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Monday, August 15, 2005

A Crisis

I interrupt the sequence of my Colorado experience, a tale that I am taking way too long to tell, to announce the event of my birthday which took place last Tuesday, even on this subject I am behind. Bear with me. And maybe I will get back to my hiking in the Rockies and maybe I won't. We'll see.
I must admit the trial that I am undergoing for it is in every way related to the extra year that has been added on to my age. But first let me walk you into my current plight. On one of the more civilized days of my sojourn in Colorado, I happened to visit a bookstore. There among the tall shelves my eyes scanned across the title of a book entitled, "Dealing with One's Quarter-life Crisis". My first response was a smirk and the critical thought, "Quarter-life Crisis? There's a subscribed crisis and disorder for everything these days! Pretty soon we're going to be drawing federal aid for the poor guy who sits around and has the debilitating crisis of breathing too much air through his lungs." But then after a few moments of reflection, I started to feel the utter confusion of my current situation in life. Everyone reading this has felt or is already beginning to feel the pressure from the monumental questions. What I should be? To what I should devote the prime years of my life towards? How I should go about doing the very thing that I desire to devote my life towards? When should I consider marriage as an actual forthcoming event? You know, the big questions. What am I to do with myself? I'm not getting any younger. The clock keeps ticking away. The horrible realization crossed my mind that one day I was going to look in the mirror and my hair would no longer be golden. I wasn't going to be young anymore. And the things...all the wonderful things that I was to do with my life, and yes, accomplish...(a word that I am not all that familiar with) accomplish something...all these opportunities may pass before my eyes all because I already deemed my life grand because I've travelled to more countries and did the jitterbug at more weddings than the average citizen has. And because I deemed myself smart because I read huge books that require appendices to understand what the author's saying. Is that what I want etched on my slab of granite when it is laid in that green grass. So, without any further pondering I pronounce that I am indeed going through something of a quarter-life crisis or to be more numerically correct, a 1/3rd-life crisis. No, no...don't expect me to pass around the kleenex box around on this one. I'm not whining exactly. Ok....maybe just a little.
This quarter-life crisis is very similiar to the mid-life crisis, minus the affair-with-the-secretary part. Intense questioning. Long musings. "Is this what life is supposed to be like?" and my favorite,"When shall I finally arrive?" Which I must comment, "Arrive at what?" However, it is very different than the mid-life crisis in several ways. The mid-life crisis is caused by a life that hits the stagnate waters of a monotonous life. The person has done all that he should do to excel. Went to college, got a degree, married someone, got a job, had kids, sat in church pews, paid bills, cut grass, and so on. Then the person finally wakes up and wonders if that was all that life is about. That there is something missing. So that person becomes rather wreckless, and makes a desperate grab at that very something he or she's missing. Doing completely spontaneous and unexpected things. This person may begin to do any of the following: skydiving, streaking, trekking through the Himalayas, becoming a missionary, being the limelight of dancefloors, (and my favorite), writing anonymous love poems to beautiful women they don't even know and then stalking them in large, furry bison costumes, making out with Polish girls ontop of roofs, wild road trips, crashing Hindu wedding receptions, camel-back riding in Egypt, conversing and dancing with Tibetan monks, and so on. Yes, the person is tired of the dull life and wants to do something exhilirating, for once. And then this person is all the while reading ponderous books with deep subject matter, wondering all the while, "Why?" He or she is soul-searching.
The quarter-life crisis person is quite different. In fact, it's the complete reversal. Instead of starting off doing everything that society has taught him. He starts off doing the spontaneous, unexpected things to begin with. (see list above). And even before he can get to mid-life, if he has any true contemplation about him, he begins to feel as though he is missing out on something that everyone else has. As though his grand role in life is to grow up a little become someone's eccentric uncle. Yes ironically, the midlife crisis person and the quarter-life crisis person both are looking for what the other has. And that one thing is in truth called "Significance." Though both are completely confused and mask it for something else. So what I'm trying to say is that maybe after I finish college I settle down a little bit. Get a permanent job at a bank or shoe store or something. You know, become a normal citizen for once. Watch sports like most guys my age, even golf. Heck, wear a watch. Maybe save up my money and buy a luxurious car or start dating girls who have the imagination and depth of a parakeet. We could marry, have kids, join PTO, and become steadfast advocates of prime time television and rook night. I could talk politics, cars, and college football down at Ruby Tuesday's every Thursday nights with the boys. What do you, my readers, think? Should the growth of an indivindual strive to exceed beyond the known bounds of his own personality in order to truly experience both growth and full potential? Or should one continue down the same path he's always known?


Blogger Britt said...

So, I could see you as a PTO father, busily carpooling whiney kids to karate, dance, etc. Instead of seeking adventure you earnestly seeking to get your children to school on time. Or instead of Cha, who am I kidding? Do what you love, brother. And the other will come in time.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Jovan said...

um... I've never done half the stuff you've done in your brief but adventurous lifetime. I think I've always dreamed of being an uncle. I was bred to be caged. It has been my destiny. For some of us there is no crisis... it is all "just meant to be." And life has been exciting along the way.

I'll miss you highway man...

1:30 PM  
Blogger sara shaban said...

hello brian. well i've entertained myself by reading some of your posts and it's quite obvious that your life is a bit more intresting than that of mine. And I've noticed that you're quite the dreamer. Through the brief conversation that we had I'm sure that you will achieve many great things and you appear to be very passionate about your dreams. Which makes me very happy.
I hope you have a wonderful day.
- That kid you met at the football game.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Jovan said...

Aaaa Wooo Woooooooo.....

Shame, shame, shame

*wink* wink * (nudge, nudge)

11:25 AM  
Blogger папа said...

My, my, introspection of ones place and future on earth from the carefree, excitement seeking author of travel and life! I was wondering when or if this question of your planned position in the future of this world would slice through the maze of your mind that seems more often than not to be consumed of spur of the moment enjoyment, and non-consequencial deeds of merriment. Birthdays do prod us to think on these things. Once the day has transgressed to night and the clock has struck the midnight hour, that day is gone forever, never to be lived again. How many days are we alloted? How many have been wasted. Some many, many more than others. Look to the wondrous routines of nature for lessons of life. All God's wild creatures walk, crawl, fly, or slither through their existence preparing for life at least one more day. Each must labor daily to compete, to plan their daily tasks to perserve their own lives or the very lives of their young. Would nests be built or nuts be stored without the diligence and planning that is demanded of nature? I often see animals playing but more often see each preparing for the future. Playing is fun, but building is worthwhile and more importantly leaves something for others. Your near scholastic achievement should be celebrated for it allows, even demands, following, greater achievements. I am sure they shall be great, whatever you choose them to be.

8:38 PM  

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