20-Something, Hipstercrite Life

The End of the Quarter-Life Crisis

your standard moody twenty two year-old self-portrait

Yesterday I turned 28.

Because of this, I’ve been finding myself hurling unwanted advice at young people lately.

When you’ve almost made it through your 20’s in one piece, you feel that you’re obligated to let younger people know that it will all be ok. That all the questioning and confusion and bad decision-making will get better.

That is assuming that everyone was an early twenty-something messbag like I was.

That they spent the better part of their 21st and 22nd year drinking alone in their West Hollywood apartment taking pictures of themselves drunk in the mirror and typing horribly structured journal entries that started with phrases like, “Why won’t someone hold me?!” or “The right side of my face feels numb, but I’m ok with that.”

That they would randomly break out into a cascade of tears at dinner with friends for no reason. Then excuse themselves from the table and disappear for three days.

That they would call their parents at 2AM while pacing the house going, “I think I’m losing it. I think I’m losing it. Am I losing it? I think I am. TELL ME! TELL ME IF I’M LOSING IT! I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ANYMORE!!!”

That they decided to go see a therapist at 21 just to deal with all the bewilderment, but not tell the therapist that they were taking Zoloft that their mother had given them, and would routinely go and purge themselves at Soup Plantation after every visit.

That they would have Rain Man-esque jiggles when an anxiety attack was imminent that startled their co-workers and small animals.

I used to write about my early to mid twenties a lot. In fact, my blog was birthed from that time in my life (aren’t all blogs centered around quarter-life crises?) Granted I’m only five years older than I was then, but I already feel like I’ve lived 100 lifetimes. That I’ve shed many skins to get closer to the person I’m supposed to be. My 20’s have felt like a whirlwind of trial and error and self-discovery…and they’re not even over yet.

I’ve never been a person to plan my future, but when I was younger, I used to think, “Ok, by 25 everything will start falling into place and by 28 I’ll have my first success.” This was all in relation to being in Los Angeles and in the film business. By 25 I would be working at some production company on my way to becoming a producer or writer and by 28 I will have made my first project. None of it worked out that way. When I look back, I realize that I did not fail at my plan at all, but instead reinvented it. Instead of staying in show business, I left it completely at 25. I packed up and drove to Austin with no plan and started fresh. Now at 28 I feel confident in my journey to becoming a writer, I’ve met a wonderful gentleman who makes me smile, and I have less public freak out moments (instead they happen quietly at night in the form of cold sweats and rocking).

At 23 I never imagined that there would be a day things made sense. At that age you think you’re stuck that way forever, in a perpetual state of drooling, shivering, and staring off into space. You don’t think the day you would find your way is even possible.

I’ve in no way completed the challenge that is your 20’s, but I feel that I’ve finally sailed on past the quarter-life crisis era. Everything is falling into place and instead of being terrified about the home stretch to 30, I’m enjoying it.

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  • Reply Melanie's Randomness June 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! It's refreshing to know that the quarter life crisis ends. Whew!

  • Reply That Chelsea Girl™ June 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Woooh! No more quarter-life crisis. Hope you had a lovely birthday, Lauren. Take care!

  • Reply Lauren June 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I turn 30 in a month and some change and I hate it.. I wish I had your attitude!!

  • Reply Jenn - There's Your Karma June 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    HERE, HERE! This blog entry read like a postcard from the place I keep trying to go. You know, mentally. Or whatever.


    27 years, 10 months, 24 days.

  • Reply Randall June 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Happy Birthday, Lauren. It's been a pleasure getting to know you, and I think it's lovely you've found a little peace of mind. Deep, selfish hopes you won't grow out of those of us who haven't.

    And a lot of happiness for you.

  • Reply Tao_of_Ray June 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    Just wait till you get in your 40s…

  • Reply Trina June 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Feliz Cumpleaños!! I wish I had a plan in my early 20's, at least to seem goal-oriented and what not. But I soon realized that nothing's concrete in the future so you just gotta go with what life hands you and deal with it on a daily basis. My approach also has me looking forward to my 30's!

