A Chat About An Existential Crisis

February 18th 2018

Life is probably the most simple yet most complex thing I’ve ever done…

So, I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs but I know I’ve gained a lot of new viewers over the past few months so I’m gonna say it again… I write a lot of my blog posts weeks or even months in advance if I have a solid idea and it doesn’t fit into the currently drafted posting schedule. I never like to repress inspiration or waste good ideas so I just write them up and schedule them for later dates where I feel they will fit better. That is the case with this blog post you’re reading right now. I wrote this post on January 21st, but at this point, all of January and half of February is already scheduled so I am putting this post here!

I am saying this because I am hoping that by the time this post comes up to be posted, I have more figured out and I’m in a clearer mental state and can include a good update. That is one of my favorite parts about pre-planning posts because I can look back at them and see the growth in the short period of time between writing and releasing. (Update to come at the end of the post)

The format of this post is going to be sort of a casual chat about where my head is at and how my head got there and what I plan on doing from here. I know I have a similar post going up in 10 days from when you’re reading this, touching on more specifics about the feelings I will be discussing here, so think of this as an introduction to my psyche as a nearly 23 year old woman living in 2018 (I hate calling myself a woman because it makes me feel old).

When I was starting college, a YouTuber named Dan Howell posted a video called “Existential Crisis” where he talked about the moment when you essentially start to question your existence and your place in the world and whether or not everything you’re doing is futile and worthless in the grand scheme of things (he somehow made the topic incredibly lighthearted and even humorous as dense as it is). I know that this seems like a rather pessimistic outlook on things, but I feel like everybody has experienced a few moments of existential dread and questioning at one point or another in their life.

The reason I am bringing this up is because I am sort of caught in this spiral of existential crisis, mixed with a bit of quarter life crisis, with a dash of fearing that my life will just be an ordinary day-in-day-out-9-to-5-grind until I die. And anyone who has been reading my blogs for a while is probably like “come on Jess, you say this about once every month or so, you’re only 22 (nearly 23) and you have your whole life ahead of you, and you have an MBA, and you’re smart, and you’re creative, and you have an awesome support system, why are you freaking out?”…or you’re just simply telling me to shut up which is also a nice short, sweet, and to the point way of handling things.

And you know, I sort of feel the same way when I hear myself overthinking and panicking, but I feel like my panic is valid. I am only 22 (nearly 23) which is a fact that has grown to be more frightening than comforting to me. Like I’m only 22 and I already feel trapped by the expectations of the working world and by my personal finances?! That means I could be dealing with 30-40 more years of dread before retirement followed by the fear of hitting old age and feeling like I lived my life as a cog in a machine!

I wrote a post a little less than a year ago called “Anything But Ordinary” where I talked about my crippling fear of living an “ordinary” life. This fear has been ever-present in my life, but graduating last year definitely brought it to its peak. I think it is half my anxiety talking and half my genuine fear and mental blockages. It wasn’t until recently that I learned the name for my phobia, koinophobia.

My definition of “ordinary” is working a 9-5, going home, eating dinner, going to sleep, waking up and doing it again then only somewhat having a life on the weekend where I feel mostly rooted to my house and bum clothing. To some people this is the dream and I am not knocking that lifestyle at all. “Ordinary” isn’t a bad thing, it just isn’t my vibe (I may or may not have said just that in my previous post about this subject). If you thrive on the 9-5 work grind and bum weekends then more power to you! Live that life and be proud of it!

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be more than a desk job worker who lived to punch the clock. I had dreams of places I wanted to go, I would write stories, play dress up, lay in bed playing out adventures in my head, write scripts for shows that I wished were my life, read Nancy Drew Mystery novels and played Nancy Drew games wishing I could be an actress or a spy or a film maker or an author, being my own boss.

When I thought of what my future looked like, I saw me. I didn’t see a cubicle with no windows, I didn’t see time sheets and staff meetings and budgets and salaries and sitting in front of a computer screen staring at emails and data until my eyes went numb. I saw myself, the open road, the ones I loved and had yet to love, and adventure. I saw money flowing in as i pursued my passions. I saw this world filled with color.

Now I sort of feel like I’m living in shades of gray (I can’t say that anymore without feeling like a smut novel). I am like a black and white image surrounded by a black vignette. Haze and fog over the mirror used to reflect back myself and my life. I know I am more than a trudge through the city to an office building. I know I am more than a 9 to 5. I know I am more.

I get signs from the Universe that shout to me that I am more and yet…I’m stuck. I don’t know when to say yes or when to say no or how to use the tools the Universe has graciously handed to me, or even what those tools are! I know the Universe has a plan for me, but I just feel so stuck, trapped, lost, stranded on this island I call life and I don’t know how to build a boat to the next island, the next chapter.

I know I sound dramatic and my worries of this year will be long gone by the time I find new worries for the next year and so on. I know that I am not meant to know what life has in store for me yet. I know that life happens the way it is meant to happen and that I will live my own adventures and dream new dreams and that I can be more.

I also know one more thing, I know that no matter where life takes me, I want to continue making my 8 year old self excited about who she has become~

Jess~

Update: Not much has changed since this post was written. I believe that my feeling stuck is largely due to the weather and the fact that life is moving faster than I can adjust to it. Overall, I know things will get better as the year comes into full swing, but right now I sort of feel like I am cramming things in to the point where I have become scattered and mentally congested.

Things can and will get better though. 

