I’m suffering from a mid-millennial life crisis of sorts.
You see, I’m in my twenties, and I’m panicky. I did the whole ‘take Year 12 seriously and go to uni to please my parents’ thing. I did the internships. I followed the path. I got a stupid LinkedIn account. I stopped signing off (most of) my emails with ‘xxxxxx’. I grew older and very marginally wiser.
And for the majority of the year, I feel just fine with what I’m doing and where I’m headed.
Every few months, like clockwork, this feeling of dread and listlessness creeps up, telling me I’m falling behind, that I need to chase that next career milestone, or that I’m in the wrong career entirely. It cruelly reminds me that a large chunk of those 500 contacts on LinkedIn are, you know, complete and utter strangers who have no relation to me or my job at all.
I begin to feel that I’m stagnating, that I’m a LinkedIn sham, that I’m just… not where I should be whatsoever.
“I’M MOVING TOO SLOW,” I proclaim. “IN THE WRONG DIRECTION… IN THE WRONG LIFE.”
“I should quit my job and move to a faraway town in Peru!” I decide mid-way through a 20-episode binge of Love Island. “I should open a bakery… even though I don’t know how to bake! Become a personal trainer, even though I loathe exercise! I should become a lawyer! A doctor! A fireman! An avocado farmer! A con artist! A criminal! A vet! A masseuse! A stripper!”
(At this point I tend to open a red bag of Doritos and weep, which doesn’t bode well for my stripping prospects.)
Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team deep dive, on why it is millennials are kicking off their midlife crises in their late 20s. Post continues after audio.
Of course, in the midst of my tri-monthly millennial career crises I always make the grave mistake of logging onto Instagram and Facebook, the very places my anxiety thrives: Oh, lookie here! A 22-year-old who owns a bespoke bikini line. How delightful! A 16-year-old who has just penned their fifth novel. Footballers who are branching off into watches and hats. Breakfast television personalities who entered the media when they were foetuses. Actual foetuses who have already founded tech companies.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha kill me.
How does anyone else DO this? How do people just decide on a career path and stick to it, without jolting awake in the middle of the night every three months to think: “Oh god, what if my true destiny was to become a phys ed teacher?”
We millennials have it tough when it comes to career pressure – tougher than our mothers, and their mothers had it. I blame Zuckerberg.