    Hope you had a lovely birthday! ♥

  • Reply Not who I will be June 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Happy belated birthday!

    This post is inspiring. I went through some of the same crap at 23, and although I'm only at 24 now and expect to go through more of the same at least I know there's something better ahead!

  • Reply Jonathan Manor June 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    I put together a diary that I've been writing in every night. I got to say, my 20's are fucking crazy right now.

  • Reply chariskalee June 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I used to write a lot about the end of my youth and approaching 30. I feel like I really found myself at 27 & 28. Now that I am in my early 30s life makes a lot more sense and I've got no regrets except maybe stressing less and enjoying the ride just a bit more.

  • Reply Adrienne June 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Happy bday!

    "Enjoy yourself. That's what your 20s are for. Your 30s are to learn the lessons; your 40s are to pay for the drinks."

  • Reply Big Mark 243 June 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Hugs to you and happy birthday!! So glad that you discovered that it does get better! Take care and don't worry about your early 20's as much as you should be looking forward to a bright future!!

    Glad you have someone that makes you smile. Take care and be well!


  • Reply GenderFueer June 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm


    This post is so wonderful i'm 21 and i constantly think i'm going crazy…i'm so with you on randomly bursting into tears, seeing therapist, scared of the intensity of emotions. oh. god. yes. every single fucking word. LOVE


  • Reply Adria June 14, 2011 at 2:45 am

    What a great post! I'm 26 and every year, feel a little less of a mess than the year before. From what I hear, it keeps improving with age so I hope that'll be the case for me too.

    I just spent some time catching up on your blog and love it more every time I come back.

    Happy Bday!

  • Reply tennysoneehemingway June 14, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Wait till your 30's. Then you'll see some REAL fun.

  • Reply Genfik June 14, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Happy Birthday!

    personally dont think tha it will improve with age (it will be even worst round the 35) but you can ask granma or ma how they was dealing with such state of mind, bcs its all about genetic predisposition.

    all the best Lauren, Take care!


  • Reply Genfik June 14, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Happy Birthday Lauren!!
    you are young, beautifull and clever woman.. let those crisis to late 30's or 40's. as Adrienne said above… Enjoy yourself
    Take care and be well!


  • Reply Hannah Miet June 14, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I've never really had a crisis.

    It's all just been one big, neurotic struggle. It shifts gears, heads with certainty down uncertain paths.

    I wonder if this means I'll have a mid-life crisis in my 50s.

    Happy Birthday, love. Come spend some time with me in New Orleans.

  • Reply Hipstercrite June 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! I really appreciate it. I think it's going to be a good year. I hope it is. IT BETTER BE, DAMMIT!

  • Reply nova June 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I'm 28 too, and sometimes I look at 23 year olds and laugh at their hopes and dreams and confusion. Nothing is what they think it is…they'll see soon enough. MUAHAHA
    I wouldn't go back to that for anything.

  • Reply cj Schlottman June 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Happy (yesterday) Birthday, Lauren! Even at my advanced age, I can relate to those early twenties and all the angst and uncertainty that came with them. In just the two years I have been following you, I have seen to grow and blossom. Every birthday is a big ripe peach. Eat it up, wipe the juice from your chin and move forward.

    Many hugs, cj

  • Reply carissajaded June 15, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Happpy Birthday!! I love this.. And it gives me something to look forward to. I'm just a little bit later than you, but at the age of 28, I loaded up everything and moved to Austin without a plan… (2 weeks ago), but honestly I already feel better. Rather than feel stuck I feel excited.

    Cheers! Here's to life!

  • Reply Tatiana June 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Very awesome! I'm a Health Coach and Life Coach and specialize in Young Adult health – mental, physical and spiritual. I had a rough time in my 20s for all the 'quarter life crisis' reasons and, if I look back, everything I learned then helped me through the many life ups and downs that came after, indeed. Keep your collective chins up! Write if you need help. from Tatiana [email protected]

  • Reply Brooke Farmer June 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    It's funny. Everything you describe from your early twenties, from the anxiety tremors to the certainty that there will never be any certainty, is what I am experiencing now in my early thirties.

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