Personal Reflection - What Do You Want? The Quarter Life Crisis • LIFESTYLE

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Photograph of me by Lucy Alice Burt
I've always wanted to be someone who achieves. For me completing something gives me the satisfaction that I am 'on track' somehow, and I crave that need to have things done and sorted. However as I approach my twentieth birthday this year, I've come to a huge crossroad in my life, where the plan I've always been working towards and the goals I've been achieving are slowly becoming less and less as dreamy and desirable as I thought. Suddenly I'm one of the many who are now entering the quarter life crisis.

So you're probably reading this and wondering what in the world I'm on about and what even a quarter life crisis is. If you're reading this and you're below the age of 19/20 you may not realise that this is even a point that you will hit in your life, a secret part of adulthood that everyone in the world keeps from you, but I've learnt in a round about way that this happens to most people - and that's okay.

So what is a quarter life crisis? Well it's pretty much what it says on the tin. A crisis you hit in your lifespan when you reach your twenties. Any time within this magical decade, will come a point where you stop and freak out about where the hell you're going and what you're doing with your life. Your mind will become a long list of questions, that you really don't know how to answer and no one can answer for you. The thing that sucks most about this crisis, is that you just have to ride it out and figure these questions out slowly but surely.
Some questions may include the following: 'Do I really enjoy university? Am I on the right course? Do I even want to be studying this? Is this what I want to do with my life?' 'Am I wasting my gap year? Should I have taken a gap year? What does everyone else do with the 12 months of time they have away from education?' 'What job do I realistically see myself doing? Where am I going to live when I have to start renting on my own?' 'How can I save money and buy what I want at the same time? Where should I be travelling at this age? What should I be achieving or have achieved by now?'

As you can see it's a lot of questions and your mind will be clouded by them in this horrible confused stage of your life. I felt this crossroad coming quite early, before I turned the corner and fully revealed my situation as I started to apply for university. I spent my whole life training as an actress and from the age of three performing and wanted to be in films by the time I was six, so naturally I trained for Drama School, only to change my mind the month before and opt for the more realistic goal of making something of myself in the fashion industry. I have been attending events, going to celebrity parties and working at fashion week since I was 14, it seemed like the easiest option, and now five years later it is the easier option, however I'm not sure it's the one I want to take anymore.

I started my second year of Fashion Public Relations and Communication at London College of Fashion, part of the most prestigious fashion university in the world, with it's sister being Central Saint Martins and a list of alumni that are some of the biggest and most famous names in the world of fashion. And as I left for Budapest and Amsterdam at the end of my second term I had a wave of doubt that had been flooding over me since I started that I wanted so much more out of my life than the boxed archetype that I was being moulded into at university. I've always had a love for writing and the romance of novels, the art of fiction and the power of imagination which is why I never really wanted to go down the journalism route but still felt a strong connection to English. As a typical middle class white girl I guess there's been part of me that has always hoped and dreamed of going to a classic school, a red brick building with a world ranking title that has heritage and a rich history to it. But at the same time I find I am happiest when I'm travelling from place to place, living out of a suitcase and exploring the world each day.

I've never been one to look conventional or act in conventional manners, my focus of life has always been to study and to get a good education, which slowly has been crushing my happiness. Combine this with a low self-esteem and an obsession with the likes of instagram and tumblr and suddenly I found my mental health deteriorating faster than ever before; which for a girl with a history of multiple eating disorder problems, depression and mild anxiety I guess you could call a recipe for disaster.
So what is the point of this post? I guess in a long rambled way it's to answer the questions I've been faced by others a lot recently, asking me how university is going, that they can see my life online as exciting and glamorous and I am answering their questions with the honest answer of I don't know if this is my dream anymore... I'm taking a long pause to figure out what inspires me and what motivates me, what drives me and makes me want to do this or that with my life. Which is confusing for a lot of people as they saw me so focused and on track for many years, it looks to them like my carriage has just flipped upside down, and I've fallen flat out. Which I guess is perfectly accurate to how I feel my life is going. I had a clear route, which I can easily go back to, or do I turn around and head in a completely new and unknown direction? At this moment in time I honestly do not know. And to tell everyone the truth, I don't know what I want and therefore can't really answer their questions. 

However as I've slowly discovered, I am not as alone as I constantly feel in this situation and it is a stage that nearly everyone will go through at some point, especially around the end or after their degrees. It's a hard time growing up and becoming an adult with responsibilities and this is a time when self-discovery is one of the most important but hardest things to do. In a world where we are told who to be and how to act, it is often a minefield trying to put yourself into a box, when you fit so many others at the same time. I've seen so many people posting YouTube videos of their own lost confusions, listened to my friends who are graduating realising that they have no clue what they are doing and that their degree hasn't been a ticket to solving life problems. That we are still young and naive and the world has many things to throw at us. Reflection is a way of moving forward, learning from the past mistakes in order to progress into a better future. I guess all I am waffling on about is a way of reassuring myself and hopefully others that this time will past and we just have to work things out at our own pace. Don't let others make decisions for you and ride the wave of life and all those other cliches...

How long will my twenty-something crisis last? Who knows? This has been a slow burning two year build up, which I am currently in the middle of the big blow up, and I will keep you updated with my life findings as soon as I have them figured out. I wanted to write this post to help those who see me as someone all sorted, and show that I am human and I do have a normal life, despite what my number of Facebook friends or Linkedin contact list shows. I've worked in fashion for five years in a variety of ways and I'm wondering if it's time for a new adventure. I also wanted to write this post as a way of you getting to know me better, as you read my brain being blurted into a very poorly written blog post. I guess this is a overspill of emotions, but I wanted to get it out there to feel a connection with you reading this and just to say 'hey this is where I'm at right now'. Don't judge others journeys by what you see in a world of social editing and climbing, it's just a bunch of pretty pictures with a filter that paints their world in a rose tinted lens.
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