People often use the words “confused, trapped, discouraged, or chaotic” to describe their experience with a quarter-life crisis. While these words are accurate, they sometimes forget to add that it can also be a blessing.
You read that right. It can be a blessing. So if you’re experiencing that crisis now, don’t panic. It may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but here are some blessings that can help put all the hardships in a better perspective.
Self-discovery and growth. This is a time when everything can seem uncertain. You’re anxious about the future. You feel left behind. You might feel like nothing ever changes no matter what you do. You might struggle to function or feel motivated at all. And the biggest dilemma is, you don’t know what to do with your life. You feel completely lost.
It would be a stretch to say that it’s normal, but know that feeling lost can be the very thing you need to find yourself again.
Feeling lost makes you wonder what it is that you want to become, what makes you feel fulfilled and happy, what breathes life into your day, and what fuels your passion. In searching for answers to these questions, you can start to discover and learn new things, find new hobbies, and get out of your comfort zone. This will look different for everyone. You might pick up your once long-held passion for reading that was buried after landing your first job, listen to podcasts, spend more time with family, connect more with friends and people you care about, go on trips, enjoy the calmness of a quiet afternoon, and many other things that you pushed aside in the non-stop hustle of new adulthood.
Now, you can take a step back and spend time rediscovering yourself, rekindling your intellectual curiosity, strengthening the foundation of your values, finding a greater sense of purpose, and gaining wisdom and resilience that only difficult times can teach.
This is not to say that self-discovery and growth can take away the angst and confusion of a quarter-life crisis, but they do help you put things into perspective—that what you’re going through is something you can pull yourself out of. And if you look hard enough, you’ll realize that the experience is a refining one—one that can teach you resilience and perseverance.
And self-discovery does not stop after you’re through with the crisis. It’s an ongoing process of life, that will stay with you, even as your realities and circumstances evolve.
A clearer sense of direction. One of the reasons people go through a quarter-life crisis is the many options available to them. Having too many options can sometimes stagnate your progress because you delay making a choice. Why? Because every option seems good and something you want to explore. And then you feel overwhelmed and that’s where the confusion sets in. You start to wonder what you want to do with your life. Having too many options and no idea what to do can paralyze your potential to make a choice.
Going through a quarter-life crisis forces you to simplify and analyze the pros and cons of your options, determine what’s reasonable within the parameters of your current realities and obligations, choose what you think is best for you and your current circumstance, and decide on the goals that will allow you to grow.
It becomes a wake-up call reminding you that for you to reach a meaningful destination, you should know where you want to go.
One of the truths that can jumpstart your pursuit for direction is knowing who you are and where you came from.
All mankind before being born on this Earth lived with God the Father where we were taught the commandments and principles that will lead to happiness. All of us are spirit sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. Part of His plan is for us to come to Earth to receive physical bodies and have the agency to choose for ourselves so we can learn how to make correct choices. We set out on this mortal journey with the goal to eventually return to our Heavenly Father’s presence.
Knowing who you are and where you came from can help you feel at peace that as long your eyes are set upon the ultimate goal of going back to your heavenly home, your Heavenly Father will guide you in whichever direction you choose.
A closer relationship with the Savior. Amidst the uncertainties that mostly give you chronic unease and anxiety, there is one truth that can give you refuge—Christ’s love. A love that is constant and sure.
In the Book of Matthew, the Lord Jesus Christ offered a profound invitation, saying,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Isn’t this one of the grandest expressions of love?
As you go through this crisis, you can rely on the Savior for comfort and reassurance that He understands your troubled soul, He hears your silent petitions for peace, and He feels your anguish when you plead for your burdens to be made light. As you pour your heart in prayer and rely upon His mercy, He will bless you with the wisdom you need to move forward. In Him, your weary and confused soul can find rest and clarity.
The wisdom that you need and the answers that you seek can often be found in the scriptures—both scriptures of old such as the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and counsels of the living prophets in these latter days. As you search the scriptures, the Lord will enlighten your mind and understanding as to things that will help you find a clearer direction for your life.
You’ll also get to know the Savior more through His teachings, miracles, and most of all, His ultimate sacrifice so that all mankind may live. As you come to know the Savior through the scriptures, you’ll find a greater appreciation of His life and His atoning sacrifice. You’ll come to know the true nature of the Lord, and in turn, develop a desire to become like Him.
The crisis will still be hard and confusing even after recognizing these blessings, but you will feel the power and peace of walking side by side with the Savior, knowing that you never have to face your crisis alone.