Photo by: Emily Long
As a 21-year-old woman in the midst of a quarter life crisis, I find myself asking the same enduring question that many of my 21st century female counterparts are confronting: “Am I following my dreams?” Despite the broad ambiguity of this question, it follows me around day after day daring me to do better with my life, which brings me to the next dilemma. How?
In my early adolescence, I vividly recall waking up with a passion and thirst for life that no longer serves me as an adult. In high school, I would apply all my energy to my studies with the insatiable ambition of a young overachiever. Regrettably, when post-secondary arrived that thirst for success turned into a desire to simply pass my courses.
University life took over, as drinking, partying, working and last minute all nighters became the norm. I became a pathetic slug. The gradual shift from my keener days to my make-it-through-the-day days made me realize that my old auspicious dreams were callously cast aside. It seemed that whenever I had a moment to myself, rather than planning my career or setting goals for the future, I longed to curl up in my bed and sleep for hours of uninterrupted, unconscious bliss.
Adulthood has a funny way of slipping into mundane routine, leaving many of us yearning for something more. As we age life gets increasingly more chaotic, keeping us so busy that when we do finally realize that we have strayed from our initial dreams and aspirations, there is no way to change the path we are on.
This realization recently hit me hard, making me sink into a deep depression that took several trips to therapy, meditation class, antidepressants and yoga to get back up on my feet.
After my journey of self-help and development, I realized that we don’t need to know all the answers. Therapy forced me to let go of the controlling aspect of myself in order to embrace the beauty of spontaneity. I’ve learned that everything in life has a purpose, whether we know it or not – we are constantly growing as individuals through every experience we share. Even if we have strayed from the path we wish to be on, every choice we make teaches us a valuable lesson.
Ultimately, I can say that although I am still far away from achieving my goals, I am a firm believer in second chances and chasing your dreams no matter what age you are.