Not All Those Who Wander are Lost: Tolkien’s Tonic for the Millennial Quarter-Life Crisis

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Not All Those Who Wander are Lost: Tolkien’s Tonic for the Millennial Quarter-Life Crisis

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

H

appy New Year! But New Year’s is rarely a very happy time, is it? I for one find the self-congratulatory posts on social media, where people show off their achievements from the last 365 days and set lofty targets for 2019 to be insufferable. After all, I am just a writer in my mid-20s, and people taking vacations I can’t afford and scoring gigs I wish I had scored can be quite the downer.

With so many triggers, it’s all too easy to write yourself off. The social media barrage reminds me that I’m still trying to save a little bit of my pay cheque at the end of the month while my classmate gets a book deal with an international publishing house. Perhaps I’ve lost the race. I mean, if you haven’t made it to where you want to be in life by 25, will it ever happen for you? It gets even worse when you’re in a creative field, and the good work of your peers causes you to doubt your own ability in a crippling case of Impostor Syndrome. Maybe it’s an age-related issue. An essay in The Guardian cites a LinkedIn study that states 72 per cent of millennials feel as if they are in the throes of a quarter-life crisis – a period of overwhelming stress brought on by mounting adult responsibilities and unfavourably comparing your life to the flawless snapshots on your Instagram feed.

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