Her: Off late most of my friends are going thru what they call a quarter life crisis.
Me: Hmmm… I didnt know there was something like a quarter life crisis. I hv heard about a half life crisis… but…
Her: Well thats what they call it. Thats what they “all” call it.
Her: You know, It would be a lie if I told you that I didnt think of the things they thought or didnt feel what they think they are experiencing. But you know calling it a crisis is probably a bit too much.
Me: Who knows it might actually be a crisis for a few people.
Her: (wondering) I dont know, maybe its something new. something that previous generations havent experienced.
Me: Thats quiet possible… I mean for our parents, it was inconceivable to walk out of college and have a job. There are so many things we dont need to worry about that seriously bothered the previous generations.
Her: Yeah, and I guess they were far too busy to with life to wonder about frivolous things.
Me: But you know what thats a good thing, I mean we now have a lot of people who are not thinking about earning the next piece of bread. Gives time for them to think about other important things like life, beauty and progress.
Her: I guess thats the problem. Lot more people are wondering about things like… the purpose of life. They see themselves on the scales of time and realize how insignificant they really are in the grand scheme of things.
Me: (smiling) The bitter truth.
Her: Yes and suddenly they are overwhelmed with freedom and choices. Suddenly they realize that what they already have is not real happiness.
Me: So that brings them to the big question. “What is the purpose of life? Where and what am I in the grand scheme of things?” You know I hear a lot of young people talking about how the want to change things, you know the environment, politics, sports, thinking… the list goes on. The keep repeating the mantra, ‘I want to do something’. All the while not realizing that to “do something”, you need to “do something” and that “doing something” almost always takes time and patience.
Her: Something which nobody has off late.
Me: Remember this is the fast food generation, with ‘breaking news’ and instant messaging. Someone once called this the ‘instant gratification’ generation.
Her: I think we are getting sidetracked here. Lets go back to the ‘purpose of life’ thing.
Me: Hmmm… Ok, I believe that what truly defines a person is his/her philosophy of life.
Her: Go on…
Me: Most schools of philosophy believe in realizing who you are. They define it as the true path to happiness.
Her: That does make sense.
Me: I believe that figuring out the kind of person you are helps you realized what you want out of life. For example some people believe in leading a life of constraint with societal norms. I feel a large majority of the earlier generations were like that. Then there are the ones that choose to experience everything once. They believe that its only in personal experience that they will figure out who they are. What each of these people want out of life will prob be very different. The former would look at social acceptance as a goal, may be even respect and status as signs of success. The latter would look at building a fortress around themselves to protect them from pain and suffering from the world.
Me: Yeah, they would be searching for absolute and consistent happiness, something they dont realize is almost impossible… (pause) Sorry got sidetracked again
Her: Thats quite alright
Me: Quarter life crisis, back to that. I am no expert in the field but based on the thoughts of a few of my friends and my own thoughts at times. I think its got most to do with failed goals.
Me: The easiest thing I can compare it with is something like “Great Expectations”. People spend a lot of time thinking of goals and what they want to achieve, sometimes its subconscious but they are always there.
Her: I know what you mean
Me: So when you are going thru life you look at possibilities and end up hoping to do certain things, you know. As we get older priorities and life takes over, and slowly and steadily we begin to cull the goals.
Her: Yeah I have experienced that
Me: Then 25 hits and you realize that at least on a few of those goals you were running in the wrong direction. Suddenly what you have achieved in life so far seems insignificant and what you missed out seems more important.
Her: And you begin to rethink the choices you made. You wonder what if I had prioritized something else maybe I could have got that.
Me: Then you spend so much time rethinking your goals and aspirations that by the end of it you are lost. A boat in the middle of the ocean without oars.
Her: Wow! Nobody explained it to me like that.
Me: It the unfamiliarity of the situation that makes it unique. People are lost and mostly scared about things. Oddly some part of the crowd choose to get married at this time. A classic remedy of focusing your attention on something else and hoping that the worries are buried.
Her: So do you recommend that.
Me: To each his own I say… As long as you are fair towards the other person involved I think its acceptable.
Her: No… What I wanted to ask is would you do it?
Me: Nope… (with a smirk) I dont believe in distracting myself from my problems…
Ps: Found this after the conversation. Apparently I was wrong about a *lot* of things :P