You probably landed on this page by accident, and if, by some miracle, you are still here and actually reading this post, you’re probably wondering what the hell a “Third Life Crisis” is. Here is the short answer: a “Third Life Crisis” [(thərd /līf/krī-səs), noun] is what happens during the confusing decade between your quarter-life crisis and your mid-life crisis.
It’s not a Quarter-Life Crisis…
Quarter life crises usually strike around college graduation, when bright-eyed, bushy-tailed twenty-somethings realize that it’s time to make it on their own in the real world. For many, it’s the first time they will have a real job, pay rent and do their own laundry (*shudder*) and it’s scary as f**k. They feel uncertain and scared at the prospect of having to choose a career and become truly independent for the first time in their lives.
At 34, yours truly has been a relatively productive member of the real world for over a decade. I’ve chosen a career and forged a path that has been somewhat successful. My parents haven’t done my laundry for almost three decades, and the days of care packages have all but passed (although, *cough, cough* I wouldn’t be mad if one showed up on my door filled with wine, MOM). So I’m definitely not having a quarter-life crisis.
It’s not a Mid-Life Crisis, either…
Mid-life crises, on the other hand, are a little more complex. Since I haven’t had my own yet (but you better believe that I will, and it will be bad), here’s what this great article says about them: women experiencing mid-life crises tend to compare their current situations to the goals they set for themselves earlier in life, and they feel like failures if they haven’t achieved all of their goals. The pressure of adulthood can cause them to feel bored, and they can lose the desire to have fun. They also tend have experience an overwhelming feeling that their best days are behind them, and view their futures as bleak.
I don’t necessarily compare how my actual accomplishments stack up to the goals I set for myself, but rather I wonder whether those goals are even still important to me. Marriage, children, a house – I haven’t achieved any of those things, and sometimes that bothers me, but most of the time I just wonder if those are even still what I want. And if not, then what do I want?
It’s a Third-Life Crisis.
I started writing as a means to help me answer these burning questions and more. Am I ready to commit another 5 years to my career in order to become partner or an executive? All at the potential expense of starting a family or seeing the world or just spending quality time with loved ones? Maybe. Should I buy a house? I don’t know. When will it be too late to try to have kids? I don’t f**king know. I wouldn’t say my future looks bleak yet, but I am definitely starting to feel a sense of time running out. And they wonder why our generation consumes more wine than any other generation before us…
This is a third life crisis.
It’s important to note that life crises aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, they allow us to turn inward and figure out what’s making us feel off kilter, which gives us the opportunity to effect change. So that is what we’re going to do – confront all of these super depressing uncertainties head-on.
Welcome to the blog.
I have never blogged before, and let me tell you, this shit is SCARY. It was all fun and games when I was writing and editing, but when it came time to actually post it for the world (let’s be honest, I would be happy if 5 people read this blog) to see? I’ve written things on here that I’ve never told anyone or even spoken out loud. I’ve discovered things that I never even knew about myself.
I’m going to write about all of the scary and awesome shit that I am experiencing in my thirties, in hopes that other women out there can relate. Intelligent, independent, fabulous women who bust their asses every day at home, in the office or wherever they are. Are you having a Third Life Crisis, too? Let’s chat.