They Say She’s Having a Quarter-Life Crisis.

We have all heard the stereotype about people in their 40s having a mid-life crisis. Usually it’s about men running out to buy a shiny new car, or leaving their 20 year long marriages for a 20-something girlfriend. We roll our eyes because of the sad ridiculousness of it, but we go through them just the same. It’s hard to face the idea that your life might be halfway over. What have you done?! What can you change? Where can you improve? In fact, there are a lot of phases of life that are hard to face.

One of the newest in the crisis realm is the quarter-life crisis. By new I mean, I had one and knew what to call it so really it’s not new. Maybe you know it, maybe you’re in it. For those who don’t know, let’s spell out the basics of what we are talking about. This usually happens for people between 20 and 28. They have left home (or are about to), have completed their education (or most of it), have very fresh careers (if one at all), and are on the cusp of starting a family (or  have started one and are nervously thinking they aren’t ready). In short, if life was a cafeteria style restaurant they are standing at the first station being asked which meat and three they want and have no idea how to choose from the vast array of different foods that all look equally tempting.

All the people in their mid life are rolling their eyes right now, I see you!! This is not about you. You will get your own blog entry.

Don’t listen to them, 20-somethings, the struggle is real. From your perspective you have a LOT a LOT of decisions, VERY IMPORTANT DECISIONS to make and you don’t even know how to go about making them!! All your life so far people have told you that you can be ANYTHING and now you’re starting to realize that you’re already too old to start training to be in the Olympics. Choices are narrowing and your clock is officially ticking. There are SO MANY things you want to do and you feel like there is a sensible order in which to make the choices. You want a good career that you’re passionate about but also a family. You know the short list of things you feel really passionate about but aren’t sure how to make a career out of them. AND to make things worse you’re staring down the barrel of student loan bills that you definitely aren’t sure you can afford to pay. You’re leaving the comforts of your parents house to the sad one bedroom apartment with used furniture that feels nothing like a home. You have total faith in yourself, for about 30 minutes a day.

The pain and confusion you feel is real. It’s a massive negative side effect of living in the land of opportunity. You can and will get through it.

If you need help (and can afford it) Jennifer can help you sort it out.

 

Owner’s Manual for your Teen

They say kids don’t come with owner’s manuals. Nothing can feel more true than if you are raising a teenager, especially if they are smart. They are moody, confrontational, defensive, irrational, grumpy. It’s awful. You go about raising them thinking to yourself, was I this bad?! My parents would NEVER have let me get away with this stuff! Then you have flashbacks that remind you of things you actually did put your parents through and you think…oohh…crap… Then you call your parents an apologize telling them how much you love and appreciate all they did for you.

Then, maybe, out of respect or an effort to pay homage to your parents you start sounding like them, saying things you used to HATE to hear. Ugh…why is this so hard?!!

 

Here’s the bad news: parenting teenagers is difficult. They are so smart and sometimes hilarious and have so much potential, but….”meh…whatever…they don’t care.”

 

sigh…

Here’s the good news. You do have an owners manual of sorts. Statistically speaking the old proverb that kids you make will treat you the way you treated your parents is pretty accurate. Kids are genetically predisposed to be just like you. Ugh…what dumb science is that!? It is good news though, because you are not a teen anymore. You have been there and been through it. You try to tell them this, of course, but they don’t care. Because they are not interested in reading your memoirs yet. Someday they will be. Right now, the best thing you can do is remember. Remember what it was like to be 15, 16, 17 and 18. Yeah, they don’t have to spend time rewinding the cassette tapes with their pencils and you have no idea how hard it is to be a teen while having the whole universe on your phone waiting to judge you. There are ways that you can’t understand your kids. But you CAN remember the things you longed for. Remember what you wish your parents had given you, or said to you, or done for you. Remember how scary it was to make your own decisions but how hell bent you were to make them. Once you have reflected and remembered what you deeply longed for, try to give that to your struggling young adult.

Here’s a hint if you’re having trouble: it might be encouragement, praise, acceptance, or space to fail.

Hey I never said giving it would be easy.

If you are raising a teen and feel like you need to talk about it or need them to talk to someone, call me. 803.761.0324