The thought of aging is more terrifying than I can even begin to express in writing, and accordingly, having a full-on life crisis at the age of 28 is a strange feeling. To be honest, it’s something that’s been stuck in the back of my mind constantly for the past year, with virtually no solution in sight. How does one even go about remedying this type of seemingly unfixable problem?
To be honest, if I knew the answer to that question, I probably wouldn’t be writing this.
It seems as though half the people I talk to about this topic respond with the typical, “But you’re so young! You have your whole life ahead of you!” These things are absolutely true; I’m objectively still young, my budding career is headed in a great direction, I have incredible friends, and I’ve been finally taking on hobbies that I’ve been dreaming about for years.
Yet, it seems like the closer I get to my 30th birthday, the more defeated I feel. Why? Could it be the classic case of FOMO (fear of missing out) that seems to be oh-so prevalent in the age of social media? Or perhaps it’s the fear of simply not having done the things I “should’ve” done by now, in my career or otherwise? Or maybe, as a person who’s always been physically active, it’s the fear of my body inevitably getting more frail as the years go by.
It’s tough for me not to sit here and think, “if this is the prime of my life, why do I feel so empty about it all?”
And I’ll admit, it’s also tough to live down the road from a college campus and not constantly compare yourself to all of the youthful 21-year-olds walking to class, carefree and starry-eyed about their promising futures, or following all of the young and beautiful influencers that Instagram has to offer.
But I don’t want to sit here and blame the college kids and perfectly bronzed and clear-skinned Instagram models of the world – I had my time to be that 21-year-old kid without a care in the world, and now it’s my time to be a 28-year-old with different life goals and values.
It’s cliched to say that as a young person you feel “invincible,” but the older I get, the more I realize it’s the absolute truth. As a kid you never think about the fact that one day, you won’t be young and beautiful anymore. That one day, you will die and everything in your life will have been meaningless.
But that’s the thing, it absolutely doesn’t have to have been meaningless.
I don’t believe in an afterlife, but I do believe in legacy.
Plain and simple, the solution to this whole predicament is to find out what the hell I’m living my life for. It’s not a direct answer to this problem that has admittedly taken up way more of my time than I’d like to admit, but it is a step in the right direction.