a quarter-life crisis

I feel like I am in a quarter-life crisis.

It’s like a mid-life crisis with all kinds of change and internal reflection; this one is just in my twenties rather than my forties or fifties.

I read about it once when I was in undergrad and was approaching graduation. Much of it didn’t apply to me then; I was only 20 years old. Now, I think the phrase summarizes the kind of metamorphosis that is taking place right now.

I feel like I’m in a cocoon now, and I am not sure what will happen when I emerge as a butterfly.  Folks felt all kinds of ways with me as a caterpillar, and now I’m re-thinking my plans and re-organizing my priorities.

It is liberating and terrifying all at the same time, and I hope the world will be ready for me when I start flying. A part of my flying is being able to tell my story, so here I am, back to my writing.

It’s been about a month since I’ve written last, and while I’ve paused from writing, I’ve been chewing on my words. I’m big on practicing what I preach, so I’ve been doing my best to trust the process and do my own work and whatnot.

Thing is this quarter-life crisis is not over. It is far from over. I imagine that it will take several months before things really stabilize again. Who knows? Perhaps the sense of control and certainty that I developed was a façade that I should relinquish permanently and replace more fundamentally with faith.

Before I get philosophical, let me try to give you an idea of all that has been happening, and maybe you’ll understand how much change is occurring both around me and inside me.

To start, 2013 started with a bang.

Within the first two weeks of the year, my church asked me to stop serving for an indefinite period of time, my job informed me that my position was changing, and my housemates and I agreed to move out of our place once the lease ends in July. These were most of the people, places, and things to which I had committed myself, and unexpectedly, I was being released from them all.

I began re-considering my approach to attending school, commuting from Durham to Greensboro multiple times every week, splitting my life into two parts. I imagined getting a job on campus, one that would cover tuition as a part of my payment. I imagined being able to complete school and live in one place.

Since then, it just became clear that it was right to leave my job and to plan to move to Greensboro. Thus, I put in my notice to leave. I’m also still not serving at my church, and as much as I hope to start again, I don’t know if I will ever be able to commit like I once did. And oh yeah, I’m moving out of my place at the end of May.

What’s more is that all this external change is connected to my own internal change.

I feel myself changing, feeling much differently about the people and causes to which I had committed. I’m hyper-aware of my perceived needs that have long gone unfulfilled, and I feel the motivation to satisfy those needs as they are influencing my direction and focus. And because I’m not so committed, I’m open and I’m starting to try new things and take new risks, conquering and overcoming fears that I’ve held onto for I don’t know how long.

I promise I’m not going crazy. It’s more of a personal revolution. And it’s quite invigorating being a revolutionary in my own life.

A mentor of mine says that I have the chance to re-invent myself, to escape the expectations of those around me now and become a better version of myself. I’m not entirely sure who I will become; I just pray that I can develop and maintain a sense of integrity in all of this. As much as I like who I’ve been, I like who I am becoming. And the two are definitely different.

Again, liberating and frightening all at the same time.

Fortunately, it’s my year of courage. Since joining Twitter about a year and a half ago, I’ve created a theme for each year based on my age and a concept. This year is “24 and Fearless.” And as scary and uncertain as things might seem, I have no doubts in the God I serve. I trust in His faithfulness, and I believe that He’s a good Father and gives good things to His children.

And though I can’t say what I believe from a place of absolute certainty, I can say it from a place of humble authenticity. I know I haven’t lived that long so I can admit that I have much more to learn. I have lived a good 24 years though, and I have seen time and time again that God is incredibly faithful, especially during the harder times.

I’m pretty sure that my twenty-something, quarter-life crisis will have many times of the harder sort. I just continue to believe that one day, I will be flying. The caterpillar days will be over, and it will be for a collective good and for God’s ultimate glory.

I feel that more than I feel this quarter-life crisis or whatever it is. I sure do.

Love Love Love,

Jesse

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3 thoughts on “a quarter-life crisis

  1. Pingback: hard conversations | SUCH IS LIFE.

  2. Pingback: the struggle is real | SUCH IS LIFE.

  3. Pingback: i believe i can fly | SUCH IS LIFE.

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