My QuarterLife Crisis
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My QuarterLife Crisis

I'm not where I thought I'd be by 25, but I realized I'm somewhere much better

My QuarterLife Crisis
Katy Belcher

I'm 25, I'm not married or engaged, I'm not a homeowner, I'm not a college graduate, and I wouldn't change a thing. I have felt so much pressure by society and people in my life to feel like I need to be at a certain point in my life by now. My anxiety got worse right before my 25thbirthday this summer and I jokingly called it my "quarter life crisis". I have always gone down my own path in life and it never bothered me until social media became more of a thing. Social media can add so much pressure to look a certain way or live a certain way and to "keep up with the jones'". Many of my friends my age have graduated and working great jobs, getting engaged, or already married, expecting babies or raising their first child, and buying their first homes together. I realized, though, that it's all about perspective. I'm a big believer in everyone walks their own path of life, and everything happens for a reason.

While on paper it sounds amazing to have a degree, great job, house, and fiancé at my age: I cannot picture it for myself. I have a different life, and it's exactly where I'm supposed to be right now. I rent a townhouse I love, I have a great secure job, I have found so much strength and confidence in who I am from going through past relationships and being on my own, and I don't regret not having a degree by now.

I am very well educated, graduating from a private high school, and attending college for several semesters. I did not end up finishing my degree but I work in a field I absolutely love, and have a job that supports me. I often times find myself feeling the need to explain or justify why I don't have a degree by my age, but it's my life and I feel like people don't owe anyone an explanation for how they choose to live. I didn't go to an ivy league like many girls from my school did, I didn't start a big organization in college and I didn't graduate. I'm so proud of everyone who did accomplish those things, but don't forget it's not for everyone.

It took me awhile to come to this realization. I always felt the need to justify my choices, but I'm happy and healthy and honestly nothing else matters. Letting go of what I thought my life should look like by now has been the most freeing thing and what's propelled me into true happiness. Life doesn't have a cookie cutter look to it, or a list of things you must accomplish by a certain age. Social media puts so much pressure on everyone and it's time to regain control of ourselves and our lives. I was never happy when I was constantly comparing. It wasn't until I let go of comparisons that I realized I'm exactly where I am supposed to be for ME.

I applaud everyone in their accomplishments and their journeys. I'm not at all saying it's a bad thing to be 25 and married with a house and a career, I mean that's what most people strive for. I'm just saying I'm so glad I relieved myself of the pressures to have that life right now, too. If I didn't go through all of the things I have, I wouldn't be who I am today. I didn't understand why relationships never worked, but looking back I see exactly why they didn't and I'm so glad. They've taught me so much about myself and what I want. I have become so self-aware and self-confident and self-sufficient that I won't ever settle for anything less than what I know I deserve. It has taken me until now to feel that way, so now I will probably have much healthier and better relationships now because of that.

I appreciate so much more out of life because of where I am. I find myself scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and seeing more and more engagements or baby announcements or major milestones for people my age. I get so excited for them but there's always a pinch of jealousy I feel, too, when I compare it to my life. Why couldn't I have that by now? But then I just remind myself to trust MY process of MY journey. We don't know everyone's story and what everyone has gone through to get the life they put on social media. Trust in their life and support and be happy for them. Your time is coming, but you can never rush or fast forward to it.

If you aren't where you want to be in life, I promise you you are not alone. Even the people with the "perfect lives" on social media aren't where they want to be or thought they'd be. It doesn't matter how old you are, you are always going to have some lofty long-term goals I'm sure. Just make sure you aren't putting too much pressure on yourself. Of course you want to work hard and strive to achieve everything, but don't get too discouraged when it's not on your timeline. Letting go of a timeframe is the most rewarding thing I can encourage people to do. Set your goals, work hard, and let it all fall into place when it's supposed to happen. I promise the journey is the best part.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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