Mid Twenties Crisis!

20 Apr

As I sit at my desk on this rainy, cloudy day and gaze out across the endless urban sprawl of Mexico City, I can’t help but feel the beginning of a panic attack coming on.  And not just because I can’t tell if the heavy clouds are smog or rain clouds, no, this sharp pain inside my chest is not related to the oppressive pollution or the never-ending rows of apartments.  I am panicking because I am having, for the upteenth time, a full-blown mid-twenties crisis.

Looking out at the sprawl

Looking out at the sprawl

The problem is that, while the cause of this crisis is easy to pinpoint, the various layers that make it up are as impossible to unravel as a bundle of necklaces at the bottom of my suitcase.  It all started with me questioning whether or not I should stay in Mexico City another year and work here, but it has quickly snowballed into me questioning everything about myself and my future.

In the few years since I graduated college, I have poured wine at a tasting room in California, waited tables at a French bistro, been a social worker for immigrants and refugees for a large school district, interned at an alt weekly, volunteered in Thailand with Burmese refugees, climbed volcanoes in Chile, traveled the Amazon river by boat, and eaten my fair share of tacos whilst living in Mexico City.  And to be perfectly honest, I may have been the happiest while I was working at the winery.  The job was completely stress free, gave me the opportunity to meet all kinds of wonderful people, and also paid a whopping $8 an hour.

I guess I have realized that, as happy as I was (and could be again) pouring wine, $8 an hour is a lot less then I can see myself living off as I grow into an adult.  It is not that I fear for my inability to be successful.  On the contrary, I am pretty confident I can succeed in whatever I put my mind to.  I guess I am just struggling to find out exactly what I want to put my mind to.

Maybe I should just go see a fortune teller or something.  Or maybe I should move to Africa.  Or maybe I should go pick grapes in Italy.  Or maybe, just maybe I’ll stay in el DF another year.  For now, I’m trying to take it one day at a time and ignore the fluttering in my stomach and pains in my chest. 


4 Responses to “Mid Twenties Crisis!”

  1. mom April 20, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Hi Laura, I remember that feeling. I had it after graduation from college. I did not know which way to go. To graduate school or live at home and find a job??? It was scary, and it was a horrible recession, 1974 – with unemployment lines in the building, out the building (unempl office) and down the sidewalk and down the street. Somehow I survived but I think I took the road less traveled on and that made you the difference. Love, Mom
    Now its a mid-fifties crisis …but I’m not stressing it will get figured out.

  2. paul April 20, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    I like the fact that all you had to say about Mexico was that you’ve eaten a bunch of tacos. You could have at least mentioned beach trips!

    Anyway, my main purpose for posting a comment was to pass you the link to a delightful Web site I’ve just discovered that measures Mexico City’s air pollution. It’s not that bad!


    So good luck getting through your crisis, but no more whining about the pollution.

  3. dad April 22, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    Hi laura! Too many choices, reminds me of an old DMB song. Maybe you could try them all (one at a time, of course), there’s no reason to limit your life to just one occupation or location. I was always confident that i could support myself esp. when i was young and single but i never worried much about what i should do next (i guess i still don’t). If something doesn’t work out you can always try something else. My whole plumbing career happened without much forethought, it was an opportunity i tried and liked and i’m still doing it but am considering other options. Maybe you could do a bikram class to destress. Works for me! Hang in there, and enjoy the moment! love, dad


  1. Saying Goodbye… again… « Gente Mal - November 28, 2009

    […] broke, and not sure what exactly I want to do with my life.  I’ve written earlier about my mid-twenties crisis, and my desire for a little more stability and a little less traveling, and I have to say that […]

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