The story of my “Quarter Life Crisis”.
When I first started this blog, I was going a little stir crazy at work and had decided that I needed to do something outside of work that made me happy. Not only was I in a steady, full time job earning quite a respectable salary but I was also excelling at this job, feeling very confident in my abilities and receiving a lot of positive feedback from my superiors including plenty of hints regarding potential promotions in the future. This job was everything I thought I wanted however there was still a black cloud hanging over all the positivity I should have been feeling. I made some enormous life changes and whilst there is still a long way to go before I can officially say these choices have worked out for the best, I have never felt more positive. Here is how I became so fed up that I went against everything I’d ever been taught to create a happier, healthier life for myself.
The wasted years
As a young child, I can remember desperately wanting to grow up and become a writer. My nose was always stuck in books and my older cousin tells me it was really hard to pull me away from them for even a simple conversation. I can remember that when I was as young as eight years old I was somehow aware that writers struggled a lot and that it was a very cut throat industry so I decided that if I wanted to be any kind of writer, my safest bet would be journalism. I enrolled in university straight after school but having spent the past few years enjoying teenage life and spending minimal time studying, university was not easy and turning eighteen only added to my lack of care and responsibility, which meant I was unable to achieve the minimum attendance rate, let alone decent grades. I chose to drop out after one semester and told myself I wasn’t meant to be a writer since I didn’t seem to have the drive to do university.
I got a full-time job and proceeded to have the time of my life spending all my money on shopping, food and heavy partying. After a few years of this, my poor parents were getting worried because I was never home, hanging around all the wrong crowds and didn’t seem to put any thought into my future. The only thing I had any sense of responsibility with was my work ethic. Work ethic was pretty much bred into me by my caring parents, I was working casually before I was legally old enough to have a job and when I worked full time, I had this constant determination to strive for self-improvement and promotions.
Eventually I settled down on the partying (but not the spending) and soon enough I met my partner, which is when my life really began to change. Eddy taught me how to save my money instead of spending it on useless things and I made a big career change to the job I mentioned earlier. This job had so much opportunity and paid well enough that we could afford to splurge on great holidays, the first being Vietnam where we had the absolute time of our lives before returning to reality and saving for the next trip.
The clichéd epiphany
Vietnam had left me with the travel bug and during this time I was completely addicted to reading travel blogs, which managed to bring memories flooding back of my childhood dreams. At the time, I was looking to find something that would make me happy and the thought had been occurring to me for quite a while that I should start a blog. For a long time I brushed these thoughts away because I didn’t think I had anything fascinating to say and I didn’t think that anyone would be interested in my writings but suddenly I began thinking and became quite disappointed in myself.
Why had I talked myself out of my dreams? Why did I care who read my writings anyway, when the joy was in the creation itself? I am in no way a conversationalist, I have never been a very confident person and definitely not one to talk myself up, but the one thing I have always been silently confident with, is my writing ability. I started to wonder why I doubted my abilities when I know exactly what I am capable of and so, for the first time in my life, I decided to back myself. I began writing my blog and decided to focus it on travel as this was my main inspiration at the time. Not too many weeks later, I was diagnosed with an invisible illness after spending a good couple of years trying to figure out what was wrong and over a decade with crippling pain among many other symptoms. Unfortunately, my work got in the way of my health yet again and as a result my already barely-there blog suffered quite terribly.
With the state my health was in at this stage, I was not handling the pressure of my job but funnily enough it came in handy for things like paying the rent and saving for trips overseas so I continued to do it for a variety of reasons. I didn’t want to start off at a new place and be calling in sick all the time, I also really did enjoy the fast pace, I was really good at it, it paid rather well and there was so much opportunity awaiting me in the company. Opportunity for moving up, opportunity for higher pay, opportunity for increased stress and further declination of my already dismal health.
I had been blinded by the notion that I had been raised to believe was right – struggle now and reap the rewards later. But when is later? And what are the rewards? Why did I allow people to instil a sense of greed in me that had left me lying here on the lounge exhausted? They had meant well in their advice but here I was not living my life because all of my energy was being thrown into this stressful job. I was aware that this job was making me spiral further into my illness and sadly, it had come to a point where I was not enjoying some of the best years of my life.
I had a personal rule that I know a lot of people also share – never quit a job until you have another one lined up, however I eventually felt it was time to break this rule and focus on my own wellbeing. Resigning from that job and facing unemployment for the first time in many years was the hardest decision I have ever made and I spent many teary days wondering if I had just ruined my life and everything that I had worked so hard for over the past year. The next month I spent in bed, too weak to function properly while my body was recovering from the most stressful period of my life and once better, I spent the following month regaining my energy and organising a variety of things in preparation for our Europe trip.
The new me
Our Europe trip was so fast paced and we managed to squeeze so much adventure into just five weeks. We were able to do this by doing a short Contiki as well as a short Topdeck, renting a campervan in between those and then finishing up with a slow-paced week at the end. Since returning, my life has changed so much as both myself and Eddy have adopted a healthier, much more active lifestyle almost overnight. I have enrolled into University and am so excited to begin my degree in professional writing and publishing. I feel so grateful to have one more chance to pursue my dream despite throwing away previous opportunities that not everyone can say they have had. I have finally realised what is important and I will always put my health and wellbeing first in the future, this includes pushing myself with certain endeavours that may seem difficult to undertake. I can’t emphasise enough to everyone I speak to lately how imperative it is to look after your health and wellbeing before looking after your bank account.
I decided to write this blog post because I have been itching to do something more stimulating with this website and I simply can’t wait to share my thoughts and inspirations with the world as my style grows and develops throughout my university course. Rather than continuing on with yet another conventional travel blog site, I am looking forward to slowly incorporating my travel posts with other pieces of literary art and lifestyle posts. I’m eager to grow this website into a space where I can write about all of the things that evoke so many different emotions within my soul.
For now, I am feeling the most positive I have felt in a very long time and experiencing so much happy anticipation for what is to come.
I am now rediscovering my zest for life, one day at a time.
– Kels xo