The Quarter-Life Crisis & My Experience
I just turned 20 on the 13th of December 2015 however, my experience with the quarter life crisis had started long before then.
It started when I was at the age of 18 when I was about to sit for my GCE ‘A’ Levels. There was a moment in that super busy point of time that I stopped and began to wonder… what’s next? What will I do after my ‘A’ Levels? What course shall I take in university and which path/career shall I endeavour? It all began to dawn on me that I have no bloody clue. I do not know what I want to do, I do not know what I want to be and I do not know what life has in store for me. It was pretty depressing having such an epiphany at one of the most crucial point in my life. So, like all other clueless teenager, I decided on following what my parents want and that is to take up a science course in university. I honestly do not mind because I am interested in science. However, it wasn’t clear to me whether I would want to pursue a career in it. We all know that studying a subject and having a career in that subject are two vastly different things.
From then on, every single day, I think about these things and it gets pretty confusing over time. I realised that there was so many choices and so many hard decisions to make. It wasn’t easy to just decide on one thing knowing that whatever happens from there on will be ALL MY FAULT. I carried on thinking, wondering and dreaming till I enlisted and graduated as a senior officer in SCDF.
During one of my thinking moments, I realised that I’m not going to be working for someone else. I’m not going to be ordered and told what to do by someone else. I do not want to be part of an organisation that does not respect creativity and freedom. I realised that what I really, really want in life is to be free from being controlled and to be free from the routines of an 8-5 job.
So, I began to brainstorm ideas and ways to get out of the system and to get out from all the possible unhappiness if I were to embark onto a career that controls my life. However, I encountered a problem. The ideas disappear as quickly as they appear. There were not much possible routes that I could take. It was depressing and I fall deeper into this quarter life crisis. I began to question what I really want in life. I began to question whether my current passion will always be my passion. I began to wonder if I can survive all alone…
I watched countless videos on Youtube about successful people and about startups and their failures… I read countless articles about how to be successful and how to build yourself from scratch. I listened to a lot of motivational speeches from people like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Vishen Lakhiani (Mindvalley) and many other motivational speakers. I tried to understand how and what makes them successful. I tried to pick up their positive character and their willpower to succeed. However, after all of that, I am still stuck in this quarter life crisis.
Some people may say that it is a part of life and working in an 8 to 5 job is normal. One of those people are my parents. However, I violently rejected that notion and I promise to myself that I will find a way out. I am not going to be stuck and contribute to a community that does not encourage any form of creativity or freedom. I totally hate the idea of being told what to do and being told when you can knock off. I hate the idea of not being able to do the things you want to do whenever you want to do it.
However, I am still lost but an epiphany struck me. I am afraid.
I have all these wonderful dreams and ideas that I’ve kept in my notebook and in my blog but what I realised is that I lacked action. I did not GO ALL IN. I did not put in my 101% in a new endeavour. The question is not ‘what I want to do’ but instead the question should be ‘when do I want to do it’. In the past few days of thinking, I realised that there’s no such thing as a million-dollar idea. What makes it work is the action. It doesn’t matter if your idea is not perfect. It does not matter if your idea is already in use. What really matters is that, you take that first step and GO ALL IN. You will learn a lot from the experience of taking that first step more than sitting around dreaming without any action. The entrepreneurial greats did the same thing. They did not know what they are getting themselves into but they did it anyway. They were passionate about it and they went ALL IN.
I realised that I will not achieve anything by dreaming. I need to take that first step. I need to remove my fear of failing and my fear of being ridiculed by people. You don’t find your passion. Your passion find you. What I need to do is to go out and experience.
Being in my 20s, I am nobody. I have no experience in anything. Basically, I start from Level 1. I realised that, I need to get out and experience life, taking risks and failing at things if I want to truly succeed. I know that life will throw many curve balls at me but I think, to escape my quarter life crisis is to just get out and experience.
I’ve not yet found my passion but one thing is clear. I NEED TO GO ALL IN.
The Quarter Life Crisis is a period of life which is not easy to navigate but I hope that whatever decisions that I make are in my best interests and not for the sake of others.