Last year when I turned 25 I thought, this is something great! I celebrated it by blowing up a cake.
Part of this was just for a cheap laugh about not cutting the cake, the other was a more serious note as so many people are now finding that turning 25 is a moment of fear, the beginning of an end or what’s more widely known as the quarter life crisis. I wanted this cake to symbolise the fear of turning 25 and destroying what it stands for – a birthday is a time of celebration, not regret.
I started writing a script around my 25th birthday and planned to make a video on everything from Photoshopping my grandparents who are in their 90s to look 25 (which by the way is worryingly easy) I also had animations and deconstructions of articles both from magazines and online. Actually, there was loads of stuff but in all honesty I never got round to doing this so I now just want to post what I wrote before I turn 26 this year.
As far as I’m concerned, all my compulsory education has ended, collage and university is all but a memory now. I have only just begun my independence and it feels great! But for many, turning 25 is the start of the so-called ‘quarter life crisis’. It’s like a junior version of the infamous mid-life crisis that involves, to name a few, over expectations of what we’re supposed to achieve, questioning of decisions we did or didn’t made and fearing the future. Although I understand these worries, I do feel it’s somewhat unnecessary. Life is quite simply about living. If you’re still breathing, reading this post then you’re doing pretty well. We should seek happiness from the everyday and not let money, looks and age dictate our lives, especially when we’re 25.
As someone brought up in the UK I can say we’re all taught a capitalist vision where ‘more is better’ and this more is often measured in money. I can guarantee money does not buy you class and as the saying goes, it does not buy happiness. So, why do so many people seem unhappy, why does this crisis exist? Perhaps it’s that our whole lives we’ve been told to dream big, but never act upon these dreams.
I think this represents life well
We’re supposed to get from step one to three, but never told what two is. It always reminds me of a sketch from South Park with the underpants gnomes where they try to explain a three step process to success. Phase one is collect underpants and phase three is profit. They don’t know what step two is, neither do we and that’s where the joke lies. Life is a little bit like this, step 2 should be seen as the joke it is, not as a worry. Often we seem to be in a perpetual state of believing we’re in phase two, but I would argue that this is just a mindset.
When growing up we’re told we’ll be a superstar, own a huge businesses empire, or some other celebrity style figure, but never that the world would crumble if there wasn’t someone who picked up the garbage every week or was there was someone to sell food down the local store. Sometimes we’re already at step 3 in the stage of profit and we don’t even know it.
It would seem that these stories of everyone ‘making it big’ are fabricated from an ego trip by those who are financially at the top. There is a huge over-expectation from our youth, but many don’t seem satisfied with the things that truly matter. Imagine if we measured everyone as a gear in a large piece of clockwork, every part is vital for the machinery to work and the current capitalist view would say the biggest gears are those who have the biggest incomes, what if the biggest gears were measured by how many other gears they turn, their interaction in society? That person who picks up the garbage may do so for hundreds, maybe even thousands of people – surely that’s the biggest gear? The person who is a millionaire but only through inheritance is now one of the smallest? Perhaps we’re all the same sized gear and you remove one you stop the clock from working? So is success just a matter of perspective and the current image is just distorted?
I’ve talked to people who are three times my age who can’t wait to see something new and interesting on holiday, or meet up with the family on the weekend, those are the moments they live for and their stories make me proud to be part of the human race. It would seem that these are the moments that we should live for and when we do, the idea of life not being ‘what you wanted’ a third of the way through is as silly as me regretting not playing with a toy just after my 8th birthday.
There is no time limit on enjoyment, but you can most definitely waste your finite time on this earth worrying about an imagined limit to do things. This video is about the quarter life crisis and the reasons why we shouldn’t care. *Also, a lot of this is relevant to all ages so don’t think you’re being left out just because I mention the quarter life crisis ;)* Just enjoy the fact that you’re living, that’s the main thing!
2015 was not a great year…
It saddens me to believe that some people are not happy with their lives because of the way they have been groomed by the media around them. You may disregard this comment and say it’s not the media’s fault. Sure, but media is a broad term that encompasses what we see around us, whether it be online or around the streets, perhaps a conversation that in term has been led by another’s opinion. It effects not only the way we feel, but how others react to us. When I look back at the past year I see three people I used to know sadly take their own life, and a couple more who have already made attempts to end things. Not only is this a horrific tragedy, but an extremely high percentage considering their ages average out around 25. It’s not even that I know a select group of people who are troubled that I happened to befriend, many of them are from school or friends of friends – they’re everyday people who are currently in a bad place…
I would like to add at this point that I am well aware that people have troubles that I couldn’t even begin to understand, both biological and psychological, but considering the grounds of some peoples depression and suicidal thoughts usually base around not being happy with where they are in life, I can’t help feel the obsession with age, aesthetics and apparent financial success does not help.
I now fear what the future will bring for even more people I know and I believe it’s important to stop these ideas of over-expectation and underachievement right now to prevent future tragedies. Also, for those who feel lost in this world, upset or whatever may be going on – know that you’re not alone. Please, if you know someone in this position, give them a helping hand, don’t ignore them. Sometimes when a person is trying hard to keep their head above water, all they need is a life preserver to keep them afloat, not to have you swim after them. A simple action can make all the difference. Of course I know some people often need help and this can be draining on one person, but if everyone chipped in then I can’t help feel the world would be a better place.
Another way to look at it is the reactions from my mother and her friends. For someone to take their life at a young age was almost unheard of when she was 25, this could be mere speculation, perhaps even coincidence? Or it could be an eye-opening anecdote to the reality of our generation, surrounded by high-end dreams created by the world of media.
I’m just summing up a large subject
There is so much content online that a simple search will yield thousands of results on the quarter life crisis. In fact, you don’t have to look far to find information on the points I make. Back when I planned this project last year I was going to deconstruct some magazines and adverts online, but the content kind of spoke for itself. Now I try to find a copy of these adverts to show you I can’t find them – I think they often pop up on websites when searching and are often randomised. You may have seen adverts about loosing weight, growing muscle, making quick money – they creep out every now and again. I did find this website, check it out if you don’t mind destroying some brain cells: http://bit.ly/1qXGZzn
Age, looks and money seem to be idolised by the media and it’s screwing with peoples minds. It makes others feel that it’s OK to talk about as well, like various articles from websites such as Vice.com will try to make it sound as if a quarter life crisis is what everyone should feel. It’s nice that some of these websites try to help but I believe prevention is better than a cure. It’d be better if people didn’t have these feeling in the first-place so I’m hoping this article will help. I really do hope!
Some websites on the quarter life crisis
‘Digital (live) makeup’ built into phone
Whilst making this video I remembered that my previous phone has something even called ‘makeup mode’ where the photos you take will smooth out skin and even change its colour to make you look different – here’s a before and after for me to show you what I mean. This obsession is weird, right? Why do people feel the need to manipulate their lives, who are they impressing, why are we supposed to be impressed?
Lets sum this up
I could probably talk all day about this subject but I would like to sum it up by saying, stop worrying about the way you look, your perceived age, weight, money, whatever it may be. We are all different and that is not something to fear, it’s to be celebrated! Lets face it, what piece of art sells for more? A reproduction printed off or an original work? Keep original and you’ll be worth a million dollars, as the saying goes.