A friend once told me that I was like a wild horse: I ran far and often, and had to be left on my own to come back. That was years before I left to travel to Asia and Europe; I think he was referring to my proclivity to move from group to group, bar to bar, tastes changing with the weather. I believe that part of me, the gypsy soul inside, has only grown with age. I’ve tapped into the true me over the past year and discovered that while some of us have roots, others have wings.
I’m not sure whom it was that decided we had to stay in one place, have the 2.5 children, a white picket fence and a fancy car to be happy. Why is that part of the American dream? What about those of us who want to explore and discover? I feel like such an outsider dreaming of a life beyond the job, the house and the family. People consider me selfish. How can I be unhappy when I have so much? I think about it everyday and wonder the same thing each night before falling asleep. No answers come to me. I feel like my attempt at growing roots is failing miserably.
I look at those of my friends who have deep roots and try to understand how they are intrinsically different from me. Is it that they have a large family nearby and feel nowhere would be as good as home? Do they love their fantastic jobs so much that when they smell oysters they simply wonder how they taste, instead of fantasizing about the faraway ocean towns they came from? I’m not asking for luxurious trips to Bali. I can start with my own country and explore the U.S. I would be satisfied contemplating life while staring at the Grand Canyon. I want to dance at the South by Southwest Music Festival. I want to drive down the coastal highway in the Pacific Northwest just to see, smell and hear the ocean. I want to sit and read in the mountains of North Carolina and appreciate the stillness of those forests. Having wings doesn’t mean spending zillions on cruises and private villas. To me it means I need to experience more than living to work. I want to work to live, and live everywhere.
I don’t want those who love their towns to think I am belittling their own feelings and dreams. I have close friends who want nothing more than the perfect suburban home with the kids and the pets. When I was travelling I was definitely homesick. But I was homesick for people, medium rare steaks and baseball games. I never once thought I needed to get back to a specific location. I wanted to be where my mom and my friends were – it could have been anywhere. So now that I have a Here, I find myself wondering what’s next. I’ve given up on the perfect job. At this moment it doesn’t exist and I have exhausted myself trying to find it. Every failed attempt makes me feel worse inside and wonder more and more what I am trying to do. I do understand that I am lucky. There are people without jobs, without food, and with real illnesses. Is it ok to be selfish? If this is my one life, shouldn’t I get what I want out of it? The scariest thought however is that I am not 100% positive of what I want out of my life. One wrong choice can bring the house of cards down. All I know is that today I am terrified of losing what I have, but also of losing myself.
What this is all about...
A quarter life crisis is a real thing. I know this because myself, and my best girlfriends, are going through it right now. This blog is dedicated to the day to day banalities/craziness of those quarter life crises. For those of you with questions, the qlc is when you realize that you have to be Responsible. It is when the job you accept is the beginning of a Career Path. It is when the guy/girl you date might be The One. It is when you get pushed out of the nest and you have to flap your wings enough to cushion the fall. Perhaps your thirties are when you get to fly?