The Quarter Life Crisis

This has been one of the most tumultuous summers of my life. At a full twenty-two years I imagine that I will say this every summer for the rest of my life. I almost miss the angst of sixteen (I say almost because fuck that). But since sixteen I honestly haven’t become much better at removing drama from my life.

After graduation in the middle of June I spent four days sleeping in a van at Electric Forest Music Festival, participating in all sorts of debauchery that even the first shower after that weekend wouldn’t wash off. I glued rhinestones to the spaces above my eyebrows, had a man spray paint my arm with stencils, and watched lightshows with a certain kind of dilated pupil that makes you look otherworldly.

I then lit off fireworks the following weekend off the beach of a lake house while waving around a pitcher full of “pink panty droppers.” I blasted music for a boat party with Temptations remixes (blasphemy). I did Acro Yoga on a cement floor and bruised one of the little bumps of my spine.

I then drove to northern Wisconsin where I visited my musically inclined secret love at a music festival hosted by him and his friends. I brought my boyfriend. Trouble ensues. I spent the next week pining over the 29 year old that I can’t possibly have, while simultaneously signing a lease with my boyfriend of three years for a loft in downtown Detroit. I kissed the secret love while at a show in Detroit. I came home with spider bites on my stomach. I’m not sure if I feel bad about it yet.

I then hopped on a plane to travel to Marrakech, Morocco for eight days. On the nine-hour flight my boyfriend would alert me to the fact that he read my text messages and knows everything. I’d spend the next eight days in Africa wondering why my quarter life crisis was happening right there and then. I would cry alone into a vodka tonic while the quiet Moroccan housekeeper would walk into the room and then quickly step backwards out. I would press my forehead against the glass of a taxi van and wave at children swimming in aqueducts. I pondered parasites and also their intense joy escaping from the 114-degree oven that was the outdoors. I wondered how I could escape my own oven that I built for myself. I climbed in like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, blindly and maliciously.

Instead of being productive I drove to Chicago to meet him. I hung around in an Air BnB in Logan Square with tigers on the wall and a porch filled with cats and hanging plants. I listened to Hold On by Tom Waits and felt like I was maybe in a bad indie movie. I am probably playing up the manic pixie dream girl archetype too strongly. I can’t help myself right now.

While this has been happening, I have also been volunteering teaching children creative writing workshops in Detroit which has probably been the most productive thing I’ve done in a while. There are a couple of young students that just make me beam from the inside out.

I have sent out seventy job applications (at least) with almost no sign that anyone has even glanced over my resume until this week. This has been less fulfilling.

This week I’m deciding if I should keep my lease or break it and get out. I’m interviewing at two different advertising jobs in downtown Detroit. I’m imagining that I will stop running around having an affair while I’m supposed to be doing something else.

I am not a good person right now but I am beyond grateful for that. I think that if we always like ourselves then we would never get anywhere. As you can see I’m trying to get everywhere. This is my in between space. This is my edge.

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k8belew

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One thought on “The Quarter Life Crisis”

  1. Sounds to me like you’re a growing person, not a bad one. When you stop growing is when you stop being human. You are a lovely one with an urge to explore and learn and grow and have adventures. Keep the place in Detroit. Have adventures. Have fun. Don’t limit yourself. Take those crazy opportunities as a chance to push out of safety and through boundaries. Stay brilliant, my darlinng

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