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The 23-Year-Old Crisis

Transitioning from one phase of life to another brings a myriad of emotions. The feelings magnify and multiply with every second. You question whether you have made the right decisions thus far. You question your level of dedication. Did you give all that you could? Have you done enough to make yourself proud? You continually question your feelings. It is not uncommon. In a recent self diagnosis, I was able to put things into perspective.


Theoretically, most people associate crises during the life cycle with mid-life. I, however, beg to differ. As a recent college graduate, I have found myself in a depression of sorts. Feelings of being both overwhelmed and uncertain to being irrational and acting impulsively have been flooding my mind on the daily. It’s as though you need to do a million things, yet you’re unable to accomplish one. Then, in contrast, you feel as though what you have accomplished is not enough and you rethink every decision you’ve made thus far while romanticizing the paths of others. It is draining!


In this time of unfamiliarity and confusion, I have found myself reading articles dealing with twenty-somethings in similar depressions. Some have shared coping mechanisms while others just gave encouraging words. Ultimately,  I have found that pushing myself to get more involved with what’s happening around me and fully grasping how blessed I am has assisted me in overcoming this crisis.


As a young woman, I think it is worse simply because I am at an age where some of my peers are taking leaps of faith within their careers and others are getting married, having children. So, I am caught in this Catch 22 where I feel like I need a career immediately, but should still have enough free time to date, with the end goal being settling down. And, for whatever reason, I set everything on a schedule. I felt as though certain achievements should be checked off of my list before 25. Career. Success. Love. Marriage. Family. It is a constant tug-of-war within my brain. It’s like I want to travel the world, but have a home where I can raise children. At the same time, I want to be a boss in my industry, but also be the next Claire Huxtable of motherhood.


My parents have been my confidants in my 23-year-old Crisis, answering my questions and reassuring my doubts. They have constantly opened my eyes to my realities and how grand my blessings have been. I am a 23-year-old, African-American woman with a college degree that is currently excelling in law school. In addition to my scholastic success, I am beautiful, strong, and outgoing. I’m also fun-loving and easygoing. Not to mention, I am spiritually healthy. These statements weren’t written to boast. They were written as proof positive that continued success and happiness are boundless as long as I continue on my journey. The husband, the children, and the career will flourish as long as I bask in contentment and continue to thrive.


My coping mechanism is living in my truth and trusting my journey, taking note of my blessings and being more appreciative. Currently, I am a few months shy of entering into my 24th year in this world and I finally understand what the 23rd year has taught me. The end goal is simply to be comfortable, happy, and proud of myself. I can honestly look in the mirror and embrace my shortcomings as well as my triumphs. I figure if all of those things remain consistent, then success will come both socially, scholastically, and spiritually. Seeing my journey, in all aspects, from a positive standpoint can only bring positivity my way.


6 Responses
  • Meka johnson
    December 28, 2017

    Awesome article! I loved it.

  • Janet B. Ruffin
    December 28, 2017

    Mature beyond her years, this young woman has been constant in knowing what she wants to attain in life. Although situations may arise to make her feel that one college degree is enough, she will not adhere. She presses on knowing that there is so much more for her. While the wind beneath her wings, her parents, are such great encouragers, there are others who keep her lifted in prayer as she continues on her quest for more knowledge, more wisdom, and more of what life has to offer, choosing what’s best for her future. Love you Hun.
    “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11
    Your First Grade Teacher

  • kat
    January 20, 2018

    This is beautiful. I’m 26, married, have a masters degree, and have a child, and often still feel the same insecurities, especially about the career. In many ways my life is going full throttle, but in others it’s just beginning. Holding onto my truth and trusting my journey is the #1 thing I need to remember right now. All our journeys are different, but to be valued. Thank you so much for your encouraging article.

    • Meah Johnson
      January 21, 2018

      Thank you so much for your feedback!!!

  • Alaysia
    January 22, 2018

    So proud Meah. I love this!