Yep this is my Quarter Life Crisis
I'm three months from my 26th birthday (yikes). There's a mix of thank God that I, a black girl from the country/hood, has made it to see 25 so far and f*** I'm tired. Yea, this year has been all about ups and down. Actually let's just say my past three years have been a roller coaster in HD.
Wait, what is a quarter life crisis you ask? Oh well it's where life as you know it becomes a balance beam of adulting. Do you quit the job, grab a one-way ticket to anywhere in the world, and forget it all? Or do you hunker down and settle into a life regime that is suiting for an adult? I chose something between the two.
At 24 I "quit" my well paying cubicle job and went rouge. Which led to me getting evicted from my first apartment, breaking off a toxic/abusive relationship, and being homeless. Getting fired is the best thing I've ever done, not smart, but great. (Aside from the other great things) While couch surfing for a bit, sleeping on the streets of St. Louis, and going to homeless shelters I found a fulfilling job that I could do even though my degree said I was over qualified. Shoot at that point I would've just taken a paycheck short of working in a cubicle or stripping (not knocking it, it's just not my thing). What job did I find? Teacher's Aide/Assistant. Yep that meant lesson planning and having fun with kids all day, that beats a cubicle or pole any day. I also found that instead of having one boring, unfulfilling job you can have multiple fun jobs that all pay you for that set of skills. PLUS that passion that's lingering in your bag, that you never had time to work on, can now be fine tuned and put to good use.
Which leads me to 25. 25 is the age I was determined to turn it all around. I started off great. I had my first one-night stand. (okay so not so great) I self-published a collection of plays & poetry. (Better.) I started this website. (Much better.) I got into a great activist CO-OP (complete strangers living together what could go wrong?) I got my first official boyfriend. (He was great and short lived. 2 months) I kept my one woman show alive and started a tour. How to start a tour or not start one should be a blog. (Note to self ) I rotate jobs like a old rotary phone. It's been brilliant and stressful and brilliant again. So then I get this idea to just stop everything to travel and write. Not new for those in a quarter life crisis.
That brings me back to how my life is right now. I'm prepping to travel to Iowa with my One woman show: The Family Cookbook to my alma mater, Buena Vista University. I'll be going to a gender studies class to talk, performing my show, doing a talk back, and having a great time. Not to mention I get to see my college best friend and her new hubby (he's also my college best friend ha!) I married her first, more on that in it's own blog post. Anywho. I'm excited. A new job came up. A new apartment that will be my own space is in talks. Boss is giving me a laptop. God is funny. I literally thought three weeks ago I was going to have to move back to TN with my tail between my legs, but now I can wait out for the Peace Corps here in STL or this fellowship. If the Peace Corps doesn't happen in 2017-2018 A LOT of traveling will. If this is my quarter life crisis, I'm sooo not mad about it. Life is all about taking risk and going for it. "Just do it." is the best advice I can give you if you're in a quarter life crisis or anywhere feeling stuck in life. And if you don't know what to do. Don't panic. Get in a quiet space with yourself. It might not make sense for awhile, but that's okay. I'm right here with you. My problems just look different, but they do exist.
My story is just beginning. And dare I say this blog is getting better?
I've been a poet and playwright for quite a bit now. In this past three years in St. Louis I've produced my own show, authored my first collection of plays & poetry, and performed spoken word throughout the nation. People ask me how I do it. What does it entail? How do you make money doing that? Well people write everyday, but being a writer is no easy task. Being a writer is not easy. It's all up to you. What do you want to DO with your writing? Are you wanting to be a journalist? A blogger? A poet? A novelist? A script writer? A playwright? There are literally a thousand and three things you can do with writing, you just have to choose.
What will your focus be? So today I'm sitting at the computer searching freelance writing gigs to fill up some of my free time and it hits me. My writing has always lacked direction. I can literally write about anything, but what do I love to write about? What do I know like the back of my hand to make it through an entire sitting. (I have a point I promise) Theatre, art, and culture. I write stories. What should you write? Well... What are you passionate about? Go to Google trends. (Yest this is a real thing) and see what people are searching for. That way you can see what's popular, what people are looking at, and seeing what's popular that might interest you.
