Thursday, February 12, 2009

The pangs of being 25 something and somewhere there

If you’ve crossed the effervescent age of twenty five just recently you would probably empathize best with this blog. Prominent characteristics – recent member of the rat race called work, just couple of years out of B-School or any Post-Graduate, unmarried/single and yes trying to figure out what life wants of you and what you want of it. The most common issue that I have encountered in my conversations a wide range of people who’ve past 25 recently and experienced myself is:

What is your true calling in work? - You don’t seem to be enjoying what you do, or atleast think you don’t but aren’t sure, or you know someone who is enjoying theirs better. You aren’t sure you want to continue the same work for life unlike your parent/s. Thinking doesn’t seem to help as you either are blank, or are sure what you don’t want to do, or get such obscure out of the box ideas that your middle class and risk averse mind doesn’t want to harbor it further. Dissatisfaction with status quo and not knowing an alternative seem to torture you day after day.

Given the wide spread occurrence of this thought it may be fair to conclude that we – the current generation possibly do get disillusioned easily. Books in general don’t seem to have the answer quite rightly so. Pro Bronson (in his book W should I do with my life?) states that there are two ways by which people figure it out - one being lucky to know what your calling is, and alternatively two - by being forced into a situation where in survival is at stake and the work that one is pursuing automatically becomes the calling. Possibly the recent good times (before the crash) and the fact that most of us are financially better of than our earlier generations were may contribute to more of us being dissatisfied.

How do I plan of tackling it? Hmmn… by taking calculated risks or so I have been thinking for a long time. Easier said than done.. Its complicated because at times you get a sporadic kick (feeling of exuberance) at having something right at work which makes you feel albeit temporarily that you have found your calling and then you question your dissatisfaction! The games your mind plays or rather you play with your mind :)

Apart from this the other common thoughts that seem to weigh down on the average bloke who has just passed 25 are:

1. Sudden confusion of one’s self identity

2. Anxiety concerning life goals, and finances in the long run

3. Lack of confidence in self and one’s present accomplishments

4. Loneliness, even more so in crowds or gatherings

5. An presentiment that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you

6. An overwhelming feeling that no one really understands you

7. Aversion to social interactions

8. Tendency to hold stronger opinions – knowing new things that bother you a lot surprisingly so. Involves realising that its your mind devil which needs to be tamed but at the same time finding it unshakable.

9. Emotional frustrations in personal relationships

10. Anxiety in taking decisions and a constant fear of failure

Labeled as “Quarter life crisis” this seems to be very commonly prevalent in both India & the world. An article dated 13th January 2008 puts India’s median age at 24.9 years – with over half its billion people under 25 indicating the huge demographic dimension. The term “Quarter life crisis” originated from the U.S according to some news articles. Help is handy it seems as there are apparently books on coping with the Quarter life specifically. There is a website called & even a movie called Quarter life crisis. To sign off the blog lyrics from a John Mayer song, Why Georgia Why , that rings aloud:

"it might be a quarter life crisis
or just the stirring in my soul
either way

I wonder sometimes
about the outcome
of a still verdictless life
am I living it right
am I living it right
am I living it right
why, why Georgia, why

so what so I’ve got a smile on
It’s hiding the quiet superstitions in my head

don’t believe me
don’t you dare believe me
when I say I’ve got it down

everybody is just a stranger
but that’s the danger in going my own way
I guess it’s a price I have to pay
still everything happens for a reason
is no reason not to ask yourself if you are
living it right"


The Only One said...

Nice Blog!!!

Priya said...

a very nice well written blog :)it has striked me that when i crossed 18 and that as years go by, my most miserable day is the the birthday since you want the time to stay still so that day doesnt go by...its' a different feeling of growing-up i guess...and the baggage/responsibilities which manifolds with age :) quite liked this blog

shark_surfs said...

thanks :)

@ priya, wow to have it 18 wow... i agree with the birthday being the most miserable day in this respect... every jan ah! becomes a torture in thus respect..

Deepa said...

totally understand wht you are saying...i turned 25 about six months ago and experienced..and continue to experience all the things you's a total emotional whirlpool so to say..and there passes not a day when I contemplate giving up everything and going to the Himalayas..:P..but then the reality of pizza and pasta strike ! Anyway..Nice piece..