The Quarter Life

I can’t believe I’m more than halfway to 25. What happened? It seems like it was only yesterday when I got out of UP with my bachelor’s degree and felt so enthusiastic about taking on the world (naks).

But now, I’ve seen, heard, and experienced enough to say that life isn’t any easier even when I have more freedom, earning my own keep, and have full control over my actions and decisions. Damn, #adulting is hard.

Typical listicles would probably cover something like “Things I Learned At 25” or other romanticized, idealistic shit to paint a picture of what it’s like to be at this age. But come on, that’s being hopeful about it.

I’m not saying that I am utterly lost and hopeless (cos hell I’m not, and I’m actually excited about a lot of things) but to give a better perspective, I stepped back a bit and thought about life in the past five years to give you a glimpse on the thoughts of every 25-year-old during this period of Q-Life Crisis.

15 WTF Moments at 25

  1. That moment when you wonder if you’re in the right job. I’ve had so many moments like this. Especially on days when work is just plain stressful and shitty. Besides, pay in the comms industry isn’t as competitive as the rest (and almost everyday you gotta OT) and from there I begin to think, “Sana nag-IT na lang ako.”
  2. That moment when you just feel ugly. In this world of on-point eyebrows, contoured faces, and extended lashes, a girl like me who’s never had the time (or never really wanted to give time) to learn make-up is bound to feel unattractive at times.
  3. That moment when you are extra competitive. Blame it on social media and how it can show you how stellar your high school or college batchmate’s life has become, I can’t help but go on world domination mode too and devise ways on how I can achieve just the same. If they can do it, why can’t I, right?
  4. That moment when you feel like a failure. The complete opposite of world domination mode, this is when I just want to curl up in bed and lament about how I wasted my life over unwise decisions. Hahaha. Awesome as we all may be, but there are days when no amount of self-confidence is going to cut it.
  5. That moment when you’re torn between saving up and seeing the world. Money from the job comes in and you’re left to decide whether to put it in the bank or book that flight to your next adventure. Security is nice, but isn’t seeing the world just as spectacular?
  6. That moment when you feel fat. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t just concern girls. There’s been a rise in gym culture in recent years and almost everyone’s into the fitness trend already. Examine your circles — surely there’s someone who lifts, boxes, swims, plays badminton, or whatever. And when you’re not in the bandwagon of weight watching (you think quinoa tastes like crap), you can’t help but feel that you’re missing out and are fatter than everyone.
  7. That moment when you think that there’s not enough time. The 20s is everyone’s time to explore and develop oneself. There’s just so much to do — work, travel, engage in hobbies, find dates, get a masters degree, etc. — and sometimes, given all these opportunities, it’s difficult not to think “Is there enough time for everything?” Ideally, you should already settle down by 30, and 10 years don’t seem to be a long time to accomplish all these. Probably someone has to start selling time. Our generation would hoard it.
  8. That moment when you’re driven to unleash your entrepreneur’s spirit. We work beyond the required number of hours, slave away even, and yet we don’t earn enough. Time that should be set for other activities is sacrificed and there are bosses/clients who are just painful to handle. You think, “Why don’t I just set up my own business and have full control of my life?” Yup, I’ve also thought of that.
  9. That moment when you feel lonely. There was a time when almost all of my friends were getting into serious, committed relationships while I’m left by myself. My friends are great but when you begin to see them dating and become happy in romantic set-ups, you can’t help but feel sorry for yourself.
  10. That moment when you hate your friends for not having time. Our friends are into this rollercoaster ride as much as we are, and they also have things to do and think about. For days when you just want to hang like you did back in high school or college, suddenly, they’re all not available. And then you wonder where all the fun went and why you can’t be like that anymore.
  11. That moment when you realize your family’s crazy. You’re not as clueless as you were when you were a kid. Back then, everyone in the family was normal and great. But then you grow up, pick up a few things, and realize that your parents and relatives can be pretty cuckoo. There’s that tita who’s too nosy, a cousin who’s a bit wilder than he/she should be, among others. And the idea of the perfect family in your head is shattered and you realize you’re stuck with this crazy bunch. For life.
  12. That moment when you’re not sure if you’re capable of being in a romantic relationship. Growing up independent and able to generate fun experiences on my own, there was a time when I actually questioned if I really need a partner to grow old with. Maybe being single for life isn’t so bad after all? That way I only have to look after myself and I can do whatever the hell I want. I floated the idea to my mother and she thought I was a lunatic. But really, there are times when you feel okay to not be in love with anyone now or anytime at all.
  13. That moment when you think you’re always out of gas. Yesterday was sweldo and just the day after, your wallet’s empty. Where did all of the money go? Clothes, food, tickets to shows, even that everyday Starbucks coffee — that’s where they got spent on. While it’s great that we have all these stores, restaurants, concerts, and movies to add to life’s experience, they can also drain us pretty fast if we’re not careful. Especially when a single dish in a fancy joint can cost more than 500 bucks and your trusted cup of caffeine can be as expensive as P200 each.
  14. That moment when you feel that everything’s not enough. You’ve done this and that and you still feel unhappy, empty. And then you begin to wonder about the real meaning of living and what it is that will really make you feel fulfilled. Because you can be successful in almost every aspect and yet feel insignificant. Do we want more? Or perhaps we’re doing great at the wrong things? Don’t ask me. I haven’t figured that out too.
  15. That moment when you just don’t know. This happens pretty much all the time. I feel more clueless at 25 than at 15. At least back then, all I had to think about was whether I’m going to pass the UPCAT or if my crush will reply to my text message. Life wasn’t too hard or complicated — but now it is. And even more so. Because while I’m trying to figure out who I am, I’m figuring out the world around me too. And how I can manage to move with it the best way I can so I won’t drown in the middle of this topsy-turvy existence.

Oh, to be 25. Crazy times.

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