Mid-20's Life Crisis and other Humourous Life Ruminations


#1

Okay, I don’t want to be overly biographical here, but it’s kind of necessary to illustrate my point so here’s just a few thoughts that sprang to mind today whilst I was making lunch.

My situation in life is a bit odd as I graduated from college at 19, feeling much too young to handle the responsibilities of adult life that my peers were taking on. Instead, I chose to attend graduate school for 3 years following college to obtain my law qualifications. Again, the school was private and Catholic and I made a number of very good friends there. Most exceeded my age by 4-8 years. During these three years, I was not in any relationships though I turned down several very kind individual’s suggestions for such. Though I felt somewhat guilty at the time, my reasoning was that I did not feel mature enough to take that step.

Following graduation, I sat for the bar examination and continued to practise law for another year while the economy took a drastic turn for the worst. As job prospects continued to decline, I picked up everything to travel halfway around the world to gain my international legal qualifications and “start afresh” somewhere else. Fast-forward to today where I am currently: quite possibly over-educated, most definitely underpaid, over-burdened with educational debt and wondering whether I made a wrong turn somewhere.

I’m freely willing to admit that these musings are somewhat spurred by the knowledge that I’m missing my good friend’s wedding back home today. A good friend who’s invitation to date I turned down those years back. And, as most of my peers are settling down and beginning to embrace all the responsibilities of adulthood, I find myself feeling like I am out in the world just…floating.

I guess I was wondering if there were any others out here in the mid-to-upper 20’s range who feel like they missed the boat (either accidentally or deliberately) and are now left a bit unsure what to do next in life? Whether it be job-wise, or simply vocation-wise, is anyone else just waiting for the next page to turn? A friend of mine described the sensation of having the “pause” button on your life held down, while everyone else’s seems to be set to “fast-forward”. My faith has always been a wonderful constant for me that I rely on, so in that sense I have always felt fortunate that my choices have been made only after prayer and deliberation, not simply at the drop of a hat. I am well aware that God has a plan, but at this point I’m beginning to think that if my biography were to be written it would be one of those “choose your own ending” books. :o

Don’t get me wrong, I love my independence but as the years pass, I notice that the path I have taken is starting to drastically diverge from that of my friends and peers.

Has anyone else experienced this whether as the person who’s taken the path less travelled, or having known someone who did? How did it turn out? Do you think that people are “figuring things out” too late, or are you just waiting too long? What role did your faith play in your “big” decisions?

Cheers. :slight_smile:


#2

I'm 33 and an attorney (in America) and I'm looking at moving across the country and starting over as a first year associate in a completely different practice area (litigation, as opposed to wills & trusts.) In addition to learning a new practice area, I'll have to take another bar examination and completely relearn everything I've forgotten in law school, which was 8 years ago. Hooray! :p

But I'm looking forward to the change. The area where I live is just dead (economically and in some ways, spiritually), and the area where I'm looking to move is quite alive on both counts! Plus there are some friends out there with whom I am particularly looking forward to spending more time. ;) So I'm hopeful, and prayer is always a big part of this decision.

I hope this helps!


#3

I just turned 31. It’s the same issue for me. My advice is not to worry about it. Most people in my age bracket have those “adult” relationships you mentioned, and are consequently divorced,single parents,living together, and deal with a plethora of other major poor decision-making headaches. I think the statistics today show that lasting married couples are now officially a minority (a sad state of affairs)>

Think on the bright side. Neither you nor I have those life shattering issues to deal with, and we haven’t marred another person’s life as a result (via divorce, or having a kid with someone).

It’s easier said than done, but don’t evaluate your life based on the exploits and actions of those around you. Do what’s right and let the chips fall where they may. I’m not normally optimistic, but it helps to think of yourself as sort of a free agent for God. You aren’t tied down, so you’re free to throw blocks for other people that are struggling.


#4

It seems like you’re ahead of rather than behind others. Graduating college at 19? Most people only start college at 18. Law school? Seems like you’ve done well for yourself. :slight_smile: Maybe this is cultural as well, where I live the average age of marriage for both men and women is in the 30’s (it’s something like 34 for men), so if you’re in your mid twenties and unmarried it’s quite normal here.


#5

In England, college is level between high school and university. University is what they call college normally. Im not sure if thats what the OP was referring to. In America at least, nobody goes except a few very exceptional people graduate university (what we refer to as college) at 19. In Britain, it is the same way but I am not sure if law school comes after the college level in Britain or if a undergrad university degree is required like in America.


