Muse. Ramble. Rant. Repeat

Quarter-life Rant

It’s my 25th birthday today. From what I’ve read and seen, I’m supposed to slit my wrists and write a suicide note about having a quarter-life crisis. I’m not really that type of girl, so instead I’m going to spend the day telling everyone how awesome I am (because you can do that on your birthday). I’ve also prepared a little rant for you pretty ladies who read my blog (all ten of you – six who are close personal friends who have heard this rant before) about why we shouldn’t get upset about turning 25. I hope you enjoy.

There is this stigma about turning 25 in my circle of friends (real, blog-real, and imaginary). We all tend to be of the same class bracket (over-educated and under-paid) and want the same general things from life. The things we want are the holy trinity of an over-educated, successful woman: Career, Husband and Children. All of my friends (and I literally mean ALL) have been struggling with turning 25 and not having realized this goal. Few of us are ready for marriage (if we have even met someone worth marrying), few have finished our education, few are in jobs that could actually be considered a career and except for a few “accidents” we are not ready for children. This causes a freak-out of trying to figure out how we are going to achieve everything before we are 30 –which is when we are told the world ends and your uterus starts to dry up.

Fifty years ago there was no conflict for woman. You got married out of school, gave up whatever “career” you had and started having babies. Then, the women’s movement happened and women decided we wanted more from life than to just be mothers (thank god). Flash forward to today and we lucky women can now choose a career, marriage, traveling, love affairs, children etc. And we want it all. Because we are told we can have it all from a young age. And we are told if we are really smart, pretty and talented we will have it all immediately. In our early 20s. We have unlimited choice of what to do with our lives and instead of being able to pick and choose what we want from it we are expected to choose all of it and be everything.

What we aren’t told, what no one wants to tell us, is that we don’t have to be everything. If we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t want to be everything. But because we are told we should be everything we stress ourselves out to do it and when we fail, we feel horrible.

Unlike earlier generations who fought so hard to be more than just a mother we get to decide what we can do. It’s not setting back the woman’s movement to choose what you want. In fact, isn’t the ability to have the choice exactly what our mothers and grandmothers fought so hard for? This is why I don’t understand what the problem is with spending your entire 20s trying to figure out what you want; while we still have the youth and beauty to waste time. If I take a long time to decide to have children that’s my right – I don’t want to have them just because I feel like society tells me I should. Also, why should you get married to that ok guy just because you’re getting older – why don’t you wait for the awesome guy so you don’t have to look for him when you’re 40 and you already have 3 children with Mr. Ok? And what if you decide you just want to be a mother and let your husband support you? Why is it wrong to want to do that instead of trying to juggle everything? I just don’t understand.

I have friends who are starting to feel pressure to have it all. They are running to the altar with men that I don’t think they actually like. They are working jobs that pay well but in return are sucking their souls dry. They are considering children when they don’t want them. They are buying houses and cars and stuff but can’t actually afford it. Some are so overwhelmed by everything they have stopped doing anything, petrified of making a decision that is the wrong one. And for what? Why are we doing this to ourselves? Because we are supposed to? Who says so?

And who the fuck is this woman who has everything worked out? Where is she? Point her out to me!

(Now before you point to me – I have an awesome career and soon-to-be husband, but remember I have done no travelling and children scare the bejebus out of me, also my bank statement is a joke)

I spent yesterday afternoon googling women and I couldn’t find one role model who had the holy trinity who hadn’t fucked it up at least once. Many had been able to work it out after taking some time off or taking a stumble but I certainly didn’t find one person who had it all worked out by the time they turned 25. What are we 25 year olds collectively smoking that we think we should have this shit in order by the time we turn 25? Maybe at one time your life was in order by the time you turned 25. You know, in 1962 when all that was expected of a woman was to get married and have babies. But to expect that now is unrealistic. Just do the math – it’s impossible.

I don’t know what the right choices are. I think I have mine figured out, but I don’t know. I certainly can’t tell you what the right choices for you are. I just know that making choices because we feel we should have it all figured out this early in life is the wrong one. We need to take our time and maybe have it all worked out by the time we’re 35. But not when we’re 25. We need to stop freaking out about our 20s and start enjoying them. Let things happen naturally and I swear it will all work out for us.


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  1. * Akirah says:

    I definitely needed to read this. I am turning 25 next week and have been feeling sad about my life not looking how I had “planned.” As I see the man my ex truly is, I’m thankful my plans fell thru but at times it is disheartening. Anyhow, I’m trying to focus on living and not holding so tightly to plans that were obviously not right for me.

    Happy birthday. And thanks.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  2. * Lindsay says:

    Thanks, love. I know it’s your birthday but that was a pep talk I desperately needed to hear. It’s no secret that I am an example of the girl afraid to make a move lest it be the wrong decision.

    I resolve to get some guts. I resolve to make things happen.

    You’re right, though. Why should my choice to keep traveling, keep experiencing be less of a choice then say going back to school immediately?

    The older we get the more pressure is put on us to figure it out. I know some middle-aged people who STILL don’t have it figured out. I don’t want to just run blindly into something just to feel safe.

    I love you.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  3. * theweightofitall says:

    Happiest of Birthdays to you, and your wonderful heart. I hope that everyone who reads this takes away your message of strength.

    …and I hope that fifteen, twenty, thirty years from now you can look back at this piece of writing and say to yourself, “I accomplished everything I wanted to, just in my own time.”

    Best wishes.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  4. * mysterg says:

    The only example I could think of is Grace Kelly?

    You are right of course. Why settle for anything but the best? Being in your twenties is about having fun and not watching life pass you by. It’s when we reach our thirties we should start worrying!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  5. * andhari says:

    Hear, hear! This is an awesome post, I have 3 years before turning 25 and I even start to feel pressured. I don’t know exactly how my life will turn or anything, one thing for sure though : I don’t wanna jump into something I’m not ready for and be miserable. I just wanna be happy.

    Happy birthday to you!:)

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 10 months ago

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