Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Quarter Life Crisis

Since I was ten all I wanted in life was to be a writer. I even wrote a series about the Que's - a family of ten girls, and while the premise of the stories were pretty lame (I even drew pictures of the girls which were all sorts of hideous), I was sure that I was destined to be the next Ann M. Martin or Francine Pascal.

In high school, I went to numerous writing workshops and camps where most of the girls wrote about darkness, wore lots of black, and brooded over cups of black coffee (which I only mention right now because I am being so emo right now wearing almost all black, a t-shirt covered in French poetry, and listening to soundtrack music - oh the irony).

In college, I majored in English and journalism, had two internships at magazines in New York City, took creative writing courses, and was the News Editor of the college newspaper.

I apologize for the rambling resume above, but I just wanted to illustrate that I had plans. I had plans since I was ten years old to be a writer, an editor, to be like my mother who was also an editor. Everything I did was leading to this one goal. Working my ass off to get into AP English, making my own magazines to send to my pen pal when I was a little girl, missing Thirsty Tuesdays in college because I was editing the school newspaper. Starting this blog...

Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly introspective, I wonder how I ended up here with this career because if you had asked me as a teenager if I thought I would have had a job in marketing/corporate event planning and I would live in Chicago, I would have laughed. In high school, I thought I would go to college in Scotland, move to London, and work at Marie Claire UK. No joke, I think I put those exact words in a time capsule as a senior in high school.

My point being is that things change. Plans change. Things don't always work out the way we think they will. And not only that, but dreams change. My dream forever was to be a writer, and now I'm not so sure that I want that anymore. I couldn't be more surprised, but I really do enjoy planning events and meetings and parties and if that is what I did for the rest of my life, I would be thrilled.

Which brings me to this blog. I'm sure you have noticed that I've taken a quite long hiatus from writing. And really I think it's because I was have a crisis about my life, writing, my future, and it seemed wrong that I should write a blog about giving work advice when I didn't even have anything figured out myself. I've always wrote here that I want to be a writer, that I hated my job because I should be writing all day, that I wanted to go back and get my master's in journalism. I even tried freelancing for a little and I just sucked at it because, man oh man, is freelancing hard with a capital H. And I felt like a hypocrite saying things like, 'I'm following my dream' when really in my head I was thinking that my dream might not be my dream anymore.

I guess what it came down to was that I felt guilty that I wasn't doing what I had set out to do at that young age and not only that I was mad that I spent all that energy and time in high school and college devoted to building a portfolio for career that I don't even have now. Oh, and I turned 25 which obviously means I have to look at my life and go, 'Crap! What am I doing?'.

What it comes down to is that while yes, I wanted to be a writer, I'm not sure that's where I am headed anymore. But just because I don't have it all figured out doesn't mean I can't give good advice or commentary on being a 20-something in the work force. In fact, I'm pretty sure almost all of us are in the same boat. So why not commiserate together?

Which really brings me to my point. I'm back to blogging but not for any end goal. I'm not going to view this blog as a way to get a writing job or to get discovered. I'm going to be writing for fun and for myself with my four fabulous contributors.


Katie said...

Glad you're back -- you were missed! I think you're right in that everyone goes through this stage. I think when you finally realize that it's okay to dream, and it's okay when those dreams change, then you're finally on your true life path.

tris1978ton said...

Sure, things change, but I think you are probably more on track than you thought. At least you are doing what you love to do and are good at. Oh, BTW, quarter life is really really young! You've got plenty of time to create new plans and make your dreams come true.

LiLu said...

Plans do change- but it's all for a reason.

And, generally speaking, it's all for the best, IMHO. :-)

Amy said...

I'm glad you're back, too. I've felt very much the same way. I always wanted to be a writer, I studied journalism in school, and I worked at it for a while...then I got sucked into PR/marketing. One of my goals for this year is to spend more time writing, not for money or even on my blog, but just for me. I'm hoping taking the pressure off will make me want to do it more and really get into it again!

LittleMissBusiness said...

I think it's great to try different types of work because not only can you learn different skills but you can narrow down what you enjoy doing and what you do not. My college internships were great experiences but I certainly have been able to steer my career path a certain way due to the trial and error mentality!

Seattle Kim D said...

I'm glad you're back. I understand you're feelings. It's a very difficult thing when you realize your "plans" are quite working as ad you had hoped/wanted. Everyone has moments when they realize they've changed their mind or want different things so don't stress, just follow your instincts and work towards your goals. If you enjoy what you're doing, keep it up. If not, explore every option until you find the one that suits you. :)

Arnold said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I

would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have

enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


unwritten said...

Glad you're back, i think it doesnt matter what you're doing, as long as you can honestly say you're happy, which it sounds like you are!
My dreams changed too, and i'm really not complaining because i love my (new) job and it really suites my personality more so than my dream (which was to be a fashion designer--of which now i'm doing brand management in the fashion industry, same industry but completely different aspect!)
i think you're great!

Mrs Soup said...

Welcome back! I'm glad you are going to write for you! It's almost so much more special that way.

And I totally understand. Just see the other Working Girl post....*sigh* Still going through the crisis.

Lose That Girl said...

I think you need to be less hard on yourself. You are 25 -- still in the beginning stages of whatever you choose to do.

Back over ten years ago when I was 25, my best friend (also 25) had one of those lists that compiled what she would have achieved by the age of 25, 30, 35, and so on. Putting such pressure on yourself is crazy. As someone who has been there and seen what it can do when people don't hit those milestones when they plan/expect to, I would say go with the flow and don't push too hard. It will come..whatever your passion is, it will come. For some, the journey to go through all sorts of different careers is what's meant to be. It's okay to change careers, change plans -- it all adds to making you the person you are now...that's a good thing.

Jamie said...

Nice to see a post here from you, lady.

You rock.

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rads said...

Oh Boy! have I been thru all this "what am i doing n where am i heading" confusion...but ironically in my case, i never thought i'd be a writer and ended up being one and moreover i enjoyed being one...i am an electronics and telecommunications graduate and never did i dream or think about being a tech writer...but here i am...and like u said, i think that freelancing is tough too...people change n careers change depending on a lot of circumstances...that's life!