Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Quarter-Life Crisis

Geographically I live in the middle of no where. And occasionally my recognition of this fact reminds me of how I view my place in society. This isolated island in the vast expanse that is halfway between the free world and the third world is practically a microcosm for how I see myself as well; trapped.

Back in High School I recall writing where I thought I’d be in ten years, or what we called in our Yearbook, “Our Prophesy. “ Some of the students made light of the project and injected their comical spin to it. I on the other hand took it seriously and seven years later see that I am farther from those goals today than I was when I wrote them.

I Joshua Carroll will have graduated Law School, started my family and served God as well.

I remember those lines as if I had looked at my yearbook yesterday. Out of fairness to my younger self, I can no more pretend that I didn’t know what I wanted back in High School than I can say that I know where I’m headed now. To be honest, I haven’t a clue. One year from now my orders will be up and I haven’t given much thought to where I will be going or what I will be doing. I’ve put it off and procrastinated with the hope that everything will just work itself out in the end. And so far, I shouldn’t really complain.

I consider this dilemma as my quarter-life crisis. At twenty-five I never thought I’d be so restless to change my situation. I try to put into consideration some of the things that I’ve done and come to the conclusion that I haven’t done much at all. I have settled more than I have sought adventure. I’ve played it safe when I could have taken chances. I’ve stayed the same when I could have grown and I’ve taken credit for things that were beyond my control. All of these choices have contributed to my false sense of accomplishment and should rightly be scratched from my record. For I have lived a simple, easy, secure and privileged life. If it were not for my parents and the lucky breaks that I have received along the way, none of what I have would have been possible.

I regret not having to have faced adversity. I envy the people who have struggled for what they have just as I look up to the “self-made men.” I couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. I have been given the keys to the same doors that have locked out so many from the social conversation. Those that believe in a grand outcome that is all orchestrated by a higher power would call this “God’s plan.” If that is the case, then I’m certain that hundreds of millions of people in this world think that God’s plan sucks. How can I logically believe that I deserve what I have and that it is because it was God’s will, when more deserving, more devout followers struggle to put food on the table, die from diseases, war and natural disasters?

A big part of me wishes that I could just start over, not necessarily rewind back to 2001 but to just give up everything so that I could attempt to find out what the phrase “earning a living” really means. Until then I will continue to be thankful for what I have been given and the opportunities that are around me. I just hope that I’m not talking about these same problems at fifty.