Quarter Life Crisis

My husband tells me I’m having a quarter life crisis.

I turn 24 in a week and a half. I haven’t bought a motorcycle or shaved all my hair off — both of those seem more fun. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. A lot of angsting. A lot of questioning all my life decisions.

24 has always been my favourite number, ever since I was a kid a struggling to master my times tables. It’s not a milestone to anyone else, but 24 to me has always been something to work towards, to dream of. I’d have life together at 24, I thought. I’d be a real adult. I might even have kids.

None of those things are true. The other I grow, the less together I feel. At 18 I thought I had it all figured out, and in some ways I did. I married the most amazing man in the world, the Jim to my Pam, and we are incredibly happy together, even five years on. People still mistake us for newlyweds on a regular basis.

At 18 I thought I would be an anthropologist or a journalist. Now, I’m a college drop-out who works in a detective agency while writing on nights and weekends.

At 18 I thought I’d be a published author. I’m closer than I was then, but it still seems so far out of reach. I’m contemplating starting over in a new genre, even.

At 18 I thought I was set. I had my whole life planned out. I didn’t anticipate diversions, like not graduating, or the constant struggle I have not to get a real job and give up on my dreams.

But at 18 I didn’t have a clue how amazing those diversions could be.

At 18 I didn’t think I’d ever travel overseas. I didn’t think I’d ever afford it, but my new husband and me, we saved and saved until we made it happen. And it’s going to happen again.

At 18 I thought I’d have a mortgage I’d never completely pay off. Instead, we bought a house with our best friends and at the rate we’re going, we’re going to pay it off in six years.

At 18, all I had were dreams. All I had were the glimpses of what life could be. And at nearly 24 I can say, life is harder than I ever thought it would be. But it’s also better, more satisfying and rewarding than those simple dreams ever were.

At 24, I’m not perfect. I’m still way too hard on myself. I still find myself putting my goals above my relationships. I still haven’t figured out how to keep the shower grout clean. But maybe that’s okay.

Because at nearly 24, what I’ve learned more than anything is I still have so far to go.

Beth at nearly 24
Beth at nearly 24
Beth at 18
Beth at 18
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Quarter Life Crisis

4 thoughts on “Quarter Life Crisis

  1. Oh my I had completely forgotten about your anthropologist phase!
    This is a lovely Blog post Bethy. You do have a most extrodinary life!
    We never really know how our lives will end up looking, but what a blessing to be able to reflect back and be happy with where you are now and excited for the future!
    Love you.

  2. Love the pics! 🙂

    Those times of reflection and questioning aren’t especially fun, but I think they’re valuable, and it seems when we emerge on the other side of such times, we’re primed for growth and change, or for facing whatever’s next. Funny how so much of what we know/believe/want at any given age will evolve as time goes by. But life’s a journey, eh? Maybe those angsty times of reflection are like pit stops on a road trip, when we fill the tank and study the map and decide where we want to go next…cuz where we’ve been changes us. Where we’ve been affects where we want to go.

    Happy trails, my friend… 🙂

    1. bethanyrsmith says:

      As always, Shari, you are very wise. The road changes us, and it wearies us. We need the pit stops to recharge and to re-evaluate. Some people spend their whole lives on the road and when they get to the end of it they find themselves a world away from where they really want to be. For my part, I’m grateful for the pit-stops, but glad to be back on the road 🙂

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