over the years i've had countless friends who seem to experience an existential crisis when they near the age of 30. at the time, which was my early 20s, i could never comprehend the feeling. i was content with my life, my direction, my identity. i was in the process of completing a bachelor of science in psychology, i was working as a waitress, i was coaching, playing tennis, indoor soccer, and i was living in another country. i was living. and i had my entire 20s to continue doing so. fast forward 8 years and those feelings of contentment have all but dissipated.
i am now 29. i quit my job at the start of the year to pursue writing a book that i've wanted to write for 7 years. i'm trying to promote a business of equipping individuals with skills to better support others. i'm in a healthy, stable relationship. and i'm still playing soccer. but i'm severely unfulfilled.
when i reflect on my 20s, i start to question, what have i done? what have i achieved? what am i doing now, that i wasn't doing nearly 10 years ago? what have i learnt? how have i grown and developed?
when i project into my 30s, i become paralysed with fear. is this what i want the rest of my life to look like? is this the business i want to run for the rest of my life? if not, what else are you going to do? how can you live a life of meaning? how long are you going to keep playing soccer for? when do you think you're going to travel? when are you going to start thinking about kids? when are you going to grow up?
i always knew i didn't want to work a 9-5 because i struggle with monotony. that's why i preferred restaurant work over cafe work - the hours were stable, but unpredictable. it wasn't the same thing every day. but when i look to the future, that sense of stability sounds appealing. i've now been unemployed for over three months and the daily internal conflict i'm fighting is consuming me. the worst part is, i don't know what the solution is. returning to hospitality seems a logical suggestion, but a mind-numbing one. i left hospitality to do more. to be more. but what that more looks like, i've been struggling to answer.
the prospect of turning 30 is daunting. not only are there societal expectations of having your life together, but there's a biological clock of having kids. not just your own biological clock, but those of your parents too. having kids early enough so they can actively enjoy being grandparents. i fully acknowledge putting pressure on yourself is counterproductive in finding fulfillment, but without the distractions in my life that i have formerly had, i'm left with not much more than my thoughts.
so it's safe to say, i think i'm experiencing my own existential crisis.