Quarter-life Crisis

Posted in Aging by Ashley Franklin on October 15, 2009
Tags: ,


I wasn’t sure what I should call this post, so I did a keyword search at the WordPress homepage. I put in aging and anti-aging and posts about the elderly came up. (Is saying old people offensive?) I tried another search, putting in twenty, and lots of posts about twenty-somethings came up. Apparently, I’m not the only partially neurotic woman in my twenties. It’s good to know that I have company at this time in my life. Before today, I had never even heard of the term quarter-life crisis.

Is it a crisis though? What exactly constitutes a crisis? To me, a crisis is something huge that alters your whole life. Aren’t we in an energy crisis? That seems far greater than my current woes of turning twenty-five. Energy issues seem more deserving of “crisis” at the end. If it’s not a quarter-life crisis, what is it? A quarter-life meltdown/ tantrum/ panic attack?

I remember teasing my dad when he turned forty. He went out and bought a motorcycle. I’d teased him about having a mid-life crisis. He laughed it off  but later asked if I really thought he was having one. I’m not going out and making flashy purchases. I’m just overanalyzing most of the things I’ve ever done and hope to do. That’s normal, right? I guess it’s normal if you don’t do it every single day for the majority of each day.

How are you?

I walk into work yesterday, and I’m greeted by a little boy. I asked him how he was doing. His response: “I’m five.” It was his birthday. Will I have the same response when I turn twenty-five in a couple weeks? Will I declare my age to whomever  will listen? I doubt it. I don’t look my age, so that’s not the issue. I still get carded at the movies. I also got carded at the mall a while ago. You have to be eighteen or with an adult on the weekends.


As if I’m not struggling enough coming to terms with being twenty-five and not living up to my own expectations, life sends me a slice of comedic relief.I received an offer in the mail for a magazine for women in their forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond. Way to kick me when I’m down, life. Way to kick me then point and laugh. I should rephrase that. It’s not that I’m down. I’m in a state of deep contemplation, reflection, and projection. As it is, I could be in my forties, fifties, sixties, or beyond feeling the same way. Now that would be reason enough for a crisis. I am very grateful for life. I just need to figure out what I’m doing with it. Hmmm…maybe the quarter-life crisis is really an overwhelming state of indecisiveness.

random magazine offer

random magazine offer


4 Responses to 'Quarter-life Crisis'

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  1. Tricia Ferdinand said,

    Honestly, the quarter life happens in some shape or form to everyone. And it lasts for a period of time (months for some, years for others). All it really is is a realization that life is real, that the things we do and say have to matter, more so now because society says we’re adults. It just brings us face to face with the things we have to do. We always get through it though…somehow.

    • transego said,

      So how’d you get through yours and how long did it take?

  2. I’m thirty now and have been in this process of rediscovering myself for almost three years. I don’t know who to blame for the unrealistically high expectations I had before but I am just as disappointed with my self for not being able to make something of myself with all the knowledge and experience I gained. The crisis I believe is a necessary evil – we need to unlearn who we are and start again. We can only hope that we make it through.

    • transego said,

      So you too started your path of rediscovery in your twenties. It’s funny that you often hear of a mid-life crisis, but the feelings can occur at any age. Many passed off my frets and concerns of turning twenty-five as silly and overdramatic. However, the feeling of having an unawareness of myself beyond certain social circles, mandates, or labels were real. Going through this stage, especially when I first started feeling this way, I found that having a support system or just an unbiased listener was crucial. I believe there’s no greater feeling than when you know you have at least one person to love you through the process of finding yourself. Then again, the only thing better may be if you find that the one person who is loving you is yourself.

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