Friday, September 23, 2016

Dead End Dreams | Surviving Your Quarter Life Crisis

***Dedicated to my brother, Bentz. You got this!*** 

"I've got nothing to show for these dead end dreams. My heart will ache again, it seems. Cause you're not in my arms and all I want to do is keep my promises to you."

Dead End Dreams - Man Overboard

A week before I turned 26, I heard this song sitting in the passenger seat of my brother's car for the first time. My brother and I don't necessarily have the exact same taste in music, but this song will forever resonate with me as the anthem of my quarter life crisis. 

Growing up, I imagined that I would be so much further along in my life by the time I was 25. I thought I'd be married, ready to start a family, with a thriving career. Instead, I still held the same bank teller job that I got right after graduating from college, and I had just broken up with my boyfriend of one year. 

It was the absolute lowest point of my existence. Every day, I felt anxious and panicked, and I'd constantly berate myself with questions. Why am I still a bank teller? Will I ever find a career that I love? Why did I break up with him? Is what he did to me really THAT BIG of a deal breaker? 

Instead of enjoying the career opportunities that still awaited me and celebrating my new freedom as a young single woman, I was left frozen, questioning whether or not I was good enough. I felt absolutely worthless and pathetic. 

Up until this point in time, my life was a series of joyous accomplishments. I lived each day with optimism and positivity. I'd set goals, crush them, and make new ones. As someone who grew up so idealistically driven, it was only a matter of time before the reality of the economy and workforce I had been thrown into would catch up to me. It was the first time I had ever genuinely felt depressed about where I was in my life.  

If you're experiencing your quarter life crisis right now, the key thing to remember is: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Experiencing a quarter of a life crisis is inevitable nowadays. I went through it. My family and close friends of mine went through it. I even know others who are going through it right now. Most of the happiest and successful people I know have had their own quarter life crisis stories to tell, which leads me to my next piece of advice: TALK ABOUT IT. 

I personally LOVE stories! Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Talk to strangers. Everyone you meet has a unique story to tell, and I enjoy hearing the experiences of other people's lives whenever the opportunity arises. What was your childhood like? How did you become the person you are today? What inspires you? What do you want to achieve in your lifetime? 

You may not be where you want to be right now, but talking to people who have been in a similar situation can help a lot. You never know whose story may inspire you or lead you to your next venture.

The way I see it is things tend to balance themselves out overtime. You can only pull an arrow back so far before it has to be released and launched, which brings me to my next point: THIS IS TEMPORARY.

Once I accepted that my situation was only temporary, I focused on strengthening my emotional intelligence. I became more self-aware of how I dealt with my emotions, and I did my best to empathetically and judiciously weigh my decisions involving others. I wanted to understand why I felt the way I did, and I wanted to accept them as they were, without letting them control me.  

As long as you keep moving forward, new opportunities will present themselves in time. You don't have to have everything figured out right now. Believe me. I sure didn't have anything planned out the way I wanted it to happen. But with time and deciding to live mindfully and enjoying my life exactly as it was... I found YouTube. I created this blog. I found ipsy. 

The next steps you take in life will reveal themselves as they are meant to. The lyrics of "Dead End Dreams" still resonate with me to this day, but they have a different meaning now than they did when I was 25. I want to keep dreaming, even if I have nothing to show for it. I'm not afraid of getting my heart broken, because I'm strong and I don't need to be in a relationship to be happy. I want to keep my promises to everyone that I love, especially the promises I've made to the person I love most, MYSELF

XO,
Denise