Mid-20s Malaise

Struggling against the inevitable since 1986!

Toy Story Ennui

So I went to see Toy Story 3 tonight about three weeks ago, and just saw this draft I wrote afterwards.

I am not embarrassed to admit I have never cried so much during a movie – not even during Dancer In The Dark. It was a sad movie, but also hopeful. It got to me, though, because it reflected a mood that a lot of my friends and I are in at the moment.

If you’ve missed the press around the film, it’s about Andy – the owner of the titular toys – growing up and going to college. It’s about growing up and moving on, taking charge and making choices, and how those things can be hard and painful.

A lot of my friends are feeling the need to make a change. I felt that need last year, and decided to head overseas for as long as I could. It was an awesome year – the most amazing adventure I’ve ever had – but now it’s over. I’ve returned to Australia, disillusioned with my chosen career and, if you’ll allow me to be a little melodramatic, my place in the world.

I always had really supportive parents, who told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. I appreciate their optimism, but I feel they were overstating the case a little. Maybe I have time to be one or two things that I would like to be, but I’m becoming aware of time running out. Travelling the world showed me how very small I am, and how limited my power is.

I used to scoff at the concept of a mid-life crisis. The awareness of your mortality? Ha! Even children know they will die one day. But it isn’t about a fear of death – it’s a fear of wasting what leads up to that.

I come from a middle-class white background. I often make fun of this, probably out of some well-meaning but misplaced sense of guilt. Because of it, I am very privileged. I am educated, and am considering going back to study. Although it’s better than the alternative, having so many choices is not without its difficulties.

But enough of me whinging. Dear readers – yes, both of you – are you running into some mid-20s malaise? How do you deal with it?

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2 Responses

  1. Frances says:

    Me! I’m one of your two readers!

    You know I’ve never seen Toy Story. I really should fix that.

    I’m having one helluva quarter-life crisis. I live with my parents, I’m in a job I can barely stand, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I deal with my lack of purpose by buying things and eating out. Superficial perhaps, but the best idea I’ve got.

  2. Rachel says:

    I think most of us, who are in our 20’s, are currently struggling. Personally, my biggest issue is work. I hate that I spent 5 years at university and I can not get a full time job. I am wondering why I bothered when I could have just spent those years working at Kmart.. which is inevitably where I am going to end up the way things are going *sigh*

    Then there is the whole trying to work, keep my house clean, study (still) and have some sort of social life. It’s hard. But that’s all been put on hold now anyway since I’ve been sick.

    Here is my online buddy, Ashley’s blog: Sound of Silent. Seems 20 somethings all over the world are having the same issues!

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