Friday, February 05, 2010

Five Completely Superficial Remedies for A Quarter Life Crisis (Plus a Wee Little Giveaway!)

So, approximately 97% of my friends are currently in the throes of a quarter life crisis. That's a conservative estimate. What the hell, let's call it 98%.

I've read plenty of articles and essays that discuss earnest and effective ways to help shake yourself out of an existential funk, but what about simple, materialistic solutions?

Stuff You Can Buy to Make Yourself Feel Better When You're Feeling Depressed and Don't Understand What Your Life Purpose Is and Have the Urge to Maybe Go to Cooking School Even Though You're Not That Into Cooking But You Can't Think of Anything Better To Do.

New Hair

When I put a hot pink streak in my hair last summer, I swear it made me feel sassy and brave and rebellious, which was a huge departure from my normally blond, bouncy hair that mostly made me feel like a chirpy newscaster. If you're in a funk, try getting bangs, or a pixie cut, or highlights, or extensions, or a perm, or new layers, or a new color, or if you're feeling really intense, all of the above. You have nothing to lose! Except your hair. And your good looks. And your self-esteem. Just go to a good hair stylist, OK?

Seriously though, sometimes a little change in your life can spark a bigger one. And your hair is a really fun place to start.

Badass Boots

Few accessories, with the obvious exception of my Power Ranger Nun Chucks, make me feel like I can go out into the world and kick some ass like a sweet pair of boots. The quintessential ass-kicking boots are probably Frye motorcycle boots, but they're expensive, and since many a quarter life crisis has been sparked by unemployment, I'm a huge advocate of $10 thrift shop finds, which come already broken in and ready to roll.

A Sweet Notebook

Use it to write down important career goals or philosophical ideas or emotional epiphanies or travel plans or a hit song or at least to look cool while you sulk at a coffee shop.

Anything Big and Sparkly

Cocktail rings, bedazzled watches, rhinestone earrings, bejeweled sunglasses, whatever. When I'm feeling low, decorating myself with cheap sparkly things never fails to make me feel fabulous.

This Shirt

I have this shirt, and I've gotta say: it's tough to maintain an existential crisis while wearing it. I mean, check that guy out. He is totally secure and content with his life. And why wouldn't he be? It's the best day ever.

UPDATE: There's been such great feedback about the Best Day Ever shirt, I've decided to give one away! Please leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win this awesome grey version in women's size L (please note: sizes run pretty small). Anyone who has already commented is automatically entered. I'll choose a random winner next Friday!

119 comments:

Nan said...

Perfect advice! I love it!

jasmine said...

I think this advice is perfect for any age!

nessa said...

Really!! the Badass Boots and the shirt are so beautiful.......

Renée T. Bouchard said...

Hahaha! Great advice! I especially agree with your hair advice. My take on a bad haircut? It will grow back. That's the thing about hair. Nothing you do to it will be permanent. I may not be in the middle of an existential crisis, but I might go do something to my hair just because I'm inspired by your post!

http://reneetbouchard.blogspot.com

notmensa said...

Cool post. I think I need to book me in for a cut and colour asap. :-D
Oh, and maybe get something big and sparkly!

Marshall said...

I always buy a new mod suit!
Makes me feel sharp, like Connery in Goldfinger.

Sal said...

Brilliant, as always. Boot buying even works for old hags like me who are moving toward MIDLIFE crises ...

earthglow said...

Where can I buy that shirt? I must have it in my life.

Also, I think I'm past the roughest part of my quarter-life crisis (knock on wood) and reading through your list I realized I'd done everything on it (except that shirt. Must have shirt.) in violent throes of hysteria. For instance: hair? Shaved it off. Who needs it? Plus it caused drama at work, which was a helpful distraction from my own internal drama. I recommend it.

Erin said...

Ah. Thank you so much! I am not set on the path of healing.

Elise said...

This post really spoke to me. I'm turning 25 in May and I'm sort of at a ridiculous crossroad between moving someplace far away from home, being financially independent, getting a new job and possibly getting engaged...so yeah, I have a lot on my plate!

