say hello to your quarter-life crisis.


at twenty-five i have said hello to my quarter-life crisis. in september i left a highly sought after ICU nursing position, moved to a new city, have more student loan debt than when i graduated, & had never felt so lost. it seemed like the best time to figure out who i am, what i want, and how to get what i want.

there has always been a plan, or rather society had sketched out a plan for me. go to school, then soccer practice, graduate, go to college, work, obtain a well paying and stable degree, foster a successful career, and top it off with an instagram worthy lifestyle.

the year plus a few months i spent as an ICU nurse was a brutal realization that i needed to take control over my life. to stop letting fear, laziness, and societal pressures determine my life course. the ICU was a place that fueled a lot of anxiety and fear for me. multiple codes and extremely tough patient situations fresh out of nursing school, played a toll on my emotional well-being. i also knew there was something missing and i wasn’t playing the game of life in the right field.

an ache in my belly had me questioning if what makes me feel fulfilled may be in something more creative. i grabbed Christine Hassler’s Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction and began the most honest time in my life. it was terrifying telling people that i had no idea what i was doing as everyone else shared their perfected self/career/life intro. it went a little something like this.. “Hi, I’m Coli. No, it’s Coli. Like broccoli. Yeah you got it. What do I do? Oh, well I don’t know what I’m doing with my life at the moment. I’m trying to figure that out. I’ll get back to you.” for a short time it began to feel a bit liberating to be so honest with strangers and even the closest people to me. then as time passed the liberation turned into depression. questioning the process, what i was doing, and if i would ever figure it out took over my mind. but through it i kept myself open to opportunities and am now on the upside.

that time also led to me to the release of a lot of regret and blame. there was a moment in college where i left a degree path toward emergency medicine (which i had followed someone else into) and my next step was uncertain. i took a moment to explore the possibilities of transitioning to a marketing degree, but after realizing how many extra credit hours and length of time in school it would add, as well as some outside influences i nixed that off the option list. i felt that belly ache and thought for a moment about taking a more creative step in life, but decided to make the safe choice and continue down the medical route. my transcript was bloated with biology prerequisites and it would assure me a viable career. thus, i applied for nursing school. making the “safe choice” had been my clutch.

this time round i am not choosing life’s safe options. i know this will be a long road for me, but it is a very exciting one. i am forever grateful for the support and the love around me at one of the most vulnerable times in my life. now more than ever i am ready for the beauty of what this life has to offer.

currently i have a steady income from nannying, taken a variety of creative classes, an evolving position with Tiny Atlas Quarterly, a come and go exercise routine, newly acquired photography skills and knowledge, and have thought about no longer procrastinating doing my taxes. with the help of zach, my boyfriend, i have created what i like to call “my studio” tucked in the corner of our bedroom. this space is where i am creating stained glass/suncatcher art. i don’t know where this art will take me, but i am very excited for the possibilities.

trying not to sound too cliche throughout this post (yeah right) i have to end on the cheesiest note… i am on life’s rollercoaster and i’m not getting off. it’s just too good.

say hello to your quarter-life crisis.

One thought on “say hello to your quarter-life crisis.

  1. Kathy Azar says:

    Coli, I just want to tell you how happy I am for you. It is so easy to continue on what is considered the “right” path…..even if it doesn’t bring you joy. But you have decided to take The Road Less Traveled. You have given yourself the gift of discovery. You are choosing to stand in your Truth and bask in it. Don’t be afraid……trust your instincts…….enjoy life……and you won’t be disappointed.

    Love and blessings,

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