Mid Mid-Life Crisis
This post goes out to all the 20 something’s out there who are lost. I write for all of you going through the constant turmoil of this ever-transitioning time in our lives. Here’s to you. Here’s to us.
So, you went to college and majored in something awesome. Obviously you kept it practical: Art History, 19th Century Literature, Photography, maybe a minor in Anthropology.
You did your unpaid internship to boost that resume. I mean, so what if you technically paid to do it because you had to take the train into the city or pay for parking, and of course you had to go out to lunch with the other interns at least once a week. But, it’s going to turn into a job eventually, so it’s ok.
You graduated college and then went to graduate school or started working at an entry level job knowing that: this is temporary, I’ll apply to other jobs while I’m working here or I’ll get promoted at this company (within the year obviously) and get a head start on paying back my student loans.
So, you did everything you were supposed to do. How did all of that work out for you?
Yea, not too great for me either.
But before you go down that dark spiral of depression and negativity remember these things:
If you have never failed, would you truly be able to succeed? I actually have no clue what the answer to this question is. All I know is that life can’t be awesome all the time. #LifeIsNotFair BUT here’s the reality check: remember that if you know what it’s like to love every moment of an experience you’ve had (even if it was brief), to laugh until your stomach hurts, or to have someone in your life who loves you (yes, even if you’re a total mess), then know that you are lucky. You know what it’s like to be happy, even if at this very moment in your life, thing’s are not happening as you thought they would. Because really, whose life has worked out exactly like they thought it would?
Think of the Change Makers. Sometimes I just like to sit and think of all the AMAZING people throughout history who have shaped our society and made a real structural impact (yea that’s right, I have TWO degrees in peace and conflict studies, so there). You know, the ones we are still celebrating today, years and even centuries after they have died? The Susan B. Anthonys, Martin Luther Kings, Gandhis, Mother Teresas, and the Albert Einsteins? Well guess what, they all failed. At some point or another, they made massive mistakes. So chin up, you could be the next Harriet Tubman.
The economy sucks. Remember, you did not create this reality. It was just there waiting for you with open arms after graduation. Was it the same reality many of your parents went through? No, probably not. But this is the burden of the millennials. Don’t use it as an excuse, but use it as a reminder that you are not a complete failure, but rather this is your challenge; this is your uphill battle, so take it in stride. Figuring your life out is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So pace yourself and grab some BodyGlide because there’s going to be a lot of chaffing.
The world needs you. This world needs people who studied art, human needs and behaviors, and societal structures. Why? Because these things are important. If the world was made up purely of engineers and people who are good at numbers, then our society would be completely out of balance. And you know what else? Not everyone can do what you do. Sure they may try to convince you that they can. But they can’t. Trust me on this. The world needs art, music, activists, critical and creative thinkers. True, these things may not pay very well right now (if at all), but that just means they can’t be your full time career… yet. If you’re truly passionate about something, don’t give it up. Find a way to work it into your life somehow – even if it’s not in the Monday to Friday, 9-5 time slot.
I am a lost 20 something-year-old. But I won’t be lost forever. And neither will you.
Kaitlin writes about current events, pop culture, and innovative ways to promote gender equality through online advocacy. Read more of Kaitlin’s posts here.
About the Author
Kaitlin Rattiganis a recent graduate with an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a concentration in Gender and Peacebuilding. She is a firm believer in social media as an effective and meaningful tool to promote positive societal change. Never underestimate the power of 140 characters. Kaitlin is a voice for the Millennials, a constructive disruptionist, an advocate for women’s leadership, and is a believer in challenging and expanding the definitions of what it means to be a feminist. For gender-analytical fem-tastic commentary on current events, follow Kaitlin@KaitlinRattigan. Do you have an issue you want highlighted on The Movement Blog? Is there an area within women’s leadership that you feel passionate about and want to share with a wide audience? Feel free to send Kaitlin a DM or Tweet to@KaitlinRattiganwith the hashtag #Women2025 and let’s keep the conversation going and work together to propel women into their equal share of leadership positions by 2025.