I think that shirt would be a fantastic addition to anyone's wardrobe and when I'm feeling down I sometimes put on my enormous cocktail ring and the day already looks better :)

Also, my 21 year old sister had her quarter life crisis early because she's an overachiever like that and quit law school to go to pastry school. However, she actually really is "into cooking".

grace said...

do you really have that tee? where's it from? i kinda want it...

Peaches and Cream said...

lol! Thank you for this, I will pass it on to my, erm, 'friend', who I'm sure will find it very helpful indeed!

Actually really want one of those t-shirts now...

Eileen said...

If I was a braver person I would try the pink streak in my hair (so cool!) but lately I have taken to painting my nails really extravagant colors - emerald green, bright orange, red sparkles. It's fun AND you can take it off easily!

futurelint said...

Good tips! I totally rock my motorcycle boots when I need to feel bad-ass and in control. Since I've been going through a quarter-life crisis, for oh, 10 years now, I think these will help me get through the next couple years until my life transitions into a state of permanent mid-life crisis! I'll own so many shiny things!

Becky said...

I totally did the hair thing. I was all, "Whine whine whine, I apply for 10 jobs a week, yet here I am answering phones, and I'm cold and whiny and winter will NEVER end." So I got bangs cut! And I got something new to whine about (haha, actually I'm getting used to them, but I did whine for a day, and I felt good about whining about something new)

Katy Mary said...

Absolutely fabulous advice! After a break up 2 years ago I changed my black hair that I had for EVER literally, forever to a vibrant high definition red! When you look at it in normal light it's no so much but in the sunlight BAM red! It really helped me at the time and I love it. And many a bad days have ended with an awesome pair of boots!!

Jenniferocious said...

I would love to do the haircut thing. But I'm such a chicken about my hair... I think it would be awesome to try something really short like a pixie (I'm thinking something like when Kiera Knightly had her short hair... not a fan of hers, but damn that haircut looked cute). But my hair is really fine and thin and limp, and I worry that I'd look like I had no hair at all.

Maybe I should just bite the bullet and dye it... I would love me some bad ass red hair or something.

Bookish Belle said...

I don't usually comment but I just wanted to say this post was awesome and incredibly timely, and now I have the sudden urge to run out and get pink highlights. Love love love your blog.

Shannon said...

Where did you get the t-shirt??

daddylikeyblog said...

Oops! Sorry guys! I thought I had a link in there for buying the t-shirt, but I must not have saved it. I updated the post, and here's the link: http://www.nooworks.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=620

That company, Nooworks Clothing, has tons of other life-changing t-shirts too, so check 'em out!

Marshall--Oooh I love the mod suit idea! Might need to go get one today.

Futurelint--hahah you crack me up.

Sal--WHATEVER. You are not old enough for a mid-life crisis! You're maybe at a 2/5ths crisis point, if that, you young, spritely lady!

Jennifer--I really, really recommend the hair thing, ESPECIALLY if you've never done anything drastic, hair-wise. I had NEVER dyed my hair, ever, before I did the pink streaks, and it was totally liberating.

Kelly said...

hooray - i love that tee!

designcrushing at gmail dot com

xo
kelly

Brittney said...

EEeeeeeeeeee I totally want that shirt. You have no idea. You posted it, and then I cursed my spending ban. Seriously. <3 <3

Also I'm so with you on cheap shiny jewelry. I love those silly little dollar rings from party city like NONE OTHER

email: inkytwist@gmail.com

Cal said...

I wonder if I could pull that off in a professional setting with a pencil skirt and a cardi or blazer. Hmm...I totally would have worn it for my mid-year review last week :)

fromsneakerstostilettos said...

I so agree about the haircut! Getting my hair done changes my mood and my whole outlook on life!

Valerie said...

Sweet Moses I need one of those shirts to go with my KICK ASS BOOTS that I just bought yesterday! WORD!

Claire said...

What a tshirt! Please enter me, I am meant to be buying only work clothes (with the occasional foray into sequinned goodness for nights out) so I very clearly need to WIN tshirts and clothes. HAHA be banished, temperamental rules!

TheSundayBest said...