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Published by

jessofearth

Jess, 23, yogi, believer in things, book worm, shy, aspiring human of Earth. I like to spend my time on a yoga mat, with a pen in my hand, my nose in a book, or behind the lens of a camera. I love to write about anything and everything. Book reviews, travel diaries, and abstract thoughts~

24 thoughts on “A Chat About An Existential Crisis

  1. Congratulations on telepathy and empathy. 😊 You are feeling and thinking what many minds are feeling and thinking, and it is a very good thing. We’re all connected, all the time.

    Many of us are confronting what seems to be a monumental and insurmountable obstacle in the form of a conglomeration of past patterns and ways of seeing. We are looking at the past, who we used to be. The unknown. All the life and adventure you speak of lives in the unknown.

    All we need to enter the unknown is simple willingness. And when we forget, we remember our willingness. We are willing to release who we are not. We are willing to step into the unknown, in confidence that inspiration awaits us there.

    There is nothing to plan, and nothing to cling to. It only takes willingness. 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was lovely! Thank you very much. I am trying to be more willing and open to the future and to shed my past. I think I get in my own way a lot. It is comforting knowing that other people are feeling and thinking the way I am.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know what to call what I’ve been feeling but your definition of existential crisis is spot on! For the past couple months I’ve been feeling exactly like that and it’s nice to know someone can relate 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I went through this and it came to a head around the age of 25. It was/is horrible, but you’re in good company, seems to be so common. I ended up leaving my job to study & then take a year off. I’m now, slowly, getting the feelers out and exploring things and learning along the way. PS. I still call myself a “guy” vs man, and “women” my age (28) “girls”. Possibly to make me feel younger 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I hate being referred to as a woman or a lady or ma’am, it makes me feel old. I also refer to most men as guys or dudes (half because it’s just my preferred way of speaking and half because I feel like man is more adult) and yeah it seems like everyone faces an existential crisis at one time or another (or in my case, multiple times in my life) but I know that everything cycles around and I’ll be okay again soon. It’s just the patience thing that’s hard!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you! Yeah, I try to remember that it’s not an on-off thing, but a journey, and wherever I am is OK. And faith that I’ll get there, somehow! For me, it helps if I feel like I’m moving forward – I try to set myself tiny actions to do each day (e.g. write something) to make me feel good, and so I can tangibly say I’m moving forward. #smallsteps

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  4. Hey Jess! I have been through a few years of such thoughts. I want to be more in my life and do more but I don’t know what. I feel I am stuck in a world that I do not belong in but after being through 2 years of such thoughts, I have come to a decision: this is what God has given me and this office job is all I got as a play ground. Until I find a better playground, I am gonna play in this and be creative in this. I can’t make myself unhappy because it is not what I want. But to be honest, I don’t know what exactly I would like to do. Yes, I have dreams of being in amazing places and doing amazing things but none of it translates into something I can make a living with. I can’t throw away something certain for something that is simply an idea. I am not ready to deal with financial uncertainty and while I will keep looking for that one thing that is not 9-5 and suits my dreams better, I am not gonna make myself unhappy for what I have. While I am here, I am going to be thankful for what I have because there’s countless number of people who don’t even have jobs and they’ll do anything to get what I have. I hope this helps a bit.

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      1. Hey! My name is Udita and I’m a new blogger around here and I’m really hoping you could give me some advice on dealing with such episodes of crisis. How do deal with the fact that youre just an insignificant speck in this indifferent universe?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Honestly, I think it’s just something you get passed! You just have to realize that you need to live your life for you and your passions and that it doesn’t matter if 5 people of 5,000,000 people praise you for it. Its all a matter of living your personal best life. And I’m not a master of that mindset yet either and I’m fully aware it’s so much easier to give advice than to actually take it. But yeah, my advice for existential crisis episodes is to just realize that you have 1 life to live and you should live it in a way that makes you feel fulfilled even if you don’t feel you’re having an impact on the universe as a whole! Because your words and actions can matter to someone else and the chain of inspiration that follows may have an impact on the universe and you may never even know! Believe in your unseen impact on the world and live life for you! Hope that helps:)

        Like

      3. I really like your writing style and your use of quotes! I like to use quotes at the start of my posts to set the stage, but I really like how you often put quotes at the end to sort of tie everything together! I would definitely say to keep doing what you’re doing! And I’m posting a post about how I’ve designed my production calendar for blogging at some point within the next month (once I’ve built up enough of a calendar to show everyone how it works) and I definitely found it helps in the realm of inspiration (I saw in your first post that you weren’t sure what you wanted to write about)! But my biggest suggestion is make sure you’re using good tags and promoting your posts on other social media if you have. It helps increase your reach and network size.

        I am hoping to do a post on advice for new bloggers (although I’m not that seasoned myself) but I hope these suggestions helped:)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. So SEO is this complicated things that I only really know a lot about from being in the marketing field. But essentially SEO is making your blog “Google friendly”. Your SEO improves by having good mobile compatibility for your site, using and tagging widely searched terms at that relevant to your posts, and having other people link back to your content or your page. All of these things are what give Google the greenlight to serve your blog to searchers as a credible source. Your TED-X post was good for SEO because you linked to a credible source and offered a quote directly from that source that was probably searchable. At one job I worked, they told me that a word count of over 600 was also good for SEO.

        My advice for tags is to think about what kind of searches you would want people to run to find your content and what tags are topical. Your insights section in WordPress will also tell you what tags have served you the best in the past so that you can keep that in mind when writing!

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