As I’ve mentioned before the Quarterlife Crisis is a phase in human development that I am entirely enveloped by. The following was a piece written for those who are going through the same thing. As a way to help myself better understand this era of life, I began writing. I was hoping to come up with something that would help others better understand the throws of their Quarterlife. Instead I came up with more of a metaphorical coping mechanism and less of a revelation; however, maybe someone will feel less alone by reading this.
It’s like hitting a wall of water.
That is exactly what this is all about. It’s definitely a wall because you hit it. It’s a hard substance with length much greater than thickness and a continuous surface that touches all surroundings. When you hit it, it feels like there’s nowhere else to go. There’s no way up, no way down, around and definitely no way through it. But then, this is why it’s a wall of water.
Water is something you actually can go through. Whether you’re swimming or sinking you are somehow moving through water. So you end up going through the wall because of the water, but that doesn’t make any sense considering it’s a wall and you can’t go through a wall.
So, you are swimming or sinking in the water and are constantly surrounded by a wall that is made up of water. Maybe you can’t find your way up. Maybe there is no way up, no way down and no way through on any side. You are just aimlessly floating, swimming or sinking around that wall of water.
But then a small spec of light shines through and you can see something. You start to believe you’re going to get out. You swim towards the light. You see your path. The one that’s RIGHT. The thing that’s going to get you back on track, away from the wall. It is exciting, you let yourself feel that excitement, and you believe that you’re going to be something, go somewhere. You actually do have so much potential and so much to give and show to the world.
Then it blatantly, as quickly as it appears, disappears. It doesn’t slowly fade, or slide over the edge of the mountain like the sun setting would. It’s like God (or the bigger spirit that you believe in, or if none at all than as if magic) has spectacularly made it disappear. The worst is that now it’s darker than ever before because your eyes started getting used to the light. You start feeling stupid thinking how on earth could you have begun to believe that spec of light in the water again! The worst is that you can’t even swim in this water anymore. Can’t doesn’t describe it, you don’t dare swim because you’re up against the wall. There’s way less room for movement now, nothing to think about, nothing to believe in, and all the water feels deeper than it ever was before.
When you start catching your breath you find that you have some movement in your water, the wall isn’t as hard as it had just felt. So you think that breathing must be the answer. Deeper breaths lead to a softer wall and more and more movement in the water. As the movement begins to come back slowly, your eyes begin to adjust a little to the darkness. You see familiar shapes, sizes, shadows, and as it usually does, familiarity warms you all over. You feel comforted. Probably faster than you would have liked, but you can’t help it, the comfort and the excitement that follows starts to get your blood flowing again. The all is lost, woe is me fear has dissipated a little and you’re doing all right.
Out of nowhere the light starts coming through. You’re not sure at first if it’s the light or if your adjusting even more to the dark, but either way you’re swimming more freely now and panic has left your body. Then, without a doubt, you see that it is, crystal clear, light. You want to be mad but instead just accept that it’s coming back. Then as if it had never been taken away to begin with, or maybe just out of pure devotion, you swim in the light. You’re no longer stuck in a wall of water; you are simply swimming in clear Blue. You are all Smiles.
You begin to think: It can’t be much further. The water as an entity is entirely lit. Surly it isn’t just surrounding me, there’s a point I will reach. I will actually reach the light.
Then, quicker than ever before, or maybe it just feels that way: Darkness.
Until the next spec of light…