Archive | April, 2013

Quarter-Life Crisis

18 Apr

It sure has been a minute since I last blogged. March was an unintentional hiatus as I didn’t want to write until I had something exceptional to post! And here we have it!! Unlike all my other great posts that came to me whilst I was in the shower, this one came whilst I was sitting on a tissue padded toilet seat! Yes I know how unflattering but I too have come to terms with the notion that females do indeed “poop”, and while I’m not one for public toilets, desperate times are another channel for one’s thoughts.

The last few months have been extremely intense in light of my COMMITMENT and FOCUS theme for 2013. And to top it all off I turned 25 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! (My friends will appreciate I have finally admitted to my real age as opposed to “18” for 7th time) I have been bombarded with a crash course of Adult101! Advice on career choices, finances, relationships and marriage and children have come at me from all angles. And honestly I’m overwhelmed with an abundance of lessons and things ‘I should have learnt already’. However will I put it all into practice?

Definitely sounds like a Quarter-Life Crisis to me!

When I refer to this “Life Crisis” I mean it less in the disaster sense of the word and more like an emergency WAKE-UP call. Until this moment I’ve been, as Colin Hay put it, “waiting for my real life to begin.” In light of this, I managed to condense all the lessons into 3 bullet points that I believe will help the transition into Adulthood and to help overcome this ‘crisis’ in the disaster sense of the word.

You wake up one morning and think “There’s got to be more to life than this.” Whatever you’ve been doing for X number of years has left you feeling unfulfilled, uninspired and not challenged. You know that you’ve merely existed and have allowed the wind to just blow you in any direction. You know you haven’t even reached one tenth of your potential; you’ve been suppressing greatness and have settled for ordinary.

When this penny drops, you awaken. Whatever spell you were under, you are released from. Free like a baby that has left the warm, wetness and familiarity of the womb, only to be ushered into cold, dry and noisy surroundings. (I think I’m having a Water Birth, I hear it’s a better transition for babies) But don’t panic! This knowledge is the starting point and is doesn’t matter whether you’re 25, 30 or 55. Or even 19, 64 or 81, it’s like a new birth.

So what now?

START PLANNING!

One of the first things a newborn baby learns is to associate the feel of a person’s touch, the sound of their voice, and the sight of their face with getting his or her needs for comfort and food met. That’s when you ask yourself questions like “What is it that I really need?” “What do I want?” “What do I lack that is preventing me from moving forward?” “How can I materialise my thoughts?” You have to be honest with yourself, because living a lie only leads you to where you don’t want to be. You have to get naked! Be attentive to the sounds of your inner child.

I was never a “planning” kind of person, but I did once write a song that had the lyric, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” I’m now seeing that it is not enough to figure it out as you go. Be INTENTIONAL! Most people don’t like to plan because it requires quite a bit of thought-processing and the frustration of failure brings misplaced doubts in the overall objective.

However, you must remember if a plan fails it’s not all loss. Just go back to the drawing board.

So how does one plan?

one-step-at-a-time

It’s not just about working hard, but working SMART! You’re trying to cut down a tree with a ‘butter knife’, so the saying goes! Sure you may eventually cut down the tree but I’m sure you could have done it in less the time, with less effort if you’d gotten a sharper knife or better yet a SHARP AXE! Planning helps you to count your costs before you build your house.

Perhaps you want to get married and have kids! You save, budget! (Yes, Ivy I’ve HEARD you). I know so many couples who want to get married but can’t afford it. When they were single, they were too busy going to Ibiza & Malia, ‘poppin champagne at the bar’ every weekend and Nandos every other weekend (I’m definitely guilty of this last one).

photo

Therefore get your finances in order. Get the experience for the career you want. Start learning how to cook! (Yes ladies, back to the basics!) Make the necessary changes and sacrifices. Rather than waste time dwelling on all the things you didn’t have or do, start planning! Now is the time to begin. But you must be DETERMINED and WORK YOUR PLAN, lest it becomes mere words!

