The quarter life crisis, oh how are we here already?! Too young to be taken too seriously in our careers, but too old to enjoy a dance club anymore. We are rich enough to try multiple restaurants at Charleston Restaurant Week, but poor enough to never have a fridge that is full. If you haven’t deleted your Facebook feed by now, it would be filled with engagement photos and people younger than you having their second child. If you’re still living in 2012, you may call these non-exciting events of life The Struggle and/or First World Problems.
Side note – My senior year of college, the little freshmen designers called themselves “The Struggle Club”. They even made it into the university paper in an article about their ever-so-hard times. Guys, we were you 4 years ago. It’s hard, we get it! How self loathing can you be? I hate the word struggle.
Let me be real for a second. Our generation does not know what struggle really means. Though being hung over like a sloth or running out of Oreos may seem like a life ending departure from Earth, it is not a struggle. That’s why your mom looks at you that way when you’re trying to gain pity. Struggle is feeding eight Italian children a nice dinner while you work the night shift (insert Grandma Catalano’s voice here).
My mom, on the other hand, always says I’m my own worst enemy. In the professional world, I have learned that I take things to heart too often. I let a rude email or an extra hour at the office drive me crazy until 9 pm when I go to bed because I no longer feel like existing – Oh yeah, 2012 kind of drama!
And then I met Mindy. If I have ever felt it was okay to binge on a Hulu series, it is for The Mindy Project, written and staring Mindy Kaling. Consequences include hysterically laughing out loud, constant comparisons to your current life situations, and a constant lingering feeling of wanting to be her.
The same girl crush, ROTFL-feeling came from Mindy’s book Why Not Me? From essay number one, How to Look Spectacular: A Scarlet’s Confessions to her final essay in the book, Why Not Me?, Mindy sarcastically reveals her triumphs and mishaps in life, along with the lessons learned along the way. I couldn’t help but relate.
Let’s start by dishing out the year.
The Struggle Bus & Triumph Trolley of Tarah’s 2015. Did I:
A. Take an amazing trip to Aspen, Colorado… and I don’t even like the mountains.
B. Party it up on Bourbon Street
C. Eat Cuban food and oogle at the Ocean Avenue architecture in Miami
D. Have my home featured on The Everygirl blog
E. Okay I’m just naming everything you see on Instagram already
F. Get audited because some idiot stole my identity during tax season
G. Started saying “help me, I’m poor” on a daily basis because another idiot hacked my bank account while in Aspen
H. Continue the idiocy because my bank refused to give me my $5,000 back (say no to BB&T!)
I. Go from Graphic Designer to Graphic Designer, Project Manager, Accountant, Office Manager, and Girl-Who-Charges-Too-Much all in one foul swoop
J. It’s obviously all of the above
If you picked J, welcome to my club!
If this year has taught me anything, it’s that some things are better late and than never and that life is too short to dwell. Mindy, and the recent events listed above, have taught me to put a little less pressure on myself. So, in honor of my girl Mindy and my personal sanity, I have started my new years resolutions list of how to avoid a quarter life crisis… and no, I’m not probably not going to be losing weight.
How to avoid your quarter life crisis: A New Years Resolution List
1. The Zen Mentality – Take a deep breath and relax. You’re only one person. Learn to let go whatever it is that is holding you up go. Or, if you’re like Mindy, straight-up convince yourself and honor that commitment.
2. Stop taking out the good guys – Like most people that I know, we tend to take our frustration out on those we love the most. Mom and Clint, you are saints. Section 2B; Quit cursing. Seriously Tarah, frustration is no longer cool.
3. Get out of your safe zone – Though I may not have the status to be BFF’s with Obama like Kaling, there should always be opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
4. Quit your self loathing, especially the comparisons – Mindy’s self loathing is never about her weight or her torrential downpours with the opposite sex. She’s hella-confident but is able to laugh at herself too. It’s time more 20-somethings have that attitude.
5. Don’t take life too seriously – a guilty pleasure won’t kill you and neither will a bad week at work. There are some really great things in life, you just have to find them.
6. Start exercising again and feeling good about yourself, blah blah blah
When you get bit by a snake, you have to suck out all the poison, that’s what I had to do, suck all the poison out of my life.
Wait, nevermind, that’s a Mean Girls quote.
When life throws struggle your way, step up the the plate and rip one out of the park. You are in your mid-twenties now, after all. Step off the struggle bus and map out your own journey. 2016 is awaiting!
You can find Mindy Kaling’s book Why Not Me? for just $15 on Amazon.