We had Valentine's early...and it WAS the best ever.

thesundaybest@gmail.com

a girl in the life said...

oh man, what i want is those boots!!

but the t-shirt would be cool too.

AND: i just turned 25 in December, and got a quite radical new haircut last week. it's like you're spying on me!

lynz4god@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

that is the awesomest shirt i have ever seen. seriously. <3

farihahkamali@live.com

Anonymous said...

Grey and Large would be perfect - i personally wear a large ring that everyone in my life says looks like a revolting chunk of green snot, but it cheers me up.

Thanks
Andrea
Andrea.toker@vch.ca

Toni said...

That t-shirt would be perfect to wear the day before a project deadline or maybe during exam week if you're a student.

Alpha Monkey said...

For the briefest of moments, I thought there was a chance your letter to Frye Boots paid off and you were giving away a pair! In which case I would have to find something fantastic enough with which to bribe you to rig the Frye Boot Giveaway in my favor.

Alas.

But the t-shirt is cute too! (And you have my email. I am not about to post it in the comments!)

Miss Minty said...

Oh man... the best shirt ever for the best day ever. Great giveaway.

Happy Friday!

Mladen said...

Winona I hate you for making me spend 30 bucks on a stupid shirt. DAMN IT!

saturdayjane said...

Aw, I have a friend going through a certifiable quarter life crisis right now. I am one hundred percent forwarding this along to her.

Tess M. said...

This post is awesome. My friend Jessica of Saturday Jane sent it to me because I've been complaining about my quarter-life crisis. I think I may get a haircut next week ;)

Redhead Fae said...

Ah, guess what? I love your column and I'm just past my HALF-CENTURY mark. Believe me, once you get this far, life is fabyoulush! But those indulgences are still all worth it.

But darlink, please, don't make us leave our email addy all nakedly out there. Don't you get that automatically from our linkylinks?

indigomast said...

I love that shirt, if I only I could grow the sick upside down handlebar mustache to go with it.

Liz said...

That shirt is amazing.

sarahinkle said...

my quarter life crisis stems mainly from the fact that i'm pregnant. that said, i've been on the hunt for a badass shirt to wear while in labor. i think i just found it.

pretty face said...

Oooh I would LOVE that top.

aprettyface dot blog at gmail dot com

JRose said...

this is an amazing shirt with one of the best T-shirt messages I've ever seen--ready for rainy days, sunny days, sad days, happy days, casual days, photoshoot days...
jrose.lemonade@gmail.com

amanda said...

I would love to win the t-shirt!

Or, if you're giving out consolation prizes: the Power Ranger nun-chucks.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the market for a good bad day shirt

pushca624@yahoo.com

K said...

I absolutely adore that t-shirt. It would be almost impossible to be down if I was wearing that.

Denielle said...

I absolutely love this shirt! Would love a chance to win one! email is denielle.stone@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Ah! That shirt is already in my dreams or maybe the shirt is dreaming of me. Too much time in philosophy perhaps.

Either way I want it! Also sent in my questions if it's not now buried by chocha

toksweah[at]gmail[dot]com

alison said...

This post is so right on. Retail therapy is sometimes the right way to solve your problems! That grey shirt is excellent; perfect for faking your way to happiness.
alisonhartford1@gmail.com

beeks said...

I have coveted that exact tee for months now. Are Canadians eligible to win? Because if so... sign me up! My email address is beycah at gmail dot com.

Dee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

i would wear this shirt every. freaking. day. MUST HAVE! justginster at yahoo dot com

Liz said...

I didn't feel like I was having a crisis until I realized how badly I want to do ALL of tose things!

Ryan said...

Love this shirt!

ryeharrison at gmail dot com

misswiniw said...

"A cute notebook" ... Stationery type stores and storage products are like my version of heaven. Stuff shoes - I want papers!

the hollister abolisher said...

GASP! I want that shirt! This is some good advice too.
supergirl3468@gmail.com

Ky said...

That shirt makes me smile every time I see it.

k12cooly@hotmail.com

Corrine/Frock And Roll said...

Quarter-life crisis or no quarter-life crisis, these tips are so ridiculously fabulous that I'm bursting to complete every single one of them NOW!

