Quarter Life Crisis: Beginning a journey to “find myself”

21st September 2017

I am a Gemini.

I’m not overly into horoscopes or astrology, but I do find that I relate to the ‘typical’ traits of my star sign. I’m a ‘twin’, with two sides to my personality; I’m fun and sociable but can also be very serious and deep. I’m hugely curious, fascinated with everything, and I hate routine – that’s probably why I love to travel so much.

But I also identify with Gemini’s weaknesses: I’m a bit all-over-the-place and I’m extremely indecisive. I hate being alone and I constantly crave attention.

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

A few months ago, James and I broke up.

Although this is not a personal blog or diary-style website, I felt it only fair to my readers not to brush this under the carpet as it’s a huge change in my life and will also invoke a huge change for Spin the Windrose.

I’m writing this post not only as an update for you, but also as a way for me to pour out my thoughts, emotions and all the confused crap that’s been whirling around in my head into the open, so I’m able to process everything and begin to move on.

Be warned: this post is is going to be hugely personal and raw with emotion. I’m not quite sure how it’s going to go, so apologies in advance if you don’t want to read it.

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

The Quarter Life Crisis

I read an incredibly well-written article recently about the Quarter Life Crisis and I identified with a lot of what I read. The article argues that Generation Y (my generation) are told that we can do anything: so much so that we feel we have too much choice – and feel overwhelmed by it.

That’s exactly me.

I know I have some strengths: I’m smart, have a lot of common sense and drive to get things done, and I speak two other languages – but that doesn’t mean to say I know what I’m doing with my life. In fact, I feel the complete opposite.

There are so many opportunities out there – how are we supposed to know which one to choose? How can we decide on doing one thing for the rest of our lives when we haven’t given all of them a try first?

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

Looking back, I believe I had been unhappy for some time.

Not necessarily with James, but within myself. I don’t think I could place why, but something just wasn’t quite right.

Career wise, I have no clue where I’m going, as I’ve always been focused on where to travel to next. I always thought my career-epiphany would come to me, but I’m starting to realise that it isn’t going to just magic itself into existence.

Moving back home from New Zealand was so much harder than I expected and I spent the first part of this year getting over my reverse-culture shock and mourning for a place I’d fallen in love with.

Perhaps settling home in England spurred all of this on; perhaps I associated my unhappiness with our halting our travels.

In reality, I think I was unhappy with more than just this.

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

Who are you?

I felt like I had lost sight of who I was.

It’s a very strange feeling, something I can’t quite put into words, and it’s not like I just looked in the mirror one day and thought “who am I?”

It was a gradual realisation that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I felt like I was one of a pair, as opposed to being me. And as wonderful as that is when you’re in love and happy, for me, it had become too much.

I needed to find myself again. I needed to be me.

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

Making a decision

We established at the start of this post that Geminis are notoriously indecisive, right?

That’s something I’ve always struggled with. Which choice is the best choice, will I regret what I’ve chosen… I’m an expert at making pro and con lists for just about every decision I’m forced to make.

But this time, something inside me clicked.

I knew I needed to tell James how I felt; I couldn’t keep this from him any longer. I made mistakes, I jeopardised everything we had, and I risked losing him from my life completely, but I knew that right now, I needed to be on my own.

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

The hardest part was thinking that I should have tried more.

We had spent the past 3-and-a-half years together; we had travelled across the globe, we had moved to New Zealand – hell, a few months ago I was convinced we would get married one day. Was I really prepared to throw all of this away?

How very un-Gemini of me.

Here I was, deciding I wanted to be by myself, meaning no more attention for little old me.

And, strangely, I had made a decision. Something had just clicked inside me. It felt bizarre; weird, unnatural, foreign – but also kind of right.

Of course, I told James everything.

I won’t try to make it sound like this was an easy feat. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and I hated myself for hurting him and for not being able to give him more. I was ashamed that I wasn’t willing to try harder and that something inside me didn’t feel the same anymore.

But I couldn’t make myself feel something that wasn’t there. As hard as it was, I do believe that this is the right decision for me now.

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

What does this mean for my future?

To be honest, I have no clue. I’m by no means over all of this just yet, but as they say, time is the best healer. I’m still working it all out: what I want to do, where I want to be, and most importantly, what will make me happy. What was ‘our’ plans is now becoming ‘my’ plans – and that’ll take some adjusting to.

But I’m free to do as I wish – I have all of those opportunities at my fingertips and it’s up to me to decide which path I should follow. With the risk of being overly cliché, I know I have some serious “finding myself” to do; I’ve accepted I’m going to become a hippy on a quest to find happiness and inner peace.

If there is one thing I am sure of, it’s that this blog won’t stop running. James has been a huge part of Spin the Windrose; I started it after we had got together and he has been my proof-reader and personal photographer for 3 years. So I won’t be changing any of the content I’ve already published on here; he’s been a huge part of my life and deserves more respect than me wiping away years of memories in a few hits of the backspace key.

Quarter life crisis - spinthewindrose.com

Being a Gemini doesn’t define me.

If I have learnt anything from all of this, it’s that sometimes you need to be true to yourself and put yourself first.

I’m not a selfish person; in fact, I’m always first to put someone else before myself, but this time, I need to follow my heart and do what’s best for me.

I just wish it didn’t mean hurting him.

2 responses to “Quarter Life Crisis: Beginning a journey to “find myself””

  1. Sophie says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences- this was such a brave post for you to write! Your blogs and email responses greatly helped me through my NZ travels, you’re awesome at what you do – keep going! I’m a very strong believer of following your gut instinct and it sounds like that’s exactly what you’ve done. Things will only get better for you now!

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I’m a travel loving sustainability advocate, on a journey to live a low-impact lifestyle alongside seeing the world. I’m obsessed with my two dogs, secondhand shopping, and growing vegetables.

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