I began seeing keyword referral traffic to Man-o-pause.com for “quarterlife crisis” a few years ago. While not technically quantified in medical journals, enough 20-somethings apparently experience something akin to a midlife crisis for the term to have gained traction.
Now comes the movie, Frances Ha, which is, as one film critic described it, “a refreshingly contemporary film, exploring 20-something hipster ennui with accuracy, empathy and humour.”
I marched through my twenties accomplishing one goal after another: marriage, house, baby, business, and did not experience ennui. It wasn’t until I was almost 30 before I started to question the meaning of life. Today’s 20-somethings seem to struggle with their sense of identity and purpose the moment they leave home.
A Tale of Two Generations: Millennials &
Having written about both Millennials and Baby Boomers, research bears out distinct differences between the generations. Much of the crises experienced by both generations revolve around work and life purpose.
I think Millennials have been given a bad rap for their seeming sense of entitlement when really they just want to find meaningful work and to make a difference in their everyday life. Boomers, with their strong work ethic and sense of self-worth, don’t always understand the job hopping tendencies of 20-somethings. Conversely, in this tepid economy, Boomers haven’t been as flexible at redefining themselves or acknowledging the way work has changed as the Internet Revolution seems to have passed by many of these 50-somethings.
I look back at my 20s and, while I accomplished a lot both materially and professionally, I can honestly admit that I wasn’t fully present for much of it. While the last 20 years have flown by in a blink of an eye, I now relax in the moment, mindful of the present because that’s all we ever have.
My wish for those experiencing a quarterlife crisis is to “look deeply into the present moment.”