Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Quarter"-life crisis

It's exactly half way through the year and I've decided to do a short post on self-reflection. Well, better now than never, right. So. Back to the title of the post. You know how people always talk about mid-life crisis? Yeah, so, a term that I've been using these few years (not too sure how or when it started) is the "quarter"-life crisis. If say logically, you have your mid-life crisis around your fifties, so a "quarter"-life crisis would be say, around your twenties?

I've had plenty of friends who've like me, voiced out "I don't know what to do with my life" at one point or another. Sometimes, I get the impression that we are the "I don't know what to do with our lives" generation. Well, I can't speak for all of them, but let's just talk about what I feel about this statement.

In my early twenties, I didn't give a thought about life in general. I was in University, enjoying the freedom of being away from the fams in a foreign country and exploring my independence. In my mid twenties, it was a jolt to me that I'm now (like it or not), an adult, in the workforce, one of the many work drones of society. I'm just on the cusp of entering my late twenties (gasp!) this year, and I've come to to realisation that, yes, I just do not know what I am doing with my life.

[*Quick note on my personal definition: early twenties (21-23), mid twenties (24-26) and late twenties (27-29).]

Reflecting on my reflections post last year, some of my friends have already moved on from marriage, to the next stage, parenthood. Already, the gap between where I stand, and (some of) my friends, are widening. From my perspective, people who have a partner, or a family, have a goal to work towards - be it, preparing for a new house, or saving for their family. There is a purpose in their lives, be it consciously or subconsciously. I don't exactly have a goal that I want in life to work towards. And perhaps that's why I'm feeling so restless.

For a brief period of time, my dream was actually to open a cafe of my own. But of course, in real life, things work a little differently. With the rampant sprouting of cafes all over the island, it seems like every other person has more or less the same dream as I do. Not to mention, talking to people who has experience with the industry, you hear about the nitty gritty details behind opening a venture of your own. The labour crunch, the multiple little details you gotta pay attention to, the 24/7 working hours, the challenge of surviving in this market saturation situation. It's tough work. "Opening a cafe" sounds so easy in words, but in theory, it is another story altogether. And just imagine, the logistical nightmare behind it.

And another reason behind my hesitation is the worry of failure and criticism. I know failure is inevitable in life, but who is brave enough to march on without hesitation despite the prospect of failure? There might be people out there who are brave enough. But I'm certainly not one of those sort. "You never know till you try." Yet another phrase that I hear all too often.

As my restlessness grow, I have this sudden urge to just uproot myself and plonk myself into an outright unfamiliar environment. Like moving overseas on my own. Afterall, since I'm constantly having wanderlust, I might as well sate the thirst yeah. I'm young (well, soooort of), without any commitments, and it's like now or never, right? I just can't shake off that impulsive urge to do something. Anything actually. But yet, a rational part of me is holding me back with the awareness that I might end up doing something that I could regret.

I have my good and bad days. On the good days, I'll be more mellow and just take things as it is. Hang out with friends and spend time chillin' by myself. On the bad days, I'll be all aargh, ***k it, what am I doing?!? Aargh, aargh and aargh. (Lol, all that angst sounds quite amusing when translated into actual words.)

I'm actually quite a chill-pill person by nature. To the point of being aloof I reckon. It applies to most things I do. I was out with my best friend recently, and she said something that made me laugh. So there were three of us girls, and she (my best friend) pointed to our other (single) girl pal, and made this comparison about us two with regards to how we view guys:

"So you (meaning - me) and T (my other girl pal) are both picky, but in different ways. T is looking at guys, and she's at least filtering them (to see if they are suitable). You! You are just looking at guys, and going pfft (in which she thereforth made a typically "me" motion of rolling my eyes and looking away)."

That is a very apt description I guess (ha!) and kudos to her for making me laugh. But as I was laughing, at the same time, I realised that was indeed how I am. I'm quite a reserved person by nature and I don't show my emotions easily.

Like say for example, I can get along pretty okay with guys I'm not attracted to, you know, the buddy kind. Yet, when faced with someone whom I think is cute or whatever, I'll clam up crazily. I feel awkward and is quite clueless on how to behave around the person. I'm a chill-pill person, so even when I think someone is cute, I wouldn't actually do anything about it. To which, I can so hear my friends wail "But why aren't you doing anything???" Lol.

My point being, even if there's something that I might want to have/attain, I don't necessary do anything to get there. That's quite a negative trait of mine, which kinda bothers me as I am perfectly aware of the fact that nothing in life gets handed over on a plate, you gotta be the one to reach out to grab it. Sigh.

Oh. There goes my "short" post. Ha, it's more like I've just written an essay. I think I'll end my ramblings with a little something I read online:

"For many people it is the notion of time that makes them feel restless – that there just aren't enough hours in the day, that they are rushing, either on an hourly or daily basis or that life was somehow better in the past or will be so in the future."


  1. Oh, Michelle, what a surprise post for me. (readers will excuse my English)
    I did not expect that such an accomplished girl will ever complain about the things not already accomplished.(!)
    I am not in the least as good baker/pastry maker etc as you are, but I have moved on the net looking for inspiration for my little baking projects and I want to tell you that I hold you high on the top among others, with your work. I especially followed you and for the source of admiration and inspiration. The other day I have read that Talita opened a pastry shop and now I understand your frustration, but I thought, considering your work, that you already have done it. As regards to your wish to give up and go to Cordon Bleu, I just can say: why didn't you do it? Just follow your instincts/your heart... (After finishing University of Music, Talita was more and more dreaming of colourful confections "and make the drastic move to study the cuisine and patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris") .
    But, on the other side, if you are doing the things that YOU like, it does not matter what others are doing...Each person has different goals to fulfil their happiness. I turned 50 this year, but still, just like you, "a Daddy's girl through and through". You are still so young!!! Speaking about quarter/mid-life crisis...
    What amazes me is that you speak as if your goals are unattainable although me, at my age, am still thinking about opening a pastry shop!!! If this is your dream, pls, pls do not give up! Try in the beginning sth small, although you could do more. I think people fail especially because they begin too big and have to concentrate on too many things/details...
    Thank you soooo much for all your art that you share with us!

  2. Oh I feel you! was having a quarter life crisis myself sometime ago too. hmm I think I am too conservative, so I'd fight for everything I want but a guy I like... hahaha my parents have indoctrinated me with the idea that men should do the chasing. :b the most I'd do is to help him along. hope you're feeling better now!

  3. ha thanks for the note Cassandra. Glad to hear that I'm not alone in the quarter life crisis thing.
    Guess I just wanted to pen down some thoughts at the time I crafted the post. I guess it's not a matter of 'feeling better', but just moving on and accepting things. Well. Unless I'm prepared to do something to jolt things up a bit. Ha. Am seriously considering a change, but am not sure if I would actually go ahead with it. Guess I gotta spend more time thinking on it. Cheers! :)


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