LIFE IS A COLLAGE



LIFE IS A COLLAGE

By: Khadija Sharifi 

Growing up, I heard of the significant stages I would have to go through in life, such as the angsty teenage years and the corny midlife crisis. I knew what to expect when I was a moody, hormonal teenager, and I’ve already accepted the high probability of an unnecessary sports car purchase in my fifties. So why am I so unequipped for this quarter-life crisis that’s hitting me harder than the New York City winter?


So Many Questions                                                                                                  


We all know that half-time is game time, but no one ever talks about the first quarter, the quarter that sets the tone for the big game we call life. A quarter-life crisis typically starts in your early to mid-20s.

This is when you have anxiety about where you are in life. You start questioning if you are making the right decisions for your future. You begin to realize that you haven’t accomplished what you thought you would at this age, and you begin to reevaluate and regret decisions you made in the past, which can cause severe depression and anxiety. I was always told that life was going to be simple. If you get through your teenage years and get through college, then that’s it; you’ve made it! The rest is smooth sailing. Now, all that’s left to do is get a job with your new degree, and you’re all set. But what happens when you can’t even get a “good enough job,” or you don’t want to have just one occupation, or be defined by your job? 


What if you still don’t know what you want to do forever, or maybe you want to go back to school, but your student debt ties you down? What’s my purpose? Is this what life is? With a head full of all these unanswered questions, it’s easy to look around and compare yourself to your peers and wonder if you are falling behind. This feeling is a real struggle most young adults face alone since no one has real conversations about this.

I

genuinely believe it is at this pivotal point in life where you can make all your wildest dreams come true, but people typically give up on their childhood dreams and give in to their monotonous lives due to the absolute pressure to “grow up.” In other terms, pick a job to do for the rest of your life that’s good enough to pay your bills and roll off the tongue when your parents talk about you to their peers. But is that what you want?


Just Say Yes


Amid the pandemic, I was recruited to be a part of HESTAH. I was in full swing of my quarter-life crisis. Feeling so unfulfilled and uninspired, I decided to say yes to every opportunity presented to me. I’m happy I did. Of course, I had apprehensions because there is so much work required from you as a startup, and I’d have to take on so many roles that I never took on before. Still, you would be surprised how we, as humans, genuinely rise to the occasion. Of course, it’s hard, but I’m learning new skills and enhancing the skills I already have while also learning a lot about myself. I get to execute my creative concepts and have the freedom to practice new content creation styles that I haven’t been able to do in previous jobs. For me, creativity is so fulfilling, and I love that aspect of this magazine. I’m not just doing one job; I get to try it all!


Putting The Piece Together


The quarter-life crisis is not often spoken about, and perhaps it’s due to embarrassment or just wanting to appear perfect all the time, but I’ve learned that it’s okay not to have everything figured out right now.  It’s not okay to give up on everything you want to try. Thanks to HESTAH and the encouraging group of friends I surround myself with, I know life’s not supposed to be one perfect plan. Instead, it’s about piecing together the parts of my life that worked, using the details that didn’t work as lessons and even accomplishments that I’ve overcome to create this beautiful collage that is me. I’m not saying I’m entirely out of my quarter-life crisis, but I am much more hopeful for what’s to come.