Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seventeen-Twentieths Life Crisis.

Last night I tweeted this: "I feel very... I'm not sure. Like I'm missing out on something."

I'm not sure what brought it about, but I just felt sad and anxious and... empty-ish. I was sitting at home flipping the channels and I stopped on a movie on AMC. It took place in a New England town-- there were a bunch of people in a dirty old bar, all in flannel, drinking beers and laughing and having a good ol' time-- My heart sank. I don't know if it was deja vu or jealousy or hunger pangs, but I just felt my life was running away from me. I felt like I missed opportunities that I should have taken. I feel as though I'm missing out on something.

I have a job I love. I'm helping people who are trying to help themselves. But every day I sit here and I think about how much this job doesn't pay the bills. I have mentioned this before, but I hate money. And at the same time I need money. It's a vicious circle. Well, that's not really a circle, is it? But it's a horrible relationship in any case. I wish I could just live comfortably with the job I have now. I wish I didn't have to worry about the bills every five or six days. I wish I had a house and a couple-few kids and a car that didn't stress me out and enough money to go out a couple days a week. I don't need anything fancy. I don't need the latest technology. I don't need fancy suits. I just want to be comfortable.

But I'm not comfortable. And I look back at those things I would love to have, and it feels like it's too late to reach those things. A house? Well first I need to figure out where I want to live. Kids? Yeah right. I'm pretty sure I missed my window for that (unless a couple of teenagers come knocking on my door!). And a car? Jeez. if I can't pay my bills now, how am I supposed to get a nice car? How am I supposed to do anything with the job I have now?

And so I apply for other jobs. I apply for higher paying jobs. I apply for anything and everything. I had an interview the other day at GNC for christsakes. Have you seen me? I am not the best spokesperson or salesperson for a musclehead/vitamin shop. But if they'll pay me, I will do it. I wish I had a job that I went to school for that would allow me the opportunity to use social media and other technology. I wish I could teach creative writing. I wish I could work on my Great American Screenplay. Or maybe it's a stage play.

Sometimes I wish that I could afford to just hole up in a cabin and write and write and write and just do that. I would emerge from my lonely writing garret a changed man ready to change the world with his words. But that can't ever happen because even just typing about it makes me think of all the bills I would need to pay.

Let me take a moment to explain the title of today's post.

Most people have a "quarter life crisis" around age 25, because, I guess, life ends at 100. If we're lucky. But the thing is, when I was 25, I was loving life. I don't remember having any crises with money or my car or anything. The other problem is that when I was 16 years old, I was stumbling around a beach in south Florida and a woman read my palm. She told me that I would not live to see my 40th birthday. At the time, I was cool with this. Hope I die before I get old.

But now, I, well... I could use a time machine. I wish I could go back and fix all the mistakes I obviously have made with my life. Would I go to film school right out of high school? Probably not. Would I spend years and years at jobs I was unhappy at? Definitely not. Would I follow in the footsteps of someone more successful? Possibly. Would I be where I am now? Hopefully not. The problem with going back and fixing all of the problems I have is that the good things in my life would also disappear. I wouldn't have met my best friend from college because I met him in film school. Would I be even more unhappy because I went to school to get a job that would have just made me lots of money? Possibly. But maybe I would be more comfortable.

God. I hate this. Where do I go from here? Do I just try to fix the mess I'm in now by taking a part-time job that will help me pay the bills and continue to feel like I'm missing out on something? Or do I try to start over eighty-five percent of the way through my life?

It feels like a no-win situation you've gotten yourself into, chaz.

Yeah. Tell me about it.


  1. hey quarter life crisis twin. i pretty much wrote the exact same entry last night/into the wee hours of the morning.

    i have no words of wisdom, just wanted to say YES. ME TOO. i wish there were easy answers.

    ps - your great american screenplay/stage play - it should be a musical. just saying. ;)

  2. I guess I'm glad I'm not the only one going through all of this...

    Someone once told me that the 30s are the best time in your life: in your 20s you're still doing what other people want you to do or what you feel people want you to do, but in your 30s it's finally YOURS. You make your own mistakes, etc.

    I'm still not sure if my 30s are the best time of my life, but I do agree that I'm making my own mistakes. And I'm sorta-kinda learning from them.

    And as for the musical, if I wasn't so horrible at songwriting, it definitely would be. I may need a collaborator.