TV host. She didn’t publish Mastering the Art of French Cooking until she was 50! J.K. Rowling published her first book when she was “only” 32 and we all know what happened after that… Before that she wasn’t living the high life though – she was broke and had suffered through a divorce.
As for actors, Jane Lynch became famous when she was 43, Connie Britton when she was 39 and Samuel L Jackson when he was 45. In fact, a lot of actors who have made a decent living didn’t start acting until they were in their thirties! Check out this list on IMDB for more inspiration.
If You’ve Run into a Few Walls
Happens to all of us. We fail. But, if everyone around you seems to be getting on with their lives splendidly and you realize you’re the only one waiting tables whilst sitting on a pile of unpublished books, don’t fret. Remember the below quotes instead while also continuously taking small steps to get you closer to the goal—which might mean working as a freelance writer in addition to waitressing at first.
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. ~ Michael Jordan
Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. ~ Babe Ruth
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work. ~ Thomas Edison on inventing the lightbulb, which took a few trials.
Remember that overnight success usually takes seven years of hard work before it happens.
You feel like you’re getting older. Maybe you feel you wasted a couple of years or never had that glorious time in college everyone else seemed to be having, but you could be having a good time right now. The past is gone—it doesn’t matter anymore—but the present and future do.
Take charge of the moment. Stop thinking about the past. Start living the life of your dreams now.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. ~ Alice Walker
Either you run the day, or the day runs you. ~ Jim Rohn
A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. ~ John C. Maxwell, CEO of The John Maxwell Company
So, don’t fear your mid-twenties. Just keep taking it one step at a time and you’ll get to where you want to be.
Cover photo: alpha.wallhaven.cc