I Survived My 20s – Quarter Life Crisis

(c) Monique Pearson

[Guest Post by Alison Lublink] – I feel like my 20s was just one big quarter life crisis.  don’t even know where to start, really.

I guess when I turned 20 I was in University studying music, thinking I was going to be a music teacher. You know, impart that all-powerful wisdom to children and show them a thing or two?

After all, I was 20. 

I knew what I was talking about, right?

Fast forward two years to 22 and I’m walking down the aisle to marry my now-husband.

We’d been together since we were very young and so we knew this whole marriage thing would be a piece of cake. After all, you say “I do”, you live in a house, you do some dishes, and life’s good, right?

As it turns out there’s a lot more to learn about marriage than perhaps I thought there was.

It has been great, and it has also caused us both to stretch and grow in ways unimaginable. We went through puberty together, we’ve been through the transition into adulthood, and now we’ve transitioned our way to being almost 30. Those transitions weren’t easy, but they were educational; monumental; necessary.

In the middle of our 20s we became pastors of a Church within the denomination we grew up.

It was not what we had planned, but we knew it was what God wanted at the time. In a flash we packed up and moved away and settled into what we thought would be a life-long career of serving God through The Church in this “official” way. For 6 years we poured our hearts into it, feeling elation, deep sorrow and all the while being shaped physically, emotionally, and spiritually by the experience.

But in recent months we’d started to feel restless.

Que the quarter life crisis music.

There was a steady upheaval in our hearts about where we should be; what we should be doing. We looked at that ominous “3-0” ahead of us and while it seemed to be clearly lit, pulling us along toward it, we weren’t really sure how we were going to get there; what that journey was going to be like.

At 20 you want to have your whole life figured out.

You want it to be neat, tidy, and ultimately well-organized. You have grand dreams. But as you move further away from 20, and closer to 30, you realize that the neat, tidy, well-organized dreams are rather slippery and hard to grasp. You start to realize that perhaps life is a bit messy, disorganized, and while you still have grand dreams you aren’t disillusioned when they don’t turn out the way you’d planned.

Now, at 28 and 29, we find ourselves on the brink of a new shift. Some call it a “quarter-life crisis”, some say it’s natural for our generation.

But I say it’s just the process of continuing to grow in Christ. It’s the process of developing into who we are as we near 30. We have left pastoring and moved to the Middle East. We know it won’t be easy; but we also know it is right.

Is it “official” ministry? 

No. 

But it seems to us to be just as authentic as the ministry we were doing.

I have a year and a half left of my 20s, and I’m becoming a music teacher in the Middle East.

And I’m hoping to gain a whole lot of wisdom from the children I teach. I’m hoping they’re going to show me a thing or two. After all, I’m 28, and I’ve realized that children are probably the only ones in this life who truly enjoy life for what it is. I think as we hit 30 we could all use a dose of that.

“30” isn’t some magic number by where you have everything the world tells that you should have.

You might not have that white picket fence. 

You might not have the spouse, dog and 2.1 kids. 

But you have the lessons you’ve learned through your 20s and you have the opportunity to start your 30s with some freshness, some lessons well-learned, and the naivety that your 30s are going to be some of your best years yet.  I plan to embrace them, not let them consume me.

What do you plan to do?

Alison Lublink (@alisonlublink) has recently moved to the Middle East (Kuwait) where her and her husband are teachers.  She’s taking life one step at a time and blogs about her daily journey, travel and food on her blog. (http://lublink.org/alison)