The Quarter Life Crisis


union jackI have come to the conclusion that I am going through my quarter life crisis. My ‘what if this is as good as it gets’ moment. I don’t often talk about my personal feelings, my struggles with inner emotion and decisions that are weighing on my mind. For the most part I keep these things to myself because they’re no one else’s business but tonight I’m feeling the need to share with someone. Anyone, really.

I was twelve when I moved to the United States. On the verge of my teen years, the time when friends are so important and stability lacks in just about every aspect of life. I had good friends. I was a ‘smart kid’ and I had my firm base of support established. I was twelve when I moved to the States, I was put in to 8th grade. I was put in to 8th grade in a snobby private school. I was a year younger than my foreign peers and I stood out like a sore thumb. As if the accent wasn’t bad enough, I was younger and I was educated in things like ‘how to identify a sycamore tree’ and lacking in things like fractions. I became a painfully shy twelve year old. Struggling to distinguish friends who genuinely wanted to be friends rather than play with the ‘new toy.’ During my first year in school I think I spoke maybe one or two sentences a day. When I got home to our huge rented house that dwarfed anything I’d ever seen before coming to this country, I would cry. I wouldn’t just cry, I would sob. I would sob until my eyes were blood red, until my nose was chapped, until my throat hurt, until I fell asleep.

Moving during my twelfth year was such a truly devastating event for me. I regressed. I went from a pretty and somewhat popular girl who made A’s and had a steady base of friends to a withdrawn almost non-verbal girl who struggled to get through a day. I missed home. I missed the familiar. I missed my family.

I still miss home. I think somewhere during my transition to this country I lost something. I came to feel like a toy, a thing rather than a person and even now, even when I smile and play the part I feel like I don’t fit in. I contemplate going home again. Leaving the life I have here and going back to live with cousins while I get back on my feet but I’m not so sure I’d fit in there anymore either. I’m in a sort of nationality-limbo as it were. Of course my family would always accept me but moving back home does not mean that things would change for me, they could be just as foreign there.

It may be that all I need is a trip home, a trip to see my family who I haven’t seen in entirely too long. A trip to see the garden where my grandad’s ashes are scattered. A trip to remind me that I do belong somewhere. I’m afraid though. I’m afraid that if I go I won’t want to come back and where does that leave my life here? Here in the big wide land of opportunity where I truly could be anything and everything I always wanted to be. The trouble is that I grew up a poor white northern English girl and I never wanted to be anything, I just wanted to be with my family, to get by and to make a life for myself with a family of my own. To have a place to lay my head at night but lately…everywhere I lay my head feels so foreign.

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