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Polaroids II HAYLEY LEWIS

Faster than I could Google “flights to Berlin”, I contacted every graduate school I had applied to, begging them to formally withdraw my applications. Being rejected from a school that I did not even want to go to was all it took to shake my self-perception. For months I agonized. If I was as intelligent as I believed myself to be, why was I not getting accepted into every grad school I wanted? In my previously more nomadic days, I was rarely settled, always moving. I would have to become this way again. That was when I started my nightly cruises through Craigslist. I considered Paris, New York, Berlin, even returning to a cabin in the Thai jungle that I had once visited. That would be the ticket: something unorthodox and faraway, a place where I could ignore my looming, inevitable 24th birthday in peace and escape the horror that was the rejection letter I held in my shaking hands. How old I will live to be I cannot know, but a quick look back at my family’s average life expectancy brought me to one conclusion: that I was nearing the end of the first quarter of my life. I have friends who are married, friends who are mothers and fathers, friends who are executives for powerful companies and friends who tour the world in famous bands. My life, although fun, happy and generous, was not as exciting as playing guitar at Japanese music festivals or having a business card that people cared to have in their wallet. I was now in my mid-twenties and an intern, with enough travel experience to know that I didn’t want to be where I was, but no money to go anywhere else. Nights of tossing and turning and creative strategizing about how I could climb the corporate ladder fast enough or somehow inflate my bank account to a size that would afford me an apartment in Florence ensued. After I awoke from these haunted slumbers filled with nightmares of forever having to brave the morning commute or punch a time card day in and day out, I would

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head straight for the mailbox and my e-mail account to hopefully hear from another university, finding out that someone had accepted me. It was on a particularly gloomy trip to the mailbox (I had a sneaking, and as it turned out, accurate, suspicion that I was about to be rejected from a university in Vancouver) that it hit me: there is nothing that I’m doing that I can do better at this very moment, and my qualms have nothing to do with me. Rather, I am experiencing a crisis. I had heard of these before. Soccer moms trading in their mini-vans for Mustangs, grown men suddenly showing up to work wearing leather jackets in hopes of reclaiming their youth. An impossible feat I knew, but the thought of going back a few years and being a little bit younger, having a little bit more time… It was not a viable option, but it sounded better than so strongly resenting my age. And that’s when I knew: I, at the age of 23 years, was experiencing a Quarter Life Crisis. My Google searches went from “Williamsburg loft” to “What the hell is a quarter life crisis or am I just insane?” The results I found were as follows: The Quarter Life Crisis is a term applied to the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the early twenties to the early thirties. I read on: Characteristics of a Quarter Life Crisis may include: Disappointment with one’s job Financially rooted stress Re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships Desire to have children Insecurity regarding personal accomplishments Nostalgia for university or school life Boredom with social interactions In order of appearance: I’m a freelance writer, so being “disappointed with one’s job” is just part of the routine. Enter “financially rooted stress” also part of the job de-

Profile for Blueprint Magazine

The Young Issue  

Volume 10 Issue 1 Summer 2010

The Young Issue  

Volume 10 Issue 1 Summer 2010

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