Turn-By-Turn Directions For Your Existential Crisis

Exisitential crisis map.

Exisitential crisis map.

Buy a stack of self-help books and a journal that says, “She Believed She Could — So She Did” in swirly letters on the cover.

Start by sitting at your desk on a Tuesday afternoon, staring at a document you’ve been pretending to update for three hours, at a job you’ve hated for three years.

Make a u-turn into the darkest recesses of your psyche. Wonder about your life purpose: Were you put on earth to stare at computer screens and pay bills and die? Cringe while imagining what your idealistic college self would think of you now. Conclude that your life lacks creativity and meaning and simple joys.

Veer toward quitting your job on the spot to become a subsistence farmer/feminist poet.

In 10 minutes, come to a full stop and decide that’s maybe that’s a bit drastic.

At the intersection of deep dissatisfaction and fear of change, Google “Costa Rica yoga retreat.”

Merge that idea with something more affordable that requires less PTO. Sign up for a meditation workshop at The Learning Annex and make an appointment with your hairstylist to get bangs.

Walk 200 feet to the nearest Starbucks and celebrate your new life choices with a vanilla Frappuccino.

Take a sharp left into Barnes & Noble and buy a stack of self-help books and a journal that says, “She Believed She Could — So She Did” in swirly letters on the cover.

Continue to feel a deep void and the mounting pressure of a thousand unanswered questions, despite your ostensiblycomforting purchases.

Turn to your best friend for advice. Send her a text saying, “I hate my life. Thoughts?”

Recalibrate your route when she’s like, “Me too. Being an adult sucks. Do you want a trophy or something?”

Take a sharp right into self-pity.

Continue on this route for a few days, a few weeks, or a few years.

When you reach a dead end, make a u-turn from self-pity into steely self-determination. Search for new jobs on Craigslist. Get back to work on the novel you started a decade ago. Break up with your crappy boyfriend. Take long walks by yourself. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Grow out your bangs because let’s just be real, they’re way too high-maintenance.

Arrive at your destination of understanding there isn’t really a destination. The journey is what’s meaningful.

Start an Etsy shop to sell upcycled throw pillows embroidered with “The journey is what’s meaningful.” (Because no existential crisis is complete without an Etsy shop.)

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