25: An Existential Quarter Life Crisis

25: An Existential Quarter Life Crisis


"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
John Wooden

Before you think that: "Oh, this girl is so lucky, she knows exactly what she wants to do with her life and I am still floating around unsure what to make myself for breakfast," I want to share with you one very important truth - before I figured out why I am here, I had a quarter life crisis. Yes, you read that right. Last year I turned 25 and while my birthday was a beautiful celebration, it was all well and good until it hit me: I am 25, what have I done in my life? And more importantly, what do I want to do with my life?

A few months later, probably in September last year, I had a few girlfriends over for a home-cooked dinner and deep and meaningful conversations. I shared with them my dilemma and my friends, who also happened to be 25 or turning 25 said something interesting: "It's like we're not too old, but we're not that young either and want to show something for what we've done in our lives and are questioning ourselves with what that is."

When thinking about my legacy and life goals become ridiculously overwhelming (like, I couldn't fall asleep some nights), I decided to do something empowering and switch the channel of my mind. So, instead of wondering what I have done to show for my 25 years of life, I decided to write a list of 25 things that I accomplished in this time!

So, ladies and gentlemen, here is my list:

  1. Danced one year in a contemporary Youth Dance Company called YouMove
  2. Completed a degree in Communications with Distinction
  3. Edited the book "Teens Big Dreams"
  4. Learnt how to live independently
  5. Saved two cats by adopting them
  6. Was Vice President of the Golden Key International Honour Society at my university
  7. Read over 300 books
  8. Learnt 4 languages and lived in 4 countries
  9. Been commissioned to paint artworks, had an exhibition for a Open Garden and another one commissioned to be donated and hung at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney
  10. Studied ballet for 17 years and other dance styles like Spanish, Argentinean Tango, hip hop, jazz and contemporary
  11. Faced my fear of heights by doing bouldering (rock climbing without the ropes)
  12. Performed at a museum, Christmas parade, legal open forum, asylum open forum, fundraiser events, multicultural days, television and other places
  13. Won a poetry competition and was interviewed by MTV
  14. Was an extra in the movie "The Combination" in the dubke scene
  15. Started a Facebook page annaspeltbackwards to post my writing and art work
  16. Hosted countless dinners, birthdays and lunches for family and friends
  17. Travelled on my own
  18. Worked in retail, customer service, administration, as a personal assistant, project administrator, tutor, dance teacher, marketing assistant, communications manager and waitress
  19. Overcame depression: twice
  20. Made eight short films and wrote over 200 poems
  21. Met former Prime Minister of Australia and his wife, Gough and Anne Whitlam
  22. Made a short choreography in Carmen the Musical directed by Nigel Jamieson
  23. Performed solo performances at the Salvation Army while travelling to my motherland - Georgia - for my 18th birthday
  24. Won a complaint with the Australian Press Council regarding a front page headline published by The Daily Telegraph, which lead to publication of an adjudication
  25. Published my first book: Unmasking Depression and started my publishing company.
It took me a while to remember everything I accomplished, and this isn't even the whole list. But thinking about this and consciously reflecting on the 'haves' and 'dones' instead of the 'have-nots' and 'to-dos' helped me feel better and made me realise, 'Hey, I am and I have been doing the things I am here to do."

    I know it can get really overwhelming and sometimes we may feel like we need to have it all figured out, yesterday, today or even tomorrow, but sometimes the best thing to do is look back and reflect on the things we know and celebrate all the things we are and have already accomplished.

    So, if you're like me and are having an existential dilemma or facing a quarter or mid-life crisis, grab a pen and paper and write a list of all the things you have accomplished.

    Go on, you can do it.

    Surprise yourself.

    You're already halfway there.

    Anna Krjatian is the founder and director of The Butterfly and the author of Unmasking Depression. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
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    I second Sacha, congrats Anna!
    It’s funny how easy it is to forget what we’ve done in our lives yet when we take the time to list everything like you have, it turns out there’s quite a lot more than we initially realized.
    Thanks for the reminder of how amazing life really is and every person is when they take the time to invest in themselves and their lives. :-)


    You are amazing Anna! What you have achieved in your 26 years is truly inspirational! Congratulations and I’m very excited to see everything else that you are going to achieve, do and experience in your many years to come :) Sacha


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