Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quarter Life Crisis

While this blog post might have a different feel than most, I think it's so necessary!! Jimmy, my mom, and I went to church last night and the sermon was all about the intersection of life and your faith...specifically focusing on life crisis- aka the well known mid-life crisis. But Adam then went on to mention there are several crisis at different points in life and they are all necessary. I was hooked on listening intently to this right when I heard these words come out of his mouth: "quarter life crisis". But before I get into it, I think some fundamentals to actually understand a crisis would be helpful (they were to me when he went over them!)

The definition of the word crisis is this: "A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point". So for me, before hearing this sermon I would probably have told you a totally different definition....because I feel like the word crisis has a very negative viewpoint in society now (ex. financial crisis= stock market crashing, economic crisis= fortune 500 companies filing for bankruptcy). But really, it's a decision point---for the individual, the family, the economy, or the nation involved. I like that gives it a more positive spin :)

Anyways, so the reason I was so intrigued by this sermon (don't worry- I'm not cut out to be a preacher by any means, so I'm not going to re hash it on my blog!) was because literally a year ago, I was in the midst of my own quarter life crisis. Now you are probably laughing/smirking thinking how silly that is. And believe me, other people did too!! But I was so excited to learn that having a crisis around the ages of 18-25 in life is completely normal. Here is some background on my own crisis.

I had been working at Deloitte Consulting for 9 or 10 months around this point last year. Work was my life. Jimmy and I had broken up in late September, which was about 2 months into me starting with Deloitte because we were at two totally different stages in life. I was working non-stop and traveling every week, while he was still living it up in college!! Now there is nothing wrong with either of those 2 things, but attempting to have a normal relationship was not working well for us. So essentially, work was my life....I wasn't involved in anything else outside of Deloitte because I didn't have time and rarely got to spend quality time with friends. The project I was on from February to mid-June was a complete nightmare and had me working 18 hour days some times and gone from KC 5-6 days/week. Jimmy and I had gotten back together because we knew we were "the one" for each other and wanted to make our relationship work, even with me traveling 80% of every week. Needless to say- I was burnt out and essentially began questioning everything. Like why I took this job and if this was the way I wanted to live my life? I got paid a lot...but was that what mattered to me? Or was it other things like having a great relationship, developing myself in places outside of work, and essentially enjoying life?

That was when I realized it: I was having a quarter life crisis. I was questioning the world...the "norms" of what defined success and if this was the path in life that I really wanted to be on. So I started talking to my mom about it and she and I started going to this class at our church on Sunday nights called "Success to Significance" aka "I'm having a mid-life crisis and need to re-evaluate what I'm doing with my life". As you can probably guess, everyone there was around the ages of 45-60. So I was the lone 22 year old coming week after week and making jokes that I was having a "quarter-life crisis". The class, although made for those in their midlife crisis, was fantastic. Doing it with my mom was even better because we learned so much about each other outside of the normal mother/daughter arena. So needless to say, after 8 weeks of that....I was ready to make the decision that had been lingering in my head for awhile: I needed to quit my job with Deloitte. It was the hardest thing I ever did because it was like I was admitting failure to myself. That the job was too much....I couldn't find that balance, and other people could. But after taking that class and talking to people that were farther along in their life that were struggling with the same things I was- but had those regrets of not seeing their kids grow up, not putting enough effort into their marriage because of work---I knew I was making the right decision. And that I wasn't failing, but this just wasn't my path. I needed a job and a company that I could learn, that would challenge me, but also not make me give up life. And what better place in KC with those values then Hallmark Cards? After I accepted a position there and started on September 2....the rest is truly history.

A year ago, when I was faced with this crisis in my life- I had to make a decision on which way I wanted my life to go. If I wanted me career to be the most important thing or if I wanted to find a place that I could have both? Well, the answer to that question is right here: I am now engaged to the most wonderful guy in the world that I can't wait to marry and spend the rest of my life with and have really cute red-headed babies with, I have 2 amazing wiener dogs that I have dreamed about my whole life, I have a house that I absolutely love, I get to spend all the time I want with my friends, I volunteer my time with Pi Phi, and I just got a promotion at work!

Now to bring this full circle and not get too sappy, but as I was sitting there last night at church listening to Adam talk about these decisions or crisis points in our lives- I couldn't help but think of my life if I hadn't made that one decision. I can almost guarantee you that none of the wonderful things that I have in my life right now would be like they are. I wouldn't have dogs, I would still live in my condo, Jimmy and I might not be dating because we wouldn't have had the time to develop our relationship to the level we needed to be at to get engaged, I wouldn't get to work with Pi Phis and I wouldn't have as great of relationships with my friends. It's CRAZY to think of that. But what's even crazier is how thankful I am for God giving me the power to make that decision in my life and the support that I received from everyone around me in making it. I'm very happy with how my quarter life crisis turned out...and even more happy to know that it's a "normal" step in our journey of life. I hope that each one of your crisis turn out the way they should, whether you know that way that is the "should" or not :)

1 comment:

  1. Brittany, this is a great post! We are all so proud of and happy for you and your quarter-life crisis :)