Having a Quarter Life Crisis: A Millennial’s View of Aging

When things go wrong in my life and it all gets too much, I often wonder if I’m going through a life crisis. It wouldn’t be a mid-life crisis of course, I’m far to young for that. But maybe a quarter-life one?

That’s what I tell myself anyway. It’s all OK. It’s part of the plan. Everyone goes through this shit.

Oh, if I were so lucky. I think I’m still years away from even being at a quarter life. Aren’t millennials going to live until 120? Or forever, or something?

That means I’m not allowed my quarter-life crisis until at least 30.

Physically, aging sucks

But I’m already feeling the effects of aging. I’m sitting here after 5 consecutive days of exercise. My back hurts from the deadlifts yesterday. My chest hurts from bench on Sunday. My legs still hurt from front squats on Friday.

I can lift marginally more weight than I could in my early 20s, but I feel exponentially worse for it.

Two years ago I’d have recovered by now. I’d be raring to go. Today’s workout feels like it might kill me.

I’m hardly unfit, but I get more out of breath now than I have for years. And that’s just walking to my car.

The swimming pool we use is 15m long. It’s hardly Olympic. Ten lengths of that and I feel like I’m actually dying.

Aging is mental

Physical qualms aside, aging’s pretty tough on the brain.

It’s becoming harder to get clarity of thought as I age. Thinking in general is getting tougher each year.

When I was a little younger I could do work anywhere, anytime. Now I have to get in the zone. I have to take some time. Have a ritual. And even then it’s a struggle.

It takes me a long time and a bit of luck to really get into work, where before it was instant.

That’s not even thinking about the psychological affect of knowing you’re getting older.

I dread birthdays. They’re like celebrations of getting older. I’m not celebrating because I’m not happy.

Every day I’m painfully aware that my body’s degrading just a little bit more. It’s like the world’s designed to make you feel your age.

It’ll all be going fine and then I’ll see an 18-year old playing tennis. I’ll think “whoah, that’s fast”. Then remember I was doing the same 6 years ago.

Or a child just so excited to get older. You can’t tell them that youth’s a good thing, because if someone had told me that I’d have ignored them anyway.

I’m sure it gets worse

I know what you’re thinking. A millennial talking about aging. Boo hoo.

I’m 100% sure that the effects of aging become many times worse as you, well, age. I get it. And that sucks too.

But y’know what? It affects us all. Going from early to mid 20s has been pretty crappy. It’s the first experience I’ve had of my body not working the way I want it too.

I try to be happy with what I have. After all, it’s getting worse anyway, right? But it’s tough.

Maybe one day I’ll make my peace with it. For now, I’m off for a swim.

I’m just a guy from the UK that’s okay at writing, better at startups, awesome at making coffee.

I curate a weekly email digest and publication called Starting Up.

This is day 85 in a 365 day writing experiment. You can check out why I’m writing every day here.

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