Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Week's Quote: A Quarter-Life Crisis in the Works

"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of someone else's life with perfection."

- from The Bhagavad Gita according to Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love

I am just now reading Eat, Pray, Love, if you can believe it. The book sat on my nightstand for at least a year and a half, but I never felt the urge to read it. Maybe something greater than me was waiting until the right time for me to start the book. A time during which the book would speak to me quite loudly. As someone going through a bit of a quarter-life crisis, I am constantly trying to figure out what I want or what it is that I am meant to do.

Make no mistake, I am very blessed in my personal life. I have an incredible husband, who is both my best friend and the love of my life, a loving family, and friends whom I adore. The area where I seem to be having trouble is in my professional life. I just can't figure out what it is that I am meant to do. I tried teaching and felt unfulfilled and bogged down, and I have been doing the real estate thing for a little while now, but things are so slow that I feel like none of my efforts have paid off and the wind has just been taken out of my sails.

If it weren't for little things like bills, mortgages, and other adult responsibilities, I would take off, travel the world, write, live life, and figure things out while sipping a beautiful Rioja in a Spanish square or while taking in the view of the ocean from the hills of the Amalfi Coast. I feel like I am a walking contradiction at times, I want to start a family in the near future, but I want a successful career as well. It feels like so much to figure out. If anyone is looking to hire a girl who loves design, travel, food, writing, is fluent in Spanish, near-fluent in Italian, and somewhat conversant in French, let me know! I'm kidding. Well, mostly.


Alicia B Blogs said...

Paloma! I know exactly how you feel! don't worry though you're SO YOUNG! (so am i) at least you have a rad/beautiful/ inspiring blog!
Alicia B.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...


I totally know where you are coming from. I hit my mid-twenties and I was completely confused. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and I was so unhappy with my career.

Like you I've had a great home life and I have a very supporting husband yet I was still confused.

I also keep bouncing back and forth on having a baby. I want one really badly, but I also want a great career. I'm hoping I can have both. I want my child to be proud of his/her momma.

So I've finally come to terms with somethings and decided to move in a new career direction. I've always wanted to work in Interior Designer so I'm not taking the steps to start my own decorating business. It's just going to be a side business for right now. I still need paycheck due to bills, mortages, living , etc, but hopefully this will turn into a full-time job.

I'm always here if you want to vent/talk.

I think a lot of people feel the way that we do.


Paloma said...

Thank you so much, girls! I'm so glad to hear that someone else feels this way and that I'm not completely crazy! It's so tough, though. I'm someone who has always had set goals and a clear plan, so I've definitely been thrown for a loop.

I hope we all figure it out eventually! It sounds like it's pretty common for our age group. I guess the process of finding oneself or figuring out what to do in life is truly organic. You just have to roll with the punches, put yourself in God's hands, and eventually (fingers crossed) we will land on our feet. XOXOXO

Bonnie said...

Hi Paloma, Whilst I am normally just one of those lurkers on your blog, this post inspired me to comment! This is such a beautiful and honest post and I think you voice the feelings of so many women of our generation- the quarter-life crisis is so common! I look at women around me and there is so much fear about doing the 'right' or 'wrong' thing and also fear of being judged by others for the choices you make. I know I feel that from time to time- I am (almost) 27 and about to get married. Over the course of our engagement I have heard everyone's opinions on if they think I am too young, or it's 'about time' and everyone wants to know how long we will 'wait' to have children! I for one am trying to take deep breaths and hoping that everything will just fall into place and happen as it is meant to! Easier said than done ;)

Brian said...

Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?


Paloma said...

Bonnie, thank you so much for your kind words and support. I hope you are right and things fall into place for all of us. It all just feels so heavy and scary, though, especially when you couple it with this horrible economy. I wish you all the best and hope that you will leave comments more often. XOXO

Brown Family said...

Hi Paloma

At 26 I needed a big change and left South Africa in the hopes of immigrating to Canada. I was really in need of cash, so I went to Iceland and worked in a remote northern village hand peeling shrimp for Marks & Spencers. It was hard work and I take my hat off factory workers everywhere. Two years later I had enough money to get to Canada and worked another few years as a nanny on an immigration program. I put my personal life on hold until I got citizenship. Two years later I met my husband and within a couple of years of that, we were married and I had our first child at 39. Our second was born when I was 40 and our third at 41. Prior to having kids I worked as a decorator and had my own home featured in Canadian House & Home magazine and we traveled to Europe (Marbella in Spain is our favourite spot). Soon after our first child was born we moved to a small town (husband's work) and decorating was out of the question due to lack of resources and clients, not to mention kids. I now have three toddlers and am as hectic as ever but understand completely your wanting something more as I too am there. We are moving in a couple of months and I have spent my evenings (when the kids are asleep)renovating our house. Even though I am exhausted at the end of the day due to kids and painting, I feel such satisfaction from the changes I have made to our house. I realize that my children are my priority and whatever I do career wise, will have to work around them.

Your quarter-life-crisis is a tough one to figure out. I would have preferred to have kids in my 20's. We travel with our kids quite a bit and even went to Spain for our son's 1st birthday.My advice would be to choose a kid-friendly career. After I had kids, my career aspirations changed as they needed me and I wanted to be there for them.

Good luck finding your own answers. Sharing your inner most feelings is refreshing to read and I appreciate your candidness.

Paloma said...

Marion, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and for you well wishes. XOXO

Anonymous said...

I understand exactly how you feel. You and I are the same age, and I think there is something to be said about this point in your life, you have this sort of now or never feeling about fulfillment and finding out what you are meant to be doing. At least that is how I feel sometimes. And, oh how frustrating it can be. I feel like I should know and need to know now, and screw the journey!
But the best thing I can say is that I think of myself like a sponge, I read new books, go new places, try different things, retry things I thought I hated just to confirm and so on. Just because. Because nothing is written in stone and everything is worth trying. Because one day I will look back and I don't want to think of myself wasting time and burdening myself with useless worry when I had a perfectly good life. One day, you will stumble upon someone or something and it will be THE THING, the someone that points you in the right direction or the something that puts the wind back in your sails. I truly believe that's how life happens.
Take Care,

Paloma said...

Erin, thank you so much for your words. I really think you are on to something! Thanks for the inspiration.