The Dreaded Quarter-Life Crisis

For my entire life, I have thought that the mid-life crisis is bullshit. What responsible adult doesn’t know what they want to do? How do you just decide to change your life and who you are after such a long time of being that person?

And then I became an adult, and the mid-life crisis became much easier to understand. And, well. Then I realized my 25th birthday was approaching and I was experiencing something very akin to what I have heard about mid-life crises.

That’s right, y’all–I am having a quarter-life crisis.

As crises often do, this one snuck up on me. One minute I was thinking about a future possible very different career that I would embark on in about five years–and the next I was having an absolute nervous breakdown in my classroom, writing my resignation letter (relax, I didn’t turn it in!), and planning to move somewhere where no one knew me.

Ridiculous, I know. But the fact of the matter is that, either because the past seven weeks have been absolute hell at work or because the wanderlust has set in, I am no longer happy where I am–neither geographically nor professionally–and I do not know what to do about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the school I work in and I love many of my students as if they were my own siblings, cousins, or even children. But I feel bogged down, exhausted, burned out–and it’s too early in the game for that. How will I make it through the next few years? How will I stop myself from becoming one of those teachers that I absolutely hate, those who stopped caring twenty years ago and show up as a warm, screeching body with a worksheet in hand?

The truth is that I have known for some time that teaching is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I do have days where I love it, and I always like it, and I am damn good at it–but I do not get the fulfillment that I hoped would sustain me through the hard days. I do celebrate even the smallest victories, but they do not pierce my heart or energize me for the days to come. And, if that is case, what should I do? How do I keep battling to make a difference?

As has often been the case recently, I do not have the answer to any of the questions I have asked. I am only hoping that asking the right questions is the step I should be focusing on right now, and that I will be able to figure out where I want to go from here in due time.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up packing up my life and starting over again sometime in 2015…

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