STAY IN YOUR LANE!!

A month ago, I had dinner with a friend and she gave me a long “talk” about how I’m almost 25, not married, without any kids, ‘what exactly am I doing with my life?’ As much as I laughed it off, it echoed what my aunt said weeks before when I shared exciting news of my school friends that recently had children.

I actually sat down and thought about it; my age mates are settling down having kids, getting married, becoming CEOs and here I am waiting for Scandal or Vampire Diaries to come on! It got me thinking ‘why is his/her 24 different to my 24?’ Then it occurred to me (obviously not in defence that I thought Game of Thrones was more important than having kids right now) that age is not just a number (or a word for that matter) but a landmark.

Age as a landmark establishes entry into adulthood and significant points differ from person. For example, if you have children at 35, you enter your own journey of parenthood. Just as if you become financially independent at 25, or emotionally mature at 18. That is when you begin the process of adulthood. Adulthood is not a pre-determined number that decides when you become an adult. E.g. 18 in the UK, or 21 in the US; let’s leave that for legal matters. The title ‘adult’ is not automatically granted to you once you hit a certain age. Like most things, it is a process of the the choices you make.

My 24 can never be your 24, (even if we were Siamese twins) and your 47 can never be his 47. People have different abilities in different measures.

So as it stands today, I don’t have my own business, haven’t completed a MASTERS, or have children. I’m not a professional pianist, I’ve never ridden a horse (I know right, but this is something I PLAN to do in my 25s), and I only cooked Salmon for the first time two weeks ago. But my story isn’t over and I’ve done other things that were significant to my path. My life is taking its unique shape. Comparing one’s journey to another’s is futile and never is it an accurate, universal measure of what is successful or meaningful.

Once you understand this, it makes it easier to stay in your lane.

Your age doesn’t determine your success/failure and I know it’s hard to not associate age with achievements especially with people making comments like “Wow you’re only 21 and you’ve achieved…” or “Wow you’re 30 and you haven’t even…” The inalienable truth is people will always judge you! People even ask your age so they can calculate and mentally assess where you are on their personal life target scale and will treat you accordingly depending on whether you are above or below where they have subjectively put themselves. But what can you do? Don’t congratulate or berate yourself on biased assessments. Regardless, know there’s always the option to do more.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU – When you first meet a person see if you can avoid, by ALL means possible, asking or finding out their age. Try and get to know them where they are on their journey without that bias and judgment.
In the meantime, read about CHINESE BAMBOO. It’s a very interesting story! Maybe that is your story!

So start NOW and finish STRONG!!!

So start NOW and finish STRONG!!!

“If you stay in your own lane, you’ll only collide with destiny.”

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND YOUR FEET MOVING!!!

While you run this race called life, don’t let your peripherals distract your front view! The past is yesterday and while the future is tomorrow, today is the only thing you can see in plain sight. That’s why you need VISION; the ability to see well into the future. Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before YOU! Stop looking around to see what other people are doing. Mark a straight path for your feet and then stick to the path; don’t get side-tracked and don’t stop moving.

It is possible to live in the moment with anticipation of something more to come without overlooking the steps that brought you to where you stand right now! At that stage, there are no regrets, no anxiety! Just PEACE! You know your eyes are firm and forward when you’re always optimistic even in times of uncertainty.

Are you there? No? Then you too may still be “waiting for your real life to begin.”

Plain and Simple!

Plain and Simple!

Your life isn’t going to change itself so do whatever is in your power to do today and you’ll find that tomorrow will care for itself. Be grateful for what is given freely to you. Be grateful for today. Enjoy being in the presence of the present. A life-crisis can happen at any time! When you get that WAKE-UP call, don’t hit snooze (like I do every morning trying to get out of bed)! Respond to it and begin the process. Start planning! Stay in your lane!! Keep your eyes open and feet moving!!!

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness
Ms Tola xx

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