As children, we are constantly asked what it is we want to be when we grow up as if adulting was lit. From a young age, a fantasy was created about growing up and possibly becoming a firefighter or a ballerina. Maybe even a chef or President of the United States. But then, you turn 25 and you find yourself frantically constructing a color-coded Google spreadsheet of how you’ll spread out your pregnancies in 10 years while also being able to have a bomb a** career and afford a house. You might even find yourself deciding if you’re too old for Forever 21 while not being sure that you can even afford Banana Republic. Like, what. the. hell?

My friends, you have officially entered what we like to call a quarter-life crisis. But don’t worry boo, I’m here too! No instruction manual could have prepared us for the foolery we’d deal with day in and day out. I’m STILL trying to figure out how we’re a full week into spring and it feels like winter is doing a rerun. So then do I choose between buying a heavy coat or getting groceries? How do you do life when just 20 minutes ago you were 12 years old?

In an attempt to reconcile your bank account with your life goals, I want to share a few pointers that have helped me get my entire life together. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how I arrived at this prophecy. As I was sitting in church service one Sunday, drowning in responsibilities while simultaneously trying to worship the Lord, I realized a few things about these oh so dark times.

Going through a quarter-life crisis is exactly just that. You’re going through it. It is an important stage of life that strengthens you for the bull you are bound to experience. Consider it a time of war preparation where you are merely increasing your agility as you matrix the student loans or volatile utility bills that life throws at you. Chile, when you are knee deep in young adulthood, you’ll begin to realize that the journey becomes the reward. Too often we become so consumed with the destination and the apex of our prime. But boy does it feel good to gain some discipline along the way. Dear friends, there is a sustaining energy that comes with becoming comfortable with uncertainty.

Let me tell you this, times like this won’t only enhance your resilience but it will increase your capacity to appreciate the good in life. Believe it! While it is easier to focus on the crappiness, you’ll begin to exercise more gratitude. So what you don’t have a sexy response to what you want to do after college? So what you’re not currently in a job that you’re not fully passionate about at the start of your career? It happens for different people at different times. No one is you and that is your power. So, while it feels like your life is on the Titanic, here are a few tips that’ll strengthen you mentally during this time of growth. You may not want to hear this first one but hear me out:

1. Unplug from social media for a bit.

Yes, boo. The consumption of information is at an all-time high in 2018 and social media has undoubtedly become one of the biggest platforms to indulge. Think about how much people post snapshots of their happiest moments and we misinterpret this for them living their best life. While some people truly are happy, sometimes you feel like you have nothing to show for yourself but that’s okay. When you are caught in these moments, it becomes easy to silently compare yourself.

Research shows that apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are a great mode of self-expression and self-identity. However, whether you are an Instagram model or not, these platforms can also contribute to depression, anxiety, and fear of missing out. Intentionally unplug for a little bit and quit comparing your seemingly stagnant position in life to snapshots of people’s seemingly “best life”.

2. Journal your thoughts; fears, worries, anxieties, breakthroughs.

This one goes hand in hand with number 1. Documentation has been a powerful tool for preserving history. Journaling is a form of documentation for remembering where it is you came from. Man! The number of breakthroughs I’ve experienced within the past few months has been amazing. Hell, I experienced a breakthrough three minutes ago. The act builds character and it increases humility because it reminds you of how human you are. When all you know is success who are you when you are defeated?

The act of putting pen to paper pushes you to process and refine your thoughts. It forces you to look at your current state from a bird’s eye view and repositions your perception, eventually. You may not hear it now but there is a still, small voice inside of you that is whispering. That voice is vying for your attention and its time you give it the acknowledgment it deserves. There is so much that you can do for yourself that a mentor, best friend, or even parent can’t do for you. So, write. Listen to you and do this in remembrance of your old self.  

3. If points 1 and 2 have resounded with you then number 3 should come from within.

You probably didn’t see this coming, I didn’t either. But, at this point in my young adulthood, I don’t have therapist money and I’m not necessarily interested in computer-generated motivational text messages but maybe you are. But, as a result of my introspection, I found myself being led to engage in activities or healthy practices that gave me the strength I needed during these times. I’ve finally found a gym that costs $10 a month in D.C.! I decided that I would go three times a week as opposed to every day like I used to when I didn’t have to pay for an Uber to get there. Pushing myself to go to the gym even when my body said no taught me that I can channel the strength I’ve gained so far. If I could push myself to hit that treadmill and lift weights, adding resistance to my physical body, then I can deal with this resistance life is throwing at me.

Increased praying, meditating and weekly fasting has become a habit for me. Now I just need a few more months to make it a lifestyle. Going with the flow is great but intentional healthy practices make a world of a difference. Although your life may be in shambles and you’re thrown off by things you can’t control, focus on what you can control. Those are the intentional activities you choose to do with your time.

Look, I’m out here in these streets right with you. So just breathe and you’ll get through this. Since we’re adulting doe, for those that have gone through a quarter-life crisis, please advise.

Thank you,