M said...

Oh, that mustache. Fantastic shirt too!

opposablethumbs at hotmail dot com

Joanna said...

Wow, I already feel cheered up by that shirt!

Sara said...

I think, thus far in my life, I've had a sixteenth life crisis, an eighth life crisis, and a quarter life crisis. All yielding in at least one of the actions you've listed. So, clearly, this is all amazing advice.

gallaher.s@gmail.com

Mishabelle said...

OH my! When I first read this post I thought to myself, "I would really like to get my hands on an awesome shirt like that!" THANK YOU for reading my mind, Winona! Tres awesome!
mishied (at) gmail dot com :)

Julianne said...

Awesome advice!

Sie said...

Love the ideas... especially the notebook... I find lists tend to help at 25. I think bad days can be alleviated for all ages by wearing really dangly, outfit inappropriate earrings all day long, or perhaps sashaying around the house in an incredibly glamorous dress that you have no real use for in everyday life :)

blackswanclosette-littleblackswan.blogspot.com

Moriah said...

I agree, nothing makes me feel like I can take on anything more than a hot pair of boots! :)

laura said...

i'm 24, hating my job, not sure why i'm in this city....and suddenly i'm thinking i could use a new hairstyle. thanks for the great tips!

lauraer31@hotmail.com

katharhino said...

WOOHOO! I'd love that shirt with a possibly unhealthy love.

katharhino at lycos dot com

bonjouritsjinah said...

This post sums up everything I've been feeling lately. I might have to pick up one of those shirts for myself!

http://bonjouritsjinah.blogspot.com

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Brilliant list, and I love that shirt!

akaleistar (at) gmail (dot) com

carolyn said...

comment

Francesca said...

I like the idea that I could decide in the morning I want to have the best day ever, and wear that shirt. Enter me!

Caroline said...

Woot, woot! This really IS the best day ever!

carriemoncur[at}gmail[dot]com

nico said...

i need that tshirt, since my allergies are playing up and it's hard to be chirpy when your hands look like creepy, smallpox-ridden monsters
*cries*

Ulrike said...

Wow, that's an amazing shirt! :)

ulrike.ewald /at/ googlemail /dot/ com

Becky C. said...

It's definitely worth spending money on gorgeous Frye boots - I wear mine nearly every day! Plus my friend's cats love rubbing their bodies against the boots, which is an added bonus.

Absolutely LOVE that tee, I want one! :)
racotterell@hotmail.com / Becky at Love, Lust and Pixie Dust.

Bekah said...

that shirt is super badass
bekahrcraig@hotmail.com
and I definitely can identify with the hair thing
I chopped off about 8 inches of my hair a year and a half ago and it made me feel so refreshed because my long weirdly wavy/curly hair was a bit of a trademark for me and it felt great still being complimented on my hair without it being "woaahhh, your hair is so long and nice..and so wavy! curly?! beachy?! woah!"

Bekah said...

also
DO YOU SERIOUSLY HAVE POWER RANGER NUN CHUCKS?!!
SO sweet.

Kristie said...

LOVE the shirt.

kristiebailey92@yahoo.com

Meagan said...

I've bought three pairs of boots in the last month. nuff said.

Lauren said...

I'm in the midst of a bit of a quarter-life crisis myself, so this advice was useful! I agree fully about wearing sparkly stuff. I love the shirt. :) leorourke@live.co.uk

Brittany Ann said...

brittanyannking @ gmail.com


I eat lots and lots of home fries when I'm down. it works too, since i typically end up falling into a potato coma and that pretty much stops my brain from thinking.

Anonymous said...

I would wear that shirt under all my clothes forever.

Meaghan
mvarieur dot student at manhattan dot edu.

alicestronaut said...

Best shirt ever! And all those 5 things are great pieces of advice. I've just had a new haircut so I am feeling the inspiration!

Rebekah said...

a new hair cut. hmmm....great idea!

Sarah said...

I reckon if you wore the shirt, it would turn into the best day ever! Also...I need a haircut...!

http://wrappedupwithstring.blogspot.com/

brandi said...