#6

Thanks for the responses everyone! It helps to know that there are others out there who have at least experienced similar feelings on the subject. I definitely agree that we shouldn’t make our decisions based on the actions of those around us, but sometimes that can be somewhat tough when it seems like the majority of those around you are making the same decisions and you are making (seemingly) crazy ones! :wink:

Also, one of my Catholic classmates in the last year of law school made a comment to me to the effect that no one wants to marry a person (especially a woman) with too much education and debt. That was a bit unsettling to me, given that we were both in the same law programme at the time! Nevertheless, I’ve ignored it but am wondering if anyone here has gotten that reaction from fellow Catholics?

mjs,

I attended an American university and law school, so my 4 year bachelor’s degree and my law degree are American degrees and my masters is a UK degree. In the UK, LLB (bachelor in laws) is a 4 year undergraduate degree so the students don’t attend the additional 3 years of law school like they do in America. Consequently, the LLM (masters in law) students in the UK are typically a bit younger than the LLM students in the US.

At my American law school, I was the youngest in my 1L class at 19, the next youngest was 23.

Now that I’m back in England, I feel ancient compared to the masters students here, so what goes around comes around, right? :wink:


#7

Hi, onegin!

If we went by what other people do, I, at 25 and single, am an old maid compared to women from my university’s Catholic group, most of whom married by age 23. I am also weird, as I went to grad school in an urban city in a “liberal” area instead of settling for a unequal relationship with a friend who was way more into me than I into him and sacrificing a dream that would’ve develop my personal and spiritual growth.

The American economy is what it is and I’m waiting on word from a job with a Catholic group that uses my degrees (prayers, please - it’s my dream!), but otherwise, I, too, am saddled with a lot of education and debt. I would hope men don’t use that against me, because really, my life path has made me who I am and I wouldn’t want to imagine my life any other way. That being said, I can’t imagine what my life will be if I don’t get this job! Definitely on pause…but God’s come through before and helped me see how to make opportunities for myself, so I’ll draw on that strength again. Though it doesn’t feel “fair” that younger women got their jobs and houses and men, it is what it is, and who knows, the wait my be worth it for me.

To answer your most recent question: No, I’ve never gotten that reaction. Men I’ve dated have not gave me guff for being “behind.” Men ages 23-32 have socialized with me, all single, all working or in studies, but with an interest in building a relationship that could one day lead to marriage, just like me. None have worked out for other reasons, but the point being that the right person won’t care about your current position, just care about who you are and who you’re going to become.

For what it’s worth, I desire an educated spouse, and so do most of my Catholic girlfriends. “Too much education” is a problem for us if it means “snobby” or “condescending.” And as long as there was a plan to pay down educational debt and earn enough (together if necessary) to build safe, reasonably comfortable lives (maybe renting as opposed to mortgage and Internet but no cable TV) for a young family, good debt, as it’s called here, is not a significant issue.

Good luck hitting play on your life, and God bless!


#8

I'm 28, and I feel like my life is slipping away. I did move from Oregon to to the Seattle area. I'm single, and hating it. I left all my friends behind. And the young adult groups are so boring (I fell asleep once during a women's bible study, and I haven't even returned to the parish). I tried to bring fun to the group, but I got shut down.

I was talking to one of my friends,and advised that I go and do what I love. So in the last few days, I'm thinking of moving to Vegas once my lease is up. :D. One of my friends just moved down there, and got an apartment for really cheap. Now to brush off my party girl clothes! I only have a few good looking years left, might as well use them.


#9

Hmmm…
Well I have a bit…I am only 27 though.:o I will be 28 in July! However, as much as I sometimes wonder about some my choices for education and career…I have gotten to travel a lot, experienced a great amount of cultural and educational type things, things I would never trade! And I love my job as a librarian! :smiley: I am now thinking towards the other things I would like for my life, such as a home and family…
I also knew that I would never be one of those women who married right in or out of college…I never wanted to just settle for someone just to have a family right away. I would love to have these things very much, and like the OP, at friends weddings I do some wishful thinking… but I again would never trade the experiences I was blessed with…:slight_smile:


#10

[quote="LilyElain, post:9, topic:191294"]
Hmmm...
Well I have a bit...I am only 27 though.:o I will be 28 in July! However, as much as I sometimes wonder about some my choices for education and career...I have gotten to travel a lot, experienced a great amount of cultural and educational type things, things I would never trade! And I love my job as a librarian! :D I am now thinking towards the other things I would like for my life, such as a home and family...
I also knew that I would never be one of those women who married right in or out of college...I never wanted to just settle for someone just to have a family right away. I would love to have these things very much, and like the OP, at friends weddings I do some wishful thinking... but I again would never trade the experiences I was blessed with...:)

[/quote]

I feel the same way. I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything (even the bad decisions). Because they make me, well, ME. If I have kids, I can tell them about the time Mom almost became famous in Nashville. :D.

But I'm trying accept the fact that if I never get married, I have to find happiness somewhere else, and give up on that dream. I just don't know where yet.


#11

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