Quarter-life crisis

A lot of people talk about mid-life crises, but has anyone ever had a quarter-life crisis? Because right now, for me, it is very real.

A week from today I turn 25 so that “quarter-life” mark is barreling down on me fast and some days I feel like I’m in a tailspin. I really have felt this way since the beginning of the year.I know 25 is far from old, but trust me when I say that what I am struggling with is very real.

I have great friends surrounding me (who I am extremely blessed to have), but some days their lives amplify my struggles.

One friend dreams of owning her own dance studio and she is making strides to get there.

Another friend recently moved to NYC to start a new job and she loves it.

Another friend is currently in graduate school pursuing a master’s degree in something she is passionate about.

Another friend is in Texas working a great job in sports (which she loves).

I know I shouldn’t be comparing my life with theirs, but that doesn’t keep me from doing it. They all know clearly what they are passionate about and what their career dreams look like. And some days I still feel like a freshman in college  wondering if there’s anything out there that I’m truly passionate about.

I got an English degree in college because I was good at English and an English degree translates well into many fields. At graduation I thought I wanted to go into book publishing — so much so that I took a month-long graduate certification course in book publishing in Denver. But a recent book project that I had the chance to work on has shown me that maybe book publishing isn’t my passion, maybe it isn’t something I would want to do the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed to have the job I have at TAB, and I’m confident that this is where God has me for this season of my life. I just haven’t found that thing I love, the thing that sets my heart on fire, and that does make life a little harder.

So here I am again, unsure of where I fit best. Unsure of my purpose.

Of course, in the broad scheme of things I know my purpose: to glorify God and bring others to see His glory. But what does that look like in my life?

It can be hard to get through the week when I feel like my life is just going in circles — that I’m not moving forward. I’m not working toward any future goals, because I don’t know what my future goals are.

I have so many interests, I could spend 20 years in school and still not cover everything. I love traveling so I enjoy geography and culture; I’m interested in criminology and forensic science; I enjoy event planning; I like social media and the marketing side of things; and of course, I do enjoy writing. (So if anyone knows of a career that blends all of those things, please hit me up.)

But my future career isn’t the only thing weighing on me as I hit this 25-year mark.

I know the culture, my friends and my family all expect me to get married and have children. And many people my age have already done one or both of those things. But neither of those things feel like they’re even on the horizon for me and that’s hard to accept.

God doesn’t promise me a husband and 2.5 children. I’m working every day to be so in love with Him and know Him so deeply that I won’t base my worth on my relationship status. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a strong desire to be married one day, and that’s something that I’m praying about.

Don’t worry, that’s not the end of my crisis. This part might be the hardest to admit: I feel like I’m struggling with friends (and part of it is my fault). I have a great small group and church family I get to spend time with each week, but, as noted above, many of my closest friends live outside of Birmingham (and several in other states). I don’t get to see or talk to them as often as I used to. Yes, part of that is me not reaching out to them, but I can get so in my head and insecure about whether I’m interrupting their day or whether they even want to talk or hang out that I decide it would be easier not to even make contact. (I’m shielding myself from rejection.)

I say all of this, not because I have solved my problems, but because I bet someone else is going through something similar. You are not alone. And although I don’t how to make it better, how to make you feel whole again, how to stop you from crying yourself to sleep at night, I do know Who can. The God who holds the universe also holds your life and mine.

He’s seen every tear we’ve cried, heard every desperate prayer and knows what our futures hold. We only need to cling to Him and find our joy in Him. It’s a long road to walk and I’m just now strapping on my shoes, but I am desperate for comfort and I know Who can provide it — so God I’m running to you.

“Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? … If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:7, 11–16)


Jessica Ingram is a regular contributor to The Scroll. She also is project manager for TAB Media Group. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.


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