23 is Real: The Upside to Quarter-Life Crisis

Twenty-three, the year between 21 and 25, the quarter-life crisis years where you lay the foundation of your adulthood. It’s an age as awkward as growing up the middle child. You’re stuck between being the youthful care-free 21-year-old and the serious, responsible 25-year-old. There’s the “should I go out for drinks on a Tuesday?” and the “I have to be up for work at 6 am tomorrow.” And though 23 is like taking never-ending rides on Kingda Ka, it’s the year where you learn to love life, and yourself, the most. So everyone around you might get annoyed with your roller coaster ride of a year, but hey, at the end it does stop and you sort of feel like superwoman.

My friends and I have all welcomed 23 with the infamous Blink 182 lyrics “nobody likes you when you’re 23” yet I beg to differ on how loveless 23 is. After graduating college you go through this very confusing phase, where you don’t really know what career path to take or if you should get in a relationship or maybe you should just go back to school. You are in debt with student loans, and feeling the pain even more once you realize they didn’t actually teach you what to do in the real world once they shipped you out of college in cap and gown. There’s so many decisions to make, but if you give yourself the time to reflect, this year of your life can prove to be meaningful for a lifetime.

You have now distanced yourself enough from your college days, and you’re ready to embrace what adulthood has ahead. At 23 you finally start loving who you are becoming. You can appreciate the decisions you make in life because they have a direct impact on your life. When we are teenagers and college kids, we make all of these decisions with the future in mind. If I take this internship, it’ll lead to a job at this company. I should go to this college because they have the best program for my major and it’s far enough from home to suit my college lifestyle. These are all choices we make expecting a future outcome, but when you’re 23 you are reaping exactly what you sowed. You’re interviewing for a position at a company you will end up growing with. You’re using your knowledge and networking to score the opportunity you’ve waited for your whole life. It’s all happening, NOW.

At 23 your standards are realistic, with just about everything: career, friends and love. The fairytales you dreamed up on your lofted bed sophomore year are far gone. The job is real; you know it because you sit shivering at your cubicle every weekday. Your friends are human beings. I have been one to hold my friends to high expectations. I expect them to be self-made super heroes, until I headed towards 23 and life got real. Friends are human, humans are not perfect. We are all flawed by the experiences that carried us thus far. By 23, I have learned to love all of the little flaws. You realize the imperfect is perfect. But it isn’t until you’ve lost a little bit of that greenness that you can appreciate flaws.

And then there’s love. You’ve dated the college guys who are nowhere near ready for a relationship and you’ve dated a couple more mature guys (now that you’re an adult and all). Love at first sight might not come quick, but you’re learning what kind of love you want. Earlier in life love was such a blissful idea, chatting marriage with your sorority sisters, coming up with the most creative names for your future offspring and spending hours browsing wedding ideas on Pinterest. Now it’s less about the fairytale and more about the “who the hell am I going to love enough to spend the rest of my life with.” It’s scary because at 23, you feel like 30 is creeping up on you so quick. But this is the year you’ll get a grip on what you want from your future Mr. (I’ll call my husband Mr. Torres..cause I’m all ‘I wear the pantalones’).

Don’t be scared to turn 23 for fear of getting older, getting older is fun and REAL. We all want real, so enjoy 23!

Comment below & let’s talk your quarter-life crisis!