I’m going to be honest with you; I feel stuck and I have no idea what I’m doing.
It’s easy for me to post a pretty photo on instagram, to say that everything is fine, to make a joke or to respond with “oh yeah, I’m doing surprisingly well” when people ask how I am. It’s a lot harder for me to be honest about what’s going on. It’s difficult for me to say that I feel lost or hurt, not because of what anyone might think, but because I’m scared that if I do, I’ll actually feel it - that all these emotions I’m trying so hard to ignore will come to head and I’ll be knocked over with feelings that I’m too afraid to deal with.
Normally, I don’t like to talk about hardships until everything is worked out. I wait for the happy ending before I tell the story, assuming that no one wants to hear about the chaos of the middle. During “the middle” I often find myself running away from everyone I know, busying myself with a great adventure as a distraction from what’s actually going on (as proof… I’m writing this from a villa in Bali).
I always thought this was the appropriate way to deal with problems. My family was never an emotional one; despite addiction and money problems, we often put on a brave face and pretended we were just like every other white picket fence family in our neighborhood. It wasn’t until I was reading Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, that I realized we weren’t the only ones.
In her book, Brown addresses this desire to skip past the middle and to wait to tell our stories until we’re on the safe side of a happy ending. At the beginning of chapter two she writes “the middle is messy, but that’s also where the magic happens.” When I read that, something clicked. I don’t watch movies or read books because of the happily ever after but because I like relating to a character’s story and going through hardships with them. I like knowing that I’m not alone or the only person that might be struggling with something.
I resolved that in 2018 I would be more honest with everyone; my family, friends, followers and even myself. This is my first stab at it. I’m feeling lost and scared that I don’t know what I’m doing next or, honestly, right now. I’m tired and burnt out and just want to do something meaningful. I think I’m in the midst of (another?) quarter-life crisis and I’m not sure what to do. I’m hoping that writing this down and sharing these feelings will help me better understand myself. And, I’m also hoping that others who are going through something similar will know they’re not alone.
Has anyone else felt this way or had a quarter-life crisis? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.