How Am I Supposed to Feel?

i wrote this entry as a friends-only post in my personal blog, but i felt like sharing it here because it’s relevant to my personal finances and also my tagline “a quarter life crisis and change.”


i just wish life would click into place. i’m starting to accept that i never will. when i was younger, i always believed that one day i’d just get it. i’d fit in, i’d be loved, i’d just know what was going on and i wouldn’t have to worry anymore.

geez, i’m almost 25. almost 20 freaking 5.

i don’t know what i want to do with my life despite the fact that i’m doing a lot with my life.

i used to feel like i needed to do something important. now i just want to get from day to day.

i used to believe passion was everything. now i’m numb more than ever. disconnected.

i feel love and it feels great. but is love enough? i mean, for life, that is. is that all there is to want? or should i chase money? fame? what is it i should want? family?

that’s my problem. i don’t know what to want anymore. sure i want to make money. i want to save money. i like buying things. but i’m not really driven to become rich. i maybe want a family one day but i’m not sure. my ovaries are not exactly my best friends and they’re going to fight me if i ever want to have kids. could i even deal with having kids? i’m too selfish and irresponsible to have children. at least for now. will i ever change? i haven’t changed yet.

i think what’s bugging me so much is that i’ve lost my drive. i’m almost content. still scared, still worried that i’m going to end up unemployed and alone.


i don’t know. i find these little things to drive me for a while. theater. auditions. even though i know my singing voice is off key more often than not. sometimes i get a part. and there’s the rush. there’s the reason to go forward in life. but it’s gone so soon.

my old friend wrote an entry today about how she feels disconnected from her family and siblings because she lives so far away. i kind of feel that too. not that i’d want to live back home. god, i’d be miserable.

i just feel so terribly lost. and maybe that’s how i’m supposed to feel. like life is pointless and i’m lost and just wandering on blindly. and maybe my goal is to just deal with it. try to smile and laugh as much as possible and enjoy the simple things in life.

but then i’m just so… bored. and in some respects so empty. but that’s because more than anything i want to want. to need. to have that hunger for… something.

i’m going to israel in a month and i’m not even excited about it. nor am i worried that i’m going to lose at the least $2000 in salary for the two+ weeks I’ll be away. i just don’t care… at all… about much of anything… anymore.

is this depression or just growing up?

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10 thoughts on “How Am I Supposed to Feel?”

  1. If it helps at all, I am 28 and don't have a plan or a grand sense of direction, either. I've set mini-goals, like getting five years of law firm experience in my field (for some reason this is the industry standard for moving into higher-level government, industry, or non-profit work with a legal bent). I'm working toward those mini-goals right now, but it is definitely overwhelming to think about what happens when I acheive them and have to figure out a larger plan, and to make a bunch of different things–carer, kids, marriage, geography–fall into some sort of coherent shape. Eek! It's just a bumpy stage of our lives we're in right now. When I was younger I thought by 28 I would have a better handle on this. Now I'm hoping by the end of my 30th year I do. I keep moving the goalposts on myself. Maybe next year I'll feel like a grown up! Sure.I hope your trip to Israel gives you a chance to set back and focus on yourself so you can come back feeling recharged.

  2. I'm not sure I can spot the difference between depression and growing up … it almost feels like they go hand in hand at our age. All my old college friends are experiencing this malaise, this dispassion for life, or worse. I assume it'll just take some time and maybe something dramatic to shake things loose. I hope?

  3. Thanks for sharing this post. Very real, very interesting, and – I believe – very typical feelings for those in their 20's. I don't think it's depression; I think it's a rational reaction to our cultural situation today. Throughout history people existed mainly focused on survival, literally in efforts to keep food on the table and provide a decent life (some education, some fun, some sense of place) for yourself and your family. And having/starting a family was not even an option; people in every culture has always done it, and most were doing it by the time they were physically able. In contrast, we today are so lucky and provided for, and we have so many options in our "anything goes" society, that we are in constant angst. What do I WANT? To be well-fed and educated and entertained – is that all there IS? I'm sure our ansectors would have been confused by the question. Personally, I think what's missing for most is a strong sense of community, of family. We are free to travel anywhere, to live in any circumstances, to access any information with a few motions of our fingertips. We don't have to struggle for food, for anything really. Yet few of us are really happy. The happiest people in the world live simply – a life of struggle, perhaps, "poverty" even, but fulfilled. What do they have that we don't? Strong families, strong communities, and religion. Those cultures can't comprehend "what's the meaning of it all?" questions. And perhaps that's our answer.

  4. I'm 26 and directionless. There are days I'm mind-numbingly bored and restless. So I keep a notebook with me and write it down. I write how I feel and how I want to change. And I try to make some progress toward achieving that – sending an email to a friend, following up on a networking contact or signing up for an activity and forcing myself to be social. It's just the cycle of life. Sometimes we need to do something to jolt us from our comfort zones. I hope your trip to Israel helps you figure it all out.

  5. @ MEG:Thank you for this beautiful, well-written comment. I agree with everything you said. It appears that even though we have managed to satisfy our primary needs (shelter, food, water), we have failed to do so with regard to our minds… I believe this will change eventually, if only because this transition to the world where you don't have to fight to survive is fairly recent, and has taken place over the past 100 years.@ SFGal:You are not alone. 🙂 I'm your age, and I'm going through something very similar. I think most people are afraid to speak out and share, and chances are, a lot of Gen-X&Y people are going through this right now. In any case, thank you for sharing with all of us.

  6. Girl I understand how you feel. I have been feeling pretty much the same way lately but I have not been able to express it.

  7. I'm almost 25 – I will be in November – and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels too. Somehow, I think it's normal.. Especially as those of our generation struggle more and more with the issues from past generations.

  8. Just found your blog and I feel like some of the things you write about are things that are happening to me. I am 28 (soon to be 29..gulp!) and I too feel like I have no direction. Right now I have a good job where I get the recognition that I have always craved yet I am not satisfied, In order to get this job, I had to move away about 120 miles from everything and everyone that I know. I am now looking for a new job back in the area where i used to live and to be honest, I don't know if I want to continue to do the same thing that I have been doing. Part of me feels like it is too late to start something new. So I feel stuck. I don't have a solution to how you are feeling but I am not sure if it makes you feel better that you aren't the only one going through this dilemma. Perhaps your trip will help you analyze what it is that you truly want and go for it.

  9. Everyone goes through these thoughts and struggles at around age 25. We've worked so hard all our young lives to achieve, just as our parents told us to. They told us we could be anything, do anything, and that left us with so many options. A college education plays into this.But don't worry too much. If you accept the struggle and live with it for a while, go with your gut on big decisions, and overall just love yourself through it, by the time your late 20s come around, things start to make sense. You begin to figure out your place in the world. You begin to understand what you want out of life.

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