The ‘Skinny’ on the Quarter-life Crisis


I know what you’re thinking—aren’t you in your thirties? Weren’t you the same person that wrote about the Dirty Thirty Syndrome? Yes and yes. However, what I’ve begun to recognize in my ripe old age *wink* is that those of us who are in our thirties have an obligation to help our twenty-something friends/colleagues with the trials and tribulations of quarter-life.

When I look back at my twenties if I didn’t have some of the fabulous guides who were gracious enough to help (and continue to) courier me along my path, I would still be waiting tables wondering when my life was going to start. Thankfully, my life not only started in my twenties but it took off and I’ve been enjoying the ride ever since. Sure there are bumps—but how would you know the road was smooth otherwise?

Remember the scene in Clueless when Cher is giving advice to Ty after she realizes that she is four whole months older than her? “now, as someone older than you let me give you some advice”. Obviously four months is not a lot, but five to ten years is a ton and I realized that last night when I was watching the movie Skinny and silently reminiscing over my “post-adolescent idealistic phase”.

The Skinny is the new indie film by Patrick-Ian Polk the creator of Noah’s Arc, a TV series that captured the lives and relationships of four black gay men—think Sex and the City but with really cute guys instead. Skinny is essentially the younger sibling to Noah’s Arc— giving you a glimpse into the lives of five friends who reunite for a weekend of fun in Manhattan a year after they graduate from Brown University. The film was funny, touching, and just the kind of pick-me-up you need to get you through the rest of the week.

However, it also reminded me of the anxiety that the mid to late twenties can create. All those “who am I?”, “what do I want to be ?”, “where am I going to live ?”, “does he/she really like me?” type of questions followed by countless cocktails and at the lowest moment…tears.

The most important thing to remember about quarter-life is that it eventually comes to an end. Life is a series of peaks and valleys and your twenties provide you with both at the same time hence the title of my post. Sure, parents probably say, “stop whining you have your youth”. Yes, you do. But it’s both a blessing and a curse—all the creativity and energy with only a quarter of the power. In some cases ala Mark Zuckerburg, the quarter-life can be sidestepped and missed altogether while you’re taking the quickest route to the bank. The rest of us however, past and present twenty-something’s, need sounding boards and Sages followed by cheap cocktails and endless conversations to get us through the haze and onto our journey.

As the fabulous Joey exclaims in Skinny your twenties “are too many things” and all you need to do is conquer one issue, one valley, and one moment at a time.

Cheers to loving the YOU right now, and the YOU yet to arrive!