Jun 5, 2010 | Cicero
Some years ago, when I was a couple of years out of college and trying to find my feet in the corridors of the High Court, I received an e-mail from a friend. We had met a few months back when I had been to his city for a flying visit. We had cribbed about the difficulty in adjusting to life after college. Perhaps he remembered that conversation and included me in his distribution list. The e-mail went like this:
I think that you all know that I am not much of a forward person... but this is something that deserves a read for all of you... please do so...
They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now. You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you. You look at your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you. Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't. One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life.
You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward. You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person. One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic. You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!
What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out. Send this to your twenty something friends....maybe it will help someone feel like they aren't alone in their state of confusion.....GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF US!!!!!
A few days ago while searching in my Inbox for the registration details of a website, I came across this e-mail. As I read this, I went back to the time when I had opened the e-mail for the first time. It had meant a lot to me and I had forwarded it to quite a few of my other friends. (That is how chain mails are born Baby!!) What this one mail made me realise was the universality of our experiences.
Before writing this post I googled the text of this email and discovered that this text is still popular. In fact there are even facebook communities to quarter life crisis!! I also discovered the author (finally) in one of the pages (Brenda Della Casa).
My English tutor used to say that sometimes imitation of a writing style or quotation of a writer's work is the best compliment you can pay. So thanks Brenda, for the words which arrived in an e-mail - an aeon ago.
Image Courtesy: here