Discovery / Featured Article

On A Quarter-Life Crisis

I read somewhere that people in my generation are allegedly guilty of constantly comparing our lives to what we see on social media. I imagine these hasty assessments of ourselves are one of the culprits of the unsatisfactory ratings we have in our mid 20’s. We put ourselves up against illusionary standards that become clouds over our head. My cloud however, is not particularly induced by my peers who have done and accomplished way more than I have, but this juxtaposition of today me and 16 year-old me in my head.

A couple of years ago, Vicky Belo campaigned Going back to the young and beautiful you that made growing up without grace sound so universal and relatable— I did! There are a lot of things that defined me back in high school that I wish still did up until now. Aside from the decrease in pounds, better skin, with simpler concerns and more manageable problems, what I wish I had back most was my drive to chase the dreams I so confidently dared to dream. 16 year-old me painted prettier pictures of the future— brighter colors, more texture, skillful techniques inspired by hope. Now, having accomplished little compared to my ideals, falling short more often than I wish I did, and having few triumphs to show in the past 6 years don’t really inspire hope.

This kind of drama going on and on in my head gets exhausting. I had to make as much sense as I could on why I am where I am. I figured maybe a reason why sometimes we have to get stuck first is to give us time to reflect before we can move on to the next chapter.

What I discovered is that there is comfort in trying and in having tried. Your day ends brighter when you know you have dedicated it to doing better than yesterday.” Regret can be defeated by the security of, at the very least, an attempt. And I guess at this age, it’s what the world can really expect of us— to dream and keep at it. Great things take time. Most young people don’t have capital money to start up a dream business, the right connections to land the dream job, or the degree to qualify for the dream position but we all have time to invest on whatever dream we have. Some achieve success sooner than most, but that’s okay.

While it’s tempting to just accept barriers as limitations and define what we can achieve based on what we see people others achieve, it’s important to go back to the younger versions of ourselves— more ambitious with our goals and more fearless with our forecasts.

I was scrolling through my old blog and found advice from the younger me (yes, she was a better writer too): Hold on to your dream. Picture it well and imagine it perfect.

About the Contributor

Agnes Cruz secretly dreams to be a telenovela or Star Cinema movie writer but is working on her last semester for her engineering degree. Her goals include owning as many Siomai House food carts, and Dunkin Donut franchises to collect Derek Ramsey standees. She dreams of visiting as many islands of the Philippines one field survey at a time.

This contributor is a customer of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®.

Artwork by Renzo Navarro. For more of his works, visit his Instagram.

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  1. Awesome Agnes. We will put Tim Horton’s Donuts instead. Keep it up. You’re doing great.