Friday, October 15, 2010

Quarterlife Syndrome

Quarterlife crisis. It's a thing no scientific nor thorough study has ever dared to explain.

A few weeks ago, one of my friends O, confessed through a posted status on his Facebook wall that he might be going through this syndrome now.

It was a relief for me that I (hopefully) had been way past this stage. As early as January 2009, when I was still 24, I had started manifesting the symptoms of this emotional turmoil. I remember whining to my other friend JT about these dissatisfied feelings I had as if nothing "functional" has been happening in my life.

The feeling worsened as I neared my 25th birthday last year. It was then I confirmed without further consultations that indeed I'm going through quarterlife crisis. But weeks ago, going a year after that confirmation, I sat with the book Floundering at 25 by Michelle Meneses and I am now smiling my heart out. Before you reach quarterlife age, you tend to be IDEALISTIC. Just like the author, I confess I planned my life so much without anticipating that changes are inevitable. I, just like others hoped what they call "a healthy adult life" -- a prestigious career in a posh office, fat paycheck and with a fiance and Tiffany solitaire to boot.

Funny but what and who I am now is the exact opposite. Thankfully, I was able to surf through the syndrome well (I think). So, what did I learn from this point of my life and from the book that made sense? Here:

  • If you have dreams to realize, don't postpone them until much later.
  • If you're doing what you have always wanted to do, regardless of a tiny paycheck, be proud of it.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect job or a perfect career. You need to lower your standards and make the most of what you have.
  • Four wise advice: Sacrifice. Be real. Be smart. Be practical.
  • While we tend to use the paycheck as a measure of our worth, most of the time, it is the reality check that evidently matters to us.
ON FRIENDSHIPS (AND THE GAY FACTOR) This my dear college buddies R, G and H should read!
  • Gay men are much fun to be with because they have a different sense of humor -- without trying hard to be.
  • There's a safety factor. Being with them feels safe (if not so safe); it's like getting drunk with a man with precisely no fear of being taken advantage of (and you already know why).
  • They provide perfect platonic relationships.
  • When dating, behave like a chooser and not a beggar. Dating should be about selecting and not just settling. You should not compare a girl or a guy to a pair of Levis jeans that's on a 70 percent off -- you just grab and go as if it's the last pair on earth!
  • Date with ZERO expectations.
  • You really have to kiss a few wrong frogs before finding the prince.
  • Enjoy the moment. Dating should spell fun and not a roller coaster ride or else, you'll get really tired of it.
I suppose, quarterlife crisis is something that is actually a rite of passage some, if not all, of us wo through. For those who seemingly didn't mind or felt, lucky you. But if you're just like my friend who is presently going through it, keep your cool. It's just a phase and just like everything else, it will come to pass.

photo courtesy of this site.

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