At my church I do a lot of work in the high school and middle school ministry. I first got in to this when I was 19. It came naturally to me. I could relate to young people because I myself was still considered to be young. We all listened to the same music, and pretty much had the same hobbies. The only difference between me and them was that I was a little bit older so I could offer some life advice that their parents or older adults could not.
See, to the young people I was sort of like a role model. Someone they wanted to be like and many different ways. I had the look, the style, I could dance, kind of sing, I had swag. Older adults had, and still have, no idea what this means. My pastor tried to use the word swag in a sermon of his a few months ago… yeah about that… Let’s just say it was a little awkward o_O. So for lack of better word they said I was cool.
You see being cool is different than having swag. Swag is particular to the person. Only you can have your swag. Swag isn't necessarily flashy but makes you stand out from everyone else. However being cool is like being an excellent all around person. You’re up to date but you don’t necessarily stand out because of your appearance. Cool people can make other people cool or at least feel cool. Both are a form of charisma just expressed in different ways.
Why do I bring this up and what does this have to do with having a quarter life crisis? Well one of the ways I knew I was having a quarter life crisis was that I figured out that I no longer had swag nor was having swag a priority of mine’s any more. When we are young, we want to be hip and up to date, fresh and current. We care about the here and now and we want to make sure we are a part of it. We are concerned with questions like, “Am I cool?” “What do people think about me?” “What am I going to do today?”
When we get older, we no longer care about the present as much as we care about the future and what kind of life we will leave behind. I mean, I’m not completely void of what’s going on in pop culture today and nor am I completely without style, but now different questions are beginning to come to the forefront of mind. Questions like, “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” “Am I ever going to get married?” “What kind of life am I going to leave behind?” Questions that have to do more with the future rather than the here and now.
The grey zone is the time period between being a teenager with the world at your fingertips and being in your twenties and having the pressure of the world weighing you down. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate ambiguity. I like for things to be clearly defined and have a role. So the fact that I can’t make sense of my own life right now is killing me. I hate being in the grey zone!
But here I am, in the grey zone. Still young enough to be cool, but not quite young enough to have swag. Like I said though, having swag is not that important to me right now. But getting out of this stupid grey zone is of utmost importance.