Quarter-Life Crazies

When you work in media, not a second goes by in which you are not wondering: how, why, and when do people consume information.

So, on Friday night, when I should have been drinking away the week, mooing over the juke box and worshipping at the feet of super-cool people in Park Slope, I was asking my friend Diana what her favorite Web sites were, and why. She said, “The New York Times, People.com, Brooklyn Vegan…”

She trailed off. I was about to jump in and explain how findingDulcinea could be all those silly sites–and MORE when she added, “I think I’ve been feeling so off because my quarter-life crisis is coming.” Eureka.

Today, at our guides meeting, I pitched a quarter-life crisis guide to celebrate my birthday in March. No dice.

What could the problem be? Then I realized: Negativity. Everyone is sick of the death knoll. No one wants to hear about any more crises. Then, I did a little experiment. I made my away message: “Rachel is the absolute happiest girl on earth.”

Lo- and behold, EVERYONE wanted to know what it was that made me so happy. People I NEVER talk to were g-chatting me up to find out what the deal with happiness was. (Of course, when I found out one of my friends assumed I had gotten engaged, I felt the pangs of Quarter-Life Crisis again. I’m too young to die, I thought frantically.)

The point is, despite what watching Curb Your Enthusiasm will tell you, people are actually interested in hearing about Sheer Awesomeness. This is a truth that I have tried to fight for some time. Once, in college, I said to my good friend, “I’m thinking about getting some self-esteem.” And she said, “But Rachie! Your self-deprecating humor is my favorite thing about you.”

But today, in honor of my impending Quarter-Lifeness, I have found a way to combine self-deprecations with happiness. And so I present to you: The Quarter-Life Catharsis. In other words, I will suffer (mildly) and through my trials and tribulations, my readers will attain a higher sense of being. How? You ask. Because, as in a findingDulcinea Guide, I’ll endure the tricky research, and simply offer you the lively but relevant insights and picks that will make your road to your next birthday (whatever it may be) smooth. (Semi-bearable.)

To begin QLC (Quarter Life Catharsis) 2008:

1) Always think of things in opposite way to how you first perceive. For example, now that Castro no longer in charge, don’t think: Yes, I can finally go to Cuba. Think: Oh no. Now there will be even more pressure to tell people I’ve been to Cuba as I try to appear hip at bars and dinner parties.

2) Enjoy irony.

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