[notice]Revivalist Shannon-Leigh Barry shares her wit and passion and the pursuits of her 20something heart in a new monthly column that speaks to the desires of young adults in today’s Christian society. [/notice]
The quarter life crisis can be summed up as the period when an adolescent transitions into adulthood and, as many adults say, come into the real world of responsibility. The developmental stages all kick in at an intense measure as your studies can determine the stream you find yourself in and your relationship dynamics come to the forefront as you seek more intimate relationships. You can find yourself isolated for some reason.
In our teenage age years we could not wait to be 18 or 21 years old. We could now make decisions and have opinions. What we never saw coming was that debt and the land of credit would soon appear as we realised our parents wanted us out of the house way before we wanted to exit. When your early twenties begin you feel on top of the world. You made it through high school and even university. Thank God those years of intense peer pressure, ache, and coolness were coming to a close.”I don’t have to wear those uniforms anymore,” you thought. I remember being so happy I could drive. During this time you probably got your first “real” job, not the one you had to do to get through university but one you were hoping would be fruitful. You could be purchasing your first car and in that time probably experiencing your first relationship with the opposite sex, or let’s be real — your first heartbreak. Looks like not everyone signed up for high school sweetheart happy endings. One Tree Hill Lied to us.
I would probably journal 25 as one of the most difficult transitions in my life. I studied a field that was said to be really widening in the country. I had no passion for the work I was doing but I did it well. My relationships were being sifted as I wanted deeper friendships and not just social experiences. The drifting of friendships is never easy to the heart. I had money and comfort but I was frustrated with where I was. My friends were getting engaged and planning weddings, others were doing exceptionally well in their careers and climbing those corporate ladders. I felt stuck and for some reason I was comparing myself. What made matters worse was God kept reassuring me He had a plan for my life. It felt like a crossroads and there were two paths before me. One of the unknown and one of comfort which long term would bring some form of purpose, I thought.
I decided to go with this shift at 25 and traded in careers. It’s around this time where I started asking myself what I really wanted my life to look like, even going as far writing a personal obituary. Asking myself questions like, “Why was I born God?” Ultimately the pursuit of my heart was one of purpose. I did something different this time. I told God that if He was looking for someone, I wanted to be that person. I laid down who I thought I was and allowed God to tell me who He designed me to be.
Peaceful at last
I resigned from my job two months later and found myself in such peace. It was like what I was called to just found me and I realised something. I was at the best place to transition.
What I think I most enjoy saying is I embraced the shift in my age. Instead of worrying whether my material acquisition was enough or my job title was what I wanted, I sought God for purpose and threw myself headfirst into what He said. It’s nearly a year and half, later and things are so different. I live in another country and am studying the thing my heart is passionate about. I am travelling and seeing more of the world and seeing God’s hand in all of it. I realise more and more the advantages of our youth is what we make of it. Life can’t be defined by circumstances or emotions. Life has to be given more than that. God wants to give more than that. So in your transition to becoming the person you want to be, learn to embrace the process and thank God you are getting wiser with age. It does not have to be a time of crisis but one of opportunity. My advice is to go with what makes your heart come alive. You will fight for what you are passionate about and endure for those dreams to be fulfilled.