The break ups, breakdowns, and breakthroughs of my 20s
How it started…
I had no idea how difficult the beginning would be to write until I made that the title of this “chapter”. Because where the heck is a beginning anyway? Where does any story begin? And how does one go about deciding where to begin?
So you know what? I’m going to change it to “Where I am now”… Because I’m the author of this… book or whatever it is. So I can do things like that.
And by the way, all this still counts in my word count. Psht. I see your skepticism. What a waste of paper… or e-ink or whatever, but I hate to break it to you… The whole “book” is going to be like this… Just me fucking up, figuring it out, and moving on. Welcome to the Chronicles of a Quarter-Life Crisis. Here’s the no-details spared chronicling of the mess my life has become… or maybe always was, and the journey through (hopefully) figuring it out, and telling you all about it. Enjoy.
Where I am now…
Hmm… This is a difficult place to start too because where the hell am I? Who the hell am I? What the fuck am I doing with my life?
Well, I guess we can start there… with my confusion.
Here I am, 2 measly months from my 25th birthday. If I live to 100, I am official at quarter-life. My life is 1/4th over. But let’s be realistic, I’ll probably live to 82, so it’s more like… *calculating* 3.28… 2050? Wtf. I don’t know how to calculate that… So anyway, it’s more than 1/4th over.
How the hell did that happen? I blinked and all the sudden, here I am… writing about the way my brain is melting into a puddle trying to figure out what to do with my life. Shouldn’t I have it all figured out by now? Shouldn’t I be successfully adulating by 25?
Wasn’t I supposed to have a kid and a husband and a house with a backyard and a white picket fence and a successful career path and blah blah blah by now?
But unfortunately I swing back and forth from wanting all that shit to pushing that thought process down a metaphorical staircase. Fuck that. I’m too young to die (no offense wonderful wives and mothers).
I crave adventure, and travel, and the unknown. Ironically, I also suffer from near crippling anxiety that makes me throw up repeatedly whenever I feel like I’m not in control.
So yeah, that’s working out well for me.
I have spent my life worrying. Worrying about which parent to live with, worrying about how to be cool, worrying about going to hell from kissing that girl, worrying about being crazy, worrying about my mom threatening to commit suicide, worrying about how many drinks my dad was consuming, worrying about getting a boyfriend, worrying about loosing one boyfriend after the next, worrying about loosing best friends, worrying about getting a job, worrying about keeping a job, worrying about quitting a job (26 times), worrying about time moving quickly, worrying about time moving too slowly, worrying about what I’m going to major in, worrying about what I’m going to do with that useless degree, worrying about all the student loans I wracked up, worrying about how I’m going to afford my bills, worrying about not be satisfied, worrying if I’ll ever be satisfied, worrying about my puppy, worrying about my future, worrying, worrying, worrying, and mostly (ironically), I worry about worrying. I worry about the time I spend worrying, the quality of life I’m loosing, the affect throwing up is having on my body, the affect it’s having on my life.
From 6-years-old to forever, I have spent parts of everyday worrying about something… sometimes worrying about everything.
I’ve journaled since before I can remember and looking though those entries is like looking through a book of fears. There are more fears than there are hopes, dreams, and desires, more fears than there are stories of the day or descriptions of my friends, boyfriends, family, and classes.
I would like to say that I’m done. I’m done worrying. I’m ready to face my fears and move on.
But that’s only half true. I am sick of being worried, but it’s not a switch I can flip.
I’ve been seeing a therapist for a year. I’ve been journaling, reading books, watching shows, taking classes, utilizing every single technique that anyone has ever told me about, and analyzing my anxiety for my whole life. And I still feel anxious all the time. Just today I woke up at 2am, tossing and turning, and started throwing up at 6:30am. Why? Well, I could name around 50,000 reasons why, but mostly it’s because I’ve been doing it forever. As soon as the anxiety or nausea hits, my body goes into it’s cycle of panic.
The Capitan (my anxiety) yells, “IT’S HAPPENING! All hands on deck!! Stomach: you know what to do! Make her have to vomit and poop at the same time! Brain: go into overdrive, thinking of everything that you’ve ever worried about… then yell at yourself for worry about it! Gut: stay out of this. Body: feel exhausted, shaky, and wide awake all at once. Heart: accelerate as fast as possible, it does matter why! Breath: get shaky and hyperventilated. Head: start throbbing. Remember to keep it all up as long as possible! AND GO! Move, move, move. No time to waste!”
And so it goes. Every few weeks. Since I was 6-years-old.
But here’s what this book is about: Moving forward anyway.
Forgiving myself, and chronicling the lessons I’m learning, the adventures I’m having, the self doubt, fear, and frustrations I’m having, and the joy too. This book is me trying to figure myself out in what is shaping up to be the most confusing time in my life so far.
This book is about my quarter-life crisis and how I am surviving it, and thriving in spite (and because) of it.
And also, how you can do.