Yesterday, I had a busy start to my Saturday morning. Shipping packages before the 3-day holiday weekend, DMV paperwork, household cleanup in the wake of my roommates leaving for a brief weekend in California, and sending a video update to my mentor.
However, it was all toward enjoying an afternoon with friends on Mt. Hood without stressing about work and errands.
My friends and I decided we would go up the mountain for a few hours. My friend Rob needed to pick up his ski pass at the South Lodge, but we were all open to enjoying a scenic drive, chatting, good music and lunch on the mountain. This was also the chance for Rob to meet my friend Eric. I had met everyone separately in searching for roommate prospects a few months prior and now the friend groups were finally colliding.
We had to stop for coffee in Happy Valley. The caffeine was essential. This would be entirely uneventful and not worth mentioning, but I have to insert here to say I can agree with the awards on the front windows and say the salted caramel latte with soymilk was one of the best of its kind that I’ve had.
The interesting piece of our day occurred when we reached Mt. Hood Meadows. It was closed…Such is the way of life. There was no opportunity to pick up ski passes. Classes were currently only being being held for ski and snowboarding orientation at the South Lodge. Wouldn’t it figure that we were too early in the season?
Ironically, we had done more research on the restaurants prior to going. The Rams Head Bar was open at Timberline Lodge. My verdict is that the food was good and it easily filled me up for the rest of the day. I ordered a Field Roast Reuben sandwich and butternut squash soup, and then the Bee’s Knees cocktail. Being that best friend and I are avid lemon drop fans, the Bee’s Knees was not my favorite rendition. However, I still love a citrusy mixed drink. I was content.
The scenic drive was everything we needed from our trip. All of us live in the Pacific Northwest for a reason. It was rainy and dreary, as per usual in Oregon. Not a flake of snow. Instead there was a sociable, black raven that followed Rob, Eric and myself. It blinked wet, beady eyes and pecked at the snow while making hiccuping noises every once in a while.
The drive back home encompassed three satiated friends immersed in conversation on past dating experiences and generalized thoughts on marriage, coupling up, and ideal factors in potential partners. My friends and I range slightly in age on the 23-30 year spectrum. Given our age range, you’d be surprised (or perhaps not) to know that all of us still currently face the same crisis. We are all in the same space of being more or less single and considering the fact that the next few years are essential in determining where we want to be, what we want to do, and who we want to spend the rest of our lives with.
Dating is the huge unknown factor we share. Divorce is a event that all of us have observed around us more frequently than working, long-term relationships. However, we find ourselves in a period of life where forming stable romantic bonds and establishing families becomes an emerging elephant in the room and the natural progression of our lives.
Our current dating site conversations are more geared to understanding our partner in a future-oriented focus. Answers of “I’m not looking for anything serious” when discussing relationship goals, becomes less frequent and is less of a satisfactory answer.
The short of it all is this: the general narrative is that we all have a ticking clock instilled by societal norms that suggests our next steps are to cement our career, future partner, and living situation. It feels like it’s been quick in coming, no matter the foreshadowing up to this point. The quarter-life crisis (QLC) is real, and it struck us yesterday.
I don’t think there is any form of a resolution to our conversation besides the fact that time will tell. It was mostly a matter of finding some mental peace in venting on this shared condition. Who knows what the next years will bring? It’s hard to reach any kind of verdict now.