Ah, the quarterlife crisis. Don’t know much about it on a “well-read” & “technical level”, but on a personal level, I think I’ve seen it happen. Somewhere around the 20+ year old mark, peaking as you start approaching 25, potentially hitting critical mass if nothing has been “activated” by 30, it’s during that 10 year span where if things aren’t going the way you dreamed/hoped/thought/prepared for/wanted/etc, a sense of panic and/or depression and/or dread and/or boredom can start to settle in…
I was fortunate enough to skip it as when I was 21 when I finally got sick of being a chef and dealing with shitty customers, barking wait staff, and just plain-in-my-fucking-way hotel & restaurant managers enough to get my ass into college. I threw a metaphorical dart at an imaginary board inside a pandora’s box dipped in delicious chocolate and joined up as “pre-med”, figuring worse case, I’d come out of the experience a doctor. Turns out, I couldn’t care less whether or not some stranger has got the sniffles and after organic chemistry 1 & II, fell in love with chemistry.
Couple years later, got my chemistry degree, and now, 9 years later, I’m working on my 14th year in fashion & apparel.
Yeah. Even longer story, maybe I’ll share one day.
Now, you could say that at 21, getting sick of cookin’ and going to college WAS my quarterlife crisis, and that’s quite possible and maybe even probable. Or, maybe it was sensing the impending doom of a life of customers bitching that they wanted their steak medium RARE, not MEDIUM that sparked the pre-quarterlife crisis crisis? ORRRR, maybe it was just that I was dating a girl in college and she knew her way around the financial aid office, making enrolling a little less daunting? Or maybe a little bit from column A, B, and C? Well, whatever it was…. it’s all good.
But it was a different girlfriend I had a number of years back that I witnessed the crisis blossom in all it’s glory. And by glory, I mean, become a bottomless pit of despair, unmotivated to do much of anything, let alone take steps to change anything. Completely in limbo, no not this kind…
Just a hot mess. Not good times…
Inspired by the quarterlife crisis phenomenon that has apparently taken on greater depth and breadth of the newly inaugurated 20-somethings out there, new community member via the Facebooks, Neil, expressed his thoughts on the potential national emergency in the best form of expressing one’s self that I know of….. the Mixtape (well, actually, in this case, Mixtapes). Here’s what Neil had to say (worded a thousand times better than I could):
I made a mixtape this year called “Quarterlife Recession!”… and shortly afterward, made a follow-up to it.
The mix is about hope, in the context of constant struggle. It’s about growing up with trips to Disneyland and Hawaii, and lots of sleep-overs with friends… only to discover that life as an adult is significantly more difficult. It’s about thinking that your childhood was a rosy cakewalk… and then bursting into tears while watching Where The Wild Things Are. It’s about meeting a gorgeous girl who’s exactly the kind of person you want to be with, and having an awesome month with her… and then her telling you that she wants space, that her heart isn’t in it.
It’s about trying to create a new home, a new life, a new community, amidst a sea of changing faces and unexpected awakenings. OK, now I’m just getting overly-flowery. I guess it’s fun getting flowery. :)
Yeah, it’s fun getting flowery, and just getting flowers…
Now, I may not be able to sympathize completely with the quarterlife crisis, but I can certainly empathize — did I get those backwards? — and hear Neil’s thoughts & feelings in the mixtapes, and man, what amazing mixtapes they be! No matter how slow and even maybe a little dark, a song selection may seem, there’s always a sense of hope in every smattering of snare and syllable uttered. Quite brilliant and beautiful.
Alright, let’s wrap this up and get to the good stuff, shall we? Thank you so much Neil! Quite an amazing TSURURADIO debut if I say so myself!
But now it’s your turn, my dear readers, to enjoy as….
The TSURURADIO Community Presents…
Neil’s Quarterlife Recession Mixtape!!!
1. Talking Heads – Houses In Motion
2. Animal Collective – My Girls
3. Muscles – Ice Cream
4. Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
5. Hey Marseilles – Rio
6. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out Of This Country
7. Tegan And Sara – When You Were Mine
8. Noisettes – Never Forget You
9. Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game
10. Passion Pit – I’ve Got Your Number
11. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Enola Gay
12. Santogold – Les Artistes
13. The Flaming Lips – Fight Test
14. Talking Heads – Don’t Worry About The Government
15. Meiko – How Lucky We Are
16. Noah And The Whale – 5 Years Time
17. Talking Heads – (Nothing But) Flowers
18. Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
19. Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
And The TSURURADIO Community Presents…
Neil’s Quarterlife Recession Mixtape II: Even Recessionier!!!
1. Cab Calloway – Don’t Falter At The Alter
2. Camera Obscura – Llyod, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
3. Phoenix – Lisztomania
4. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
5. Talking Heads – Found A Job
6. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Walt Whitmann’s Niece
7. Bob Dylan – Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
8. Camera Obscura – French Navy
9. Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks
10. Kate Nash – Merry Happy
11. Kennedy – Your Mama
12. Chromeo – 100%
13. Talking Heads – Road To Nowhere
14. Bon Iver – Skinny Love
15. Ben Gibbard and Feist – Train Song
16. The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
17. Au Revoir Simone – Sad Song
18. Paul McCartney – Heart Of The Country
Hear something you’re loving? Well head on down to your local record shop and buy the damn thing!!!! It’s good karma, and good karma will get you laid! YAY!