In fact just last night (This morning at 4AM) I started a new one featuring "a teen name Nuria Stone who lives in a cramped three bedroom apartment with her mom, dad, two brothers, and a sister in Baltimore, MD. One of her brothers, her popular twin that looks nothing like her, thinks she should get out more and drags her to her first high school house party on the rich side of town she discovers that her twin has an identical brother. (dun, dun, dun!) So the question is... Is she related to her brotherss? Why has she been painting weird images? Her family lives in the hub of drugs, gangs, and violence yet she doesn't fit in. Where does she belong? It's time for her parents to fess up cause something's not adding up."
And SCENE. So, you want advice on how to be a writer? Write. Everything else will become clear. I discovered I'm not meant to write blog content about doggies, it's not my passion. BUT I can get into writing scripts, scenes, and stories for people who need some entertainment or real life-like stories. I like writing poetry. And my novel will come. One day. Take what interest you and run with it. So... my hunt for that job to materialize continues. Till then, I'm just a woman with a creative imagination.
Finding answers in a trail
Don't we all have questions? What should we believe in? Where should we go? Should I date him/her? How should I live? Our day can be filled with questions and we spend most of the day answering them. What should I eat? What should I wear? If you're lucky you save time by answering these questions early on so you can save some time.
But what about the deeper questions about faith, spirituality, and morals? How do you answer those? Recently, I've found myself trail walking usually alone or with a dog recently and I've found it peaceful. I spent most of that time asking questions to God and to the universe. And I didn't find answers. They weren't hidden in the moss on the trees, in the yellow falling leaves, or on the slightly rock terrain. There were just more questions and I'm just now realizing those questions aren't hard. I was just looking for answers IN something that would provide none.
Most people think that it's about where you are and what you're doing, that next adventure. The truth is answers aren't in that. They're inside you, right now, as you are. And that's sometimes hard to swallow. We think things will be better if we were doing something else, living somewhere else, getting something else. That's where the happiness is, that's where answers are, and that's what I want... But it's not true. Those questions will still be there until you face them.
I changed what I was listening to (which were the questions resonating in my head) and allowed some belief to make it's way in. Then something strange happened. I was getting answers not the one I was looking for at all (Thanks God and universe), but the answers I needed. I've been lost for a long time now... Strange that a Christ follower can get lost, but I did. Physically I was following this trail, but spiritually I had no clue what I was doing. I stopped trusting in the path and was just aimlessly wandering until I had no clue where I was or how I got here. I had been following my own poorly designed map that had no destination. If you travel, you know how catastrophic that can be. Though sometimes getting lost you can find beautiful things that you might not have ever seen before, spiritually getting lost can leave you damaged until you get back on course.
That's what I'm doing now. Walking the path and walking the path. I'm listening now.
From the 19-27th of August I got to be a St. Louis Fringe Festival participant. In all reality it took months of preparation, nail biting (if I bit my nails), and rehearsing to put on my One Woman Show. The kick-off to my tour.
Now if you've ever been to a Fringe Festival you know it's a fun filled time with a variety of shows to see, often times with performers from around the world. Now my journey with the St. Louis Fringe Festival began in December with the application. On the day the application was due, I rushed into work with a laptop tucked in my bag. I had already filled it out, all that there was left to do was hit submit at 6PM on the dot. I asked the front desk if we had free wifi (I was new) and ran to a corner table to await the clock in. I did of course alert my boss that I was going to be clocking in 5 minutes late because 6PM was also the time our rehearsal started for my Production Assistant job. As the minutes ticked by I had my finger poised and ready to punch submit constantly re-checking my application details. As the clock turned from 5:59, butterflies swarmed in my stomach, and I hit the button.
From there I learned that I was accepted as a participant, I filled out more paperwork. had meetings with my production team (great friends), and began to rehearse. I can't help, but mention meeting the other participants from all over, seeing their shows, getting to be a part of all the creativity, and learning from them as well. It was an amazing time. Unfortunately me dealing with the stress of life limited my full enjoyment of the experience, not gonna lie. I just felt honored to be a part of it all.
Did it turn out the way I wanted it to? No. Not at all. But I've stopped looking at failure as this big inhibitor. In fact, it pushes me to go even harder. I got to spend months preparing for something I love and completed it pretty well. All in all, it wasn't bad.
Jump Rope Sis
Fitness. Life. Art. Travel.