Yes, you’ve read it right – third-life crisis. I mean, many people claim it should be quarter-life crisis, a socially constructed term that pervades society for pain and confusion that 20-ish year olds experience generally. Oddly enough, I can’t seem to find how such a term came about on the web. But ultimately, that means, we have to live it up till hundred and sure, that is definitely possible considering modern medicine and technology. I thought about it and considering my lifestyle which isn’t the healthiest (I’m pretty sure that the peeps at my nearby Popeye’s know who I am), I think 75 would be a better estimate. I do not think I am being illogical or mental, and of course, if I could live to a hundred, then maybe I would. But the journey of life shouldn’t be about the number of years but how we live out our limited ones, ain’t it? So sure, let’s chuck the terms out of the window and let’s just say I am having a life crisis now that I am turning 25.
I still remember when I was 9, and I was super thrilled to turn 10, because hey, my age would have 2 digits in it and how cool was that. I will be basically an adult by then. Sure. What I didn’t realise was that my age will always be 2 digits till the day I die (unless I hit a 100, but…. yeah no). Growing up was all I wanted when I was younger. I used to slather on the makeup, wear heels and “grown up” clothing because that is what adults do. Now, I am an adult and there is nothing I relish more than walking around in my towel (or not even) at home or throwing on a top and shorts to go out as social norms dictate that we have to be decently covered and no one should be in a towel or their birthday suit at the grocery store. Oh how times have changed.
I generally have anxiety and recently in the past few months or so, I started panicking about my life choices and my decisions. I started to wish fervently that I was younger again and the inertia to grow up mentally was on an all time high. Things were changing. People were getting married, people were moving out of the country, people were growing up. And then there’s me. Sipping my bubble tea like I always did in secondary school and wondering what the heck to do. What should my next steps be? What do I need to do to become successful in life?
But really, what does success even mean? Why do we have to be successful? Who are we being successful for?
Deep questions, huh? Yeah, because I’m deep.
My mind was whirling and all these questions were popping up, but I could not really answer it. I could not figure out what I should be doing in my life. I found myself laying in bed some nights, questioning how I am living my life, my schedule, my anxiety, my job, and sometimes, even this blog and the whole makeup shebang. Yes, shameful to admit it, but sometimes I look at my makeup collection and a little guilt washes over me and I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products and just my lack of self-control. Then again, sometimes I look at it and I feel warmth emanating from my heart. Human beings are odd little things. Changes in the workplace, changes in the whole social media platforms (I am looking at you, Instagram) and just waking up to my bones cracking is warping up my perspective on life and I am clueless as to what I am supposed to do. If this isn’t a crisis, I don’t know what is.
Slowly, despite still not having clear answers, I’m started to gradually understand a little more and become more comfortable with all the uncertainty and change.
Because the only sure thing in life is change.
was am pretty uncomfortable with change. Being someone with an intense need for control in her life, it is pretty scary to think that majority of what happens is really out of my control. I can’t control people, their choices and their worldview. I wish I could, but then again, who doesn’t? Life is going to keep moving on, and I need to learn to get on board. Change will happen. It happens to all of us. Everything in life is a choice. Our reaction and our understanding to events are a choice. I need to learn to accept that change is inevitable and I need to choose to move on. There is no point dwelling in the past, as that part of life is gone. Memories form and that’s it. Nostalgia is like a double edged sword. It can warm the heart with happy memories, but it also can tear it apart with bittersweet ones from the past. Oh, life.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Back to my incessant deep questions about being successful. The thing is, everyone’s notion of that it is will be different. That’s just how it is; people think differently. Success can mean appreciating what we’ve got, no matter how little or how small. Success can also mean being filthy rich with crap tons of material belongings. The list just goes on.
Success is such a fluid term and it changes with time and with perspective. We strive for it, but that’s where the problem comes in. We have no idea what it is exactly. So we look to others for ideas and inspiration. We compare. This has been going on since young. Look at children and how they demand for toys the other kids have that they don’t. We are human and social interaction inevitably brings about comparison. What I realised is that despite comparison being something that we subconsciously do, we can control how we react to the comparison.
I was feeling so overwhelmed in the past year or so because people around me were getting engaged, married, moving etc. And I can’t help but feel left out. Where is my man??? Where is that vacation that is said to fully rejuvenate me for life? Where is my bikini ready body? We all know the answer to that last question so let’s move on. Jokes aside, it did make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. It doesn’t help that social media is so pervasive these days and we can’t help but compare to people all around the world. Here I was being satisfied with my popeye’s meal after an intensive day of work and the joy just dissipates when I scroll through instagram and see all these influencers travelling around the world, looking sleek and stylish. Sure, I would love to be lounging in the Maldives in a bikini (or maybe not, thanks to all the popeye’s). But instead of comparing, I decided that I should just focus on my own little joys. These social media posts shouldn’t make me hate my current situation, but inspire me to work harder. Now, of course, what I decide to work towards is a whole other issue.
Comparing myself with others will never make me satisfied or happy. It will only make me feel inadequate and that is absolutely not true. I should also never compare myself to others to make myself feel better. Ultimately, what I decide to do should be for me. Who am I trying to be successful for? Moi. Not anyone else. Not to prove anything to anyone. Not to do so for the sake of winning the comparison game. That’s utter bullshit. Everyone is on their own path, their own timeline. Life is not a race or a competition and there is always more to go around. I saw this quote floating around recently, and thought it was perfectly apt : A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.
When I was younger, I thought I would have it all figured out by now. I would be married and have children by the age of 30. I would be sipping tea in the afternoons, reading a book with red lipstick and a french knot, while my children roam freely. Oh yes, that was my idea. Now, thinking about it, I can’t help but laugh with a twinge of sadness. Marriage and goodness, children, are issues that are faaaaaaaar into the future, if it even happens. But I also realised that I have so many more things to do, places to go, and experiences to experience before settling down and running after a child that belongs to me (read: I do that sometimes at work, except all the children aren’t mine, thankfully).
And I don’t have it all figured out. But that’s ok. In fact, I may have figured out…. about 5% (and I am being really boastful here). But I guess, everyone is winging it somehow, some just do it with more confidence. It’s ok to be confused sometimes. But that should not stop you from taking action towards something that you want, be it fried chicken or world domination. Small baby steps, I tell myself, and slow and steady always wins the race.
This post would probably have no rhyme or rhythm to it, as it just involved me typing away on the keyboard while the rain poured outside. But I hope that a line or two here would help you in some way. If not, just know that you have a fellow human being who does not have any clue as to what she is doing, and hopefully, that makes you feel a little better that you’re not alone!