Eff this quarter-life crisis

No deadlines. No school to distract me (to one degree or another) from memories. No major, overarching goals to rule my life now that I have my MLIS. Yesterday, when my therapist asked me how I was feeling, I didn't know what to say. I wasn't feeling great, but I wasn't in deep despair as I had been a few days prior. (Instead of going to the ER like I had early last year, I took an Ativan, which didn't work, and made an urgent appointment with my therapist, which helped.)

Without school, with the holidays gone, and with the trip to Florida with the in-laws over, I don't know what to do with myself. I'm so used to chaos, she pointed out. And that chaos helped to keep the spectre of memories somewhat at bay. You know how, when you're in pain, distracting yourself with a movie helps? Or the proverbial pint of Ben and Jerry's when one breaks up? Distractions help. Temporarily.

And here I am, no distractions other than my husband, my three cats, a dirty house, and a full time paraprofessional job. And all these seashells from Florida that I'm busy dreaming up crafts for.

It was funny when my therapist pointed out that this is like a quarter life crisis, because I didn't think that it would happen so close to my 25th birthday. Whatever happened to the 6-month grace period after graduation?

And joy of joys, life crises happen every 3-5 years.

I suppose it is at this stage when people start thinking about kids, but I'm saving that for my next crisis.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out what to do for my career. I want to find something that I can pour my passion for information and organization into, I want something that will help me grow while I help my organization grow. I want opportunities to learn new things, to branch out, so I can pull all sorts of random bits together to make a new idea, develop new ways of being efficient, new ways of helping people find information they need. I'm craving change.

(I tried to change by cutting my hair super short, but I chickened out when my stylist thought it wouldn't behave. I don't really want an unruly wavy semi-fro.)

But the jobs aren't there. Yet.
Or if there are jobs, they're not here, not in Chicago.
Or if they are here, they don't pay the bills.

I'm trying to be patient, to savor my free time, to clean up the house, to cuddle the cats, but dammit, I want change. Wait, let me clarify. I want good change.

I want to travel the world. I want to buy our apartment and buy the one next door and combine them into a fabulous home-sized place, ready for the future kid crisis. I want to foster more cats. I want to take a year off and photograph the city. I wonder what it's like to work in a bakery? Does Jeanne Gang need a librarian? I want to bring the Little Free Library to the streets, and build a successful transition home for the homeless. I want to help children in foster care, and build up their confidence through books.

I want to know what my life will look like--or at least, I want to know what will happen this year.

But right now, I'll settle for something that will help me pay off my student loans.

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  • Holly, mine happened when I was 28. I wasn't married, I wasn't getting any closer to finishing my PhD, and I slept in a bunk bed in a house full of five roommates. You'll find those things to throw yourself into, and you'll make peace with the things that you need distraction from--sooner or later. Thanks for this honest, true depiction of the "quarter-life" crisis!!

  • I still feel this way at 40 (well past quarter life unless I *really* start taking care of myself).

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