Oh, man, that shirt completely rules.

brandi_an (at) yahoo (dot) com

Catherine said...

I am going to buy that shirt if I don't win it.

love, wonderwall. said...

ahhh love the font!

Lisa said...

That is a life-changingly awesome shirt.

swirlygig40@msn.com

Marshall said...

DO IT!
And then walk like a panther my friend!

Kimberly said...

A quarter life crisis! So that explains it all! I thought I was just losing it haha. Thanks winona for enlightening me to the source of my epic life upheaval lately. Great Ideas to boost moral :)

kimberly@carmandesign.com

Renee said...

That shirt is pretty cool! And I've been considering the new hair thing for a while.

Nina B. said...

getting a haircut is a tried-and-true method for me.

ninabb at gmail

Jill said...

I am totally having a quarter-life crisis, and that shirt is SO CUTE!

Beth Woodruff said...

I love the shirt. Might help me get through the final semester of my Master's Program.

kjlangford said...

ooh, I want it
kristalynnjennings@gmail.com

Phoenix personal injury attorney said...

Haha, I love your description after the Best Day Ever shirt. And you're right, this guy is having the best day ever.

Maureen said...

I need this shirt! I hate my job, I've put on 17 lbs in the last four months, I have a performance review tomorrow, and my birthday is on Sunday. I'm turning 24 and exactly in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. I think my boyfriend would love you forever if this shirt could pull me out of my permanent funk :-)

La Fée said...

aha that guy's moustache is so cool :)
la_fee@hotmail.co.uk

Meg said...

I used to have a pair of Harley Davidson motorcycle boots with huge tacky bald eagles embroidered on the front. I rocked those boots until my parents hid them from me so I'd stop wearing the ugly things. I still miss them... sigh.

roselizabeth said...

funny...i just bought new boots and made a hair appointment before reading this. crisis be gone!
roselizabethirt@gmail.com

Ronda said...

that is such a cute shirt!

laurenronda@gmail.com

Claire said...

i think i'm too young to qualify as having a quarter life crisis, but i love the shirt.

claire.boston01[AT]gmail.com

Cassie said...

that is an awesome shirt. great for when the toilet clogs (again).

middlecricket@gmail.com

Lovers, Saints and Sailors said...

"Stuff You Can Buy to Make Yourself Feel Better When You're Feeling Depressed and Don't Understand What Your Life Purpose Is and Have the Urge to Maybe Go to Cooking School Even Though You're Not That Into Cooking But You Can't Think of Anything Better To Do."

Best topic title EVER!

Jennifer said...

Gasp! I just got hot pink highlights in my brunette hair about a week ago! I love them and it totally scratched my itch for change.

Love the tee!

neighbourhood.gal said...

I'm in for the shirt!

And I have been meaning to highlight my hair for a couple of years now...

neighbourhood.gal said...

Shoot! I forgot my email address.

neighbourhood dot gal at gmail dot com

justineful said...

I'm a sucker for a t-shirt with a silly saying on it. :)

raisingurrl@gmail.com

Danielle said...

"Anything Big and Sparkly"

Truly, those are words to live by.

Erin said...

that's such a cute shirt!
hausofhybrid@gmail.com

Gwen said...

love that t-shirt

gwenmenton@yahoo.com

Becca said...

awww. man, this would make every day my best day ever. unless i convince myself to not actually wear it EVERY day.
woahitsrebecca@yahoo.com

melanie said...

this shirt is simply rad. too bad the handlebar mustache isn't included....

melanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rei said...

reminds me of vh1's best week ever, which i coincidentally need to was ASAP now.

dee said...

This is the kind of advice I need right now. Also, it reminds me that I really really need a hair cut.

Anonymous said...

I am way past a quarter life crisis but am creeping up on a midlife crisis and therefore I believe that I need that t-shirt. Really hoping to be a winner.

Also, love the boot suggestion too.

Patricia
in Canada
haller.gp@sasktel.net

Martina said...

Ugh, quarter-life crisis? Kicking me in the ass. Big time. Can life just start making sense soon? Can I have a best day? Very much in the mood.

Vin said...

Cute.

Loving the tee.... Ooh I want one!

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