My never ending quarter life crisis

When I was 25 I started having panic attacks about what I was doing with my life and where things were going. I kept telling myself that everyone goes through feeling like that and in a while I’ll feel solid and happy with my life’s direction.

I’m happy with the life experiences I’ve had already, I know I’ve been extremely fortunate but I want so much more. I want to be able to save money at a rate where I can travel every year to somewhere new for a two week minimum. I don’t think this would be such a big problem if I could maybe move back in with my parents forever, pay off my car loan in a year or so and just travel my little heart out from there. But that’s so far from realistic –

I haven’t had panic attacks in a really long time, at least a couple of years and the last couple of days I just can’t seem to shake them. I was on Facebook yesterday and just happened to notice that someone “liked” a post that Jen had made; it was a bit strange because her privacy settings are set to the nines and I haven’t seen anything in regards to her in a really long time. I decided to look into it and her post said that she was excited to be leaving for Ireland that night. My stomach sank for a few reasons, including the fact that Ireland has been the one place I’ve always wanted to visit, I was the one who got her excited to go and we had made plans when we were younger to go together. I’m really jealous that she’s there and I’m really bitter that she has the funds to do so. I know that the bulk of her money came from her insurance settlement and she went through a lot to get what she did; I just feel like she’s going to enjoy and see all of the things that I wanted to and that I may never get to travel there because of finances.

On top of feeling that way, I started to think about the fact that even if I did put away enough money to travel somewhere, I’d have no one to go with. Hunter isn’t worldly and doesn’t have that urge to explore, he’s just happy in his bubble and I have no close friends to go with and I know my family members can’t afford it. I don’t like the idea of traveling alone because on top of the safety issue, I’d have no one to experience it with which makes a big difference. I think if I go alone, I’d just feel so anti social and awkward especially being in a new place that I wouldn’t get to enjoy and throw myself into the whole experience.

On top of wanting to save for an adventure of a trip, I have to save for a down payment of a house because Hunter already declared that he doesn’t want to live with me until he’s settled into a house of his own for a year minimum. He’s already been looking for a house for three years so I don’t have much faith that he will move out any time soon. I’m not guaranteed this job or rental home forever so I need to have a back up plan. And, on top of all that I have to start saving for my retirement and for an emergency fund. All put together I’d like to save $30,000 for the house down payment, put away a thousand a year for emergencies and roughly $3,000 away a year for retirement. Not included in those figures is the fact that my income is around $28,000 a year and I still have my own expenses, rent, car payments, insurance and things like that which takes up about $26,000 off the top. So until my car is paid off I only save roughly $2,000 a year, so I’ll have saved about $5,000 once the car is paid off in a couple years and that’s it. All of that money would have to be put towards my savings until I could accumulate enough in another three years or so to even be able to consider buying a house on my own; and by then I’ll be 31, still unmarried with no kids, no traveling, & no fun (but no debt up to that point until I get a mortgage for the rest of my life).

How is it that I have a full time job that pays $6 an hour more than minimum wage and I can’t even plan for my future. Not until I’m debt free and stay that way for a minimum of three years, and even then that’s only to pay for a down payment on a house and that doesn’t include my regular expenses, savings or retirement fund.

Let’s say by some miracle that I get married and we can live off of a dual income; the guy I marry would have to come into the picture with absolutely no debt and be making as much or more than me. It would definitely help with the mortgage and living expenses but there’s still the issue of saving for our futures, potential children and for potential travel. I don’t want to work all my life from now on and never travel again, never make any new friends, never afford to have kids, never go out and have fun, never accomplish anything, never amount to anything, and then be thrown in a grave when I’m dead with nothing to show for it where I’ll be forgotten about within a few years.

I just feel like I did everything the way I was supposed to in order to be happy in life; I finished high school, went to University and College, got a job, got a boyfriend, got a dog, traveled – but it’s just not even close to enough for me, when am I supposed to get to that moment where I just feel happy and content? I still just feel so unfulfilled, like I’m meant to do something great with my life… but what if I’ve already done those great things, and my best days are already behind me and my life is just meaningless now?

I feel so lost & out of control in a sea of boredom, meaningless actions, and life long financial struggle. I don’t know how other people afford anything, keep good friends, and find real happiness; it feels so out of reach.

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