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20 Movies For People Who Are Having A Quarter-Life Crisis

20 Movies For People Who Are Having A Quarter-Life Crisis

Do you remember when you were younger and just couldn’t wait to grow up? And now, here you are, a full-fledged adult with a career, commitments, and bills. It’s not quite what you hoped for, right? This whole being an adult thing is just a little overwhelming and not that exciting. In fact, it can be pretty disappointing.

You’re not alone; almost everybody goes through this phase somewhere between their late 20s and early 30s — it’s called the quarter-life crisis. You start to feel trapped by your job or your relationship, and you just want out of it all. It can be a very confusing and painful time in your life.

Below are 20 movies that are truly inspirational that can relieve the pain and even motivate you.

1. Into the Wild

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    “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.”

    This is the true story of a young man going through a quarter-life crisis. He leaves home in search of adventure in the Alaskan wilderness.

    2. The Fault in Our Stars

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      “The world is not a wish-granting factory.”

      This is the heartwarming story of two teenage cancer patients who fall in love. They bond over reading the same book and set out to meet the author.

      3. Whiplash

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        “I’d rather die drunk, broke at 34, and have people at a dinner table talk about me than live to be rich and sober at 90, and nobody remembered who I was.”

        Whiplash is about the struggles of a young, talented drummer who gets into a prestigious music academy. He develops a complex relationship with his aggressive instructor, who tries to push him to greatness.

        4. 500 Days of Summer

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          “People change. Feelings change. It doesn’t mean that the love once shared wasn’t true and real. It simply just means that sometimes, when people grow, they grow apart.”

          500 Days of Summer is a romantic comedy about a girl who doesn’t believe in true love and a guy who has been waiting for true love his whole life. It’s a great reminder that no matter how bad things seem in your life, they can always get better.

          5. About Time

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            “We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.”

            About Time is about a 21-year-old-man who is going through his own quarter-life crisis. When he discovers that he can travel through time, he decides to improve his love life.

            6. Garden State

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              “If you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer than you’d like…What do you do? You laugh, you know. I’m not saying I don’t cry, but in between, I laugh.”

              Garden State is a great movie to help you with your quarter-life crisis. It revolves around two characters who are transitioning into adulthood, dealing with death, and learning from the past.

              7. The Devil Wears Prada

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                “I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.”

                This movie is great if your quarter-life crisis was brought on by career stress. The Devil Wears Prada is the story of a girl who lands her dream job but has a difficult boss.

                8. Walking and Talking

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                  “I wonder if I’ll ever know what it’s like to not break up with someone.”

                  Walking and Talking is the perfect movie about life changes and how close friends are not always on the same path.

                  9. Almost Famous

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                    “You’ll meet them all again on their long journey to the middle.”

                    Almost Famous is all about taking risks to get what you want. Sixteen-year-old William sets out to become a rock-and-roll journalist. He ends up learning quite a bit about life along the way.

                    10. About Alex

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                      “Judgment has a way of creeping into every relationship — even the most intimate. If we’re lucky, somewhere along the way, we meet a few people who listen to us without criticism or reproach. We call those people our friends.”

                      This movie is about a group of friends who come together for the weekend. They are there to support a friend after his suicide attempt. Coming together brings back a lot of old, unresolved issues.

                      11. Beaches

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                        “What will I do without a best friend?”

                        This movie is about two best friends who support each other through the quarter-life crisis, divorce, illness, and loss.

                        12. Office Space

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                          “So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”

                          This is another excellent movie about working in a dead-end job with a terrible boss.

                          13. Good Will Hunting

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                            “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

                            Matt Damon plays a math genius working as a janitor at M.I.T. who goes through a quarter-life crisis.

                            14. The Graduate

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                              “It’s like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don’t make any sense to me. They’re being made up by all the wrong people.”

                              This movie portrays the classic quarter-life crisis. Ben finishes college at the top of his class, but what is he going to do next?

                              15. Reality Bites

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                                “Welcome to the world of the emotionally mature.”

                                Friends graduate from college and have to face adulthood. Their quarter-life crises are all about looking for love and work.

                                16. Amazing Grace

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                                  “…we’re too young to realize certain things are impossible, which is why we will do them anyway.”

                                  Amazing Grace is the story of a young man who fights against the British slave trade. It’s a reminder to anyone going through a quarter-life crisis that sometimes, it can take years of difficult, painful, and depressing work to achieve lifetime goals.

                                  17. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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                                    “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

                                    In this movie, Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty, a man who has diligently worked at the same job for years. Unhappy and about to lose his job, he takes off on an international adventure in an attempt to find himself.

                                    18. People Places Things

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                                      “Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just having a bad life. It’ll be over eventually.”

                                      People Places Things is about a newly divorced man and how he tries to get over his ex-wife while balancing his new life, his career, and parenting.

                                      19. Young Adult

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                                        “Sometimes, in order to heal, a few people have to get hurt.”

                                        A newly divorced woman returns to her hometown while she is going through her quarter-life crisis. Things aren’t as she left them, however, and she must learn to deal with the changes.

                                        20. Silver Linings Playbook

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                                          “If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.”

                                          Silver Linings Playbook is about a man who gets divorced, spends time in a mental institution, and moves back in with his parents. He has to learn to navigate his feelings about his ex-wife and a new girl he meets.

                                          More by this author

                                          Amber Pariona

                                          EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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                                          Last Updated on August 19, 2019

                                          How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                          How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                          We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

                                          When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

                                          In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

                                          Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

                                          If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

                                          According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

                                          No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

                                          When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

                                          Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

                                          1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

                                          When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

                                          Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

                                          When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

                                          Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

                                          In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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                                          It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

                                          You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

                                          Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

                                          What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

                                          You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

                                          That’s where we all should be.

                                          So, answer me this:

                                          How are you, really?

                                          And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

                                          Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

                                          Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

                                          Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

                                          Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

                                          It’s taking control.

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                                          2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

                                          You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

                                          You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

                                          In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

                                          Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

                                          You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

                                          Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

                                          But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

                                          It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

                                          In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

                                          It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

                                          Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

                                          Change will happen.

                                          Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

                                          You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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                                          And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

                                          You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

                                          That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

                                          You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

                                          When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

                                          There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

                                          3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

                                          Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

                                          In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

                                          If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

                                          Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

                                          Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

                                          How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

                                          Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

                                          “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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                                          Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

                                          Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

                                          It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

                                          Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

                                          “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

                                          What would you do if you felt you were enough?

                                          By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

                                          So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

                                          Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

                                          When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

                                          You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

                                          More About Living Your True Self

                                          Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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