20-something seeks reassurance about lack of headway in life
August 30, 2012 8:55 PM Subscribe
I am in my mid twenties having some kind of ridiculous quarter life crisis. How can I constructively think about a Timeline For My Life? What are the things I should actually be putting my energy toward worrying about at this point in my life?
posted by sockypuppeteer to society & culture (12 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
So I feel really young and ridiculous asking this question, but I am about to turn 25. I am more or less happy with what my life has looked like so far, but I feel like I've made some sort of timeline in my head where by the time I'm 30 I have some nice career and a long term relationship and am settled in my forever-city where I will live happily ever after with my dream partner and a successful career trajectory.
And that's just not going to happen, probably. I have bounced around the country (and to some extent, world) since I moved away from home, my longest relationship has lasted half a year, I've had a lot of interesting jobs but they're in a field where it's hard to find a full time permanent position. And I guess I'm not ready to even start working toward any of that-- I still want to do some more international travelling, if I met my dream guy I would probably always wish I'd had other serious relationships before him, I have no idea where in the US I would eventually like to settle.
Anyway, I objectively know that this is Okay (I think-- right??). I'm not really living aimlessly now-- I like my jobs and they are relevant to what I am interested in doing as a career, I'm self supported, I like the places that I am living, I generally like the guys I'm dating even though they're not what I have in mind for a life partner.
But I can't shake the feeling that someday I'm going to turn around and realize that it's Too Late to build those good, stable adult things. I grew up in a small town-- all the people I grew up with are five or more years into their marriages, buying houses, sending their children to kindergarten, etc. It's not at all that I am jealous (I am sure that this would not have been the right path for me), I just have this nagging feeling that I'll get left behind or something.
So I guess I'm looking for input on how to think about a Life Timeline in a constructive non-panicky way. And I'm also looking for any input from older people on what they do regret about (or are glad about) that they did or didn't do in their mid and late 20s, in terms of how they set themselves up for later decades. So, I'm looking for advice on what actually is important, as well as advice on how to relax about the things that will come with time.