So the mid-life-crisis our fathers had has turned into a quarter-life or first-third-of-life or third-decade-of-life -crisis for our generation.
So many folks I know who are on the eve of their third decade seem to be taking a break or breaking things off or trying to change some huge thing about their lives right now--like where they live, or the industry they work in, or the company they keep. Its really kind of fascinating.
Myself, I don't know. My roommate and I were talking last night about making a list of things we want to do before we turn thirty (its kind of a big number, and if you're in your mid-twenties anyway, it has begun to feel land-mark-ish and like it is approaching rather quickly).
Maybe this comes from what they were saying in Time and People and other singular-word-named-publications when I was in high school: that we, as a generation, were growing up faster than our parents had (even with the drugs sex and rock'n'roll of their time)--we're all revved on group supervised activities created to improve our marketable skills and computers in our bedrooms, all jaded and promiscuous because of the easy availability of condoms and ecstasy since our early teens.
And maybe now we're just hitting the wall: we've been out of college for a decent handful of years and what has any of us accomplished? I know a lot of girls who have gotten married (and at least one who has subsequently gotten divorced) some are pregnant with their first child, others have dropped a sprog already (sorry, that sounds cruder than I meant it to). But are we where we want to be?
Is anyone ever where they want to be?
Has anyone even figured out where they want to be yet? I sure haven't. And that is certainly worrying. Shouldn't I know by now? If I don't know now, will I ever?
I have several female friends who each, singularly, have a fantasy of a male savior. Of some guy sweeping in and taking care of their life, marrying them, taking them away from the work-a-day world and up into something infinitely preferable: marriage and being a stay-at-home-mom seems to be the general way this particular fantasy ends. I can't really stomach that one, myself. Its just too fatalistic. Too little control of your own destiny is disgusting, as far as I can see. But for these friends its not really the end (hazy-misted and far away as it is) that matters, its the idea that something else might exist within reach, that gets them through a dead-end day at a dead-end job. Keeps the crisis at bay.
And what keeps my own personal crisis at bay? Well, I'm trying to see life as a work in progress and not freak out too much about level-setting and goalposts. I think its important to remember that the ultimate goal of this particular journey is a graveyard somewhere (oh I'm just so happy. What pleasant imagery, huh?). But seriously: thats what we get to at the end, no matter what sort of crisis we have or avert today. So you might as well enjoy it while you've got it.