Like many men his age, Andrew Fifita is going through a Quarter Life Crisis.
The difference is, instead of taking place at Scruffy Murphy’s at 2am on a Sunday morning in front of a couple of mates or a spurned love interest, Fifita is playing it out in front of the national (well, NSW and QLD) media.
For those not familiar with the condition, it predominantly affects males in their early 20s and is characterised by a general angst, confusion and indecision around future life choices, as well as a tendency to say outrageously melodramatic statements about the direction of one’s life, career and chances of finding the right woman.
These statements range from verbal outburst to non-verbal stunts, both of which are intended to attract attention to the client’s state of hopelessness in the hope of some kind of salvation.
As someone who spent their early 20s chronically swapping university majors, career paths and chasing unrequited love, I feel qualified to provide judgement on Fifita’s experience. And let’s just say he’s caught this particular bug really bad.
Firstly, it’s clear Fifita has no idea what he wants to do with his life.
One minute he wants to play rugby league for the Sharks. Next minute he wants to take the big money on offer to play for the Dogs. Then he changes his mind and wants to play rugby union because that’s what he enjoyed most as a kid.
Next minute he wants to move to the Greek Islands and do bar work for the summer. Maybe do a season in the California ski fields. Head down to Burning Man. Or settle down with a girl who really gets him. Or do that carpentry apprenticeship. Or take a few months and go to India and just write, man.
Then come the stupid statements. After Fifita signed with the Dogs he told the media “I’ve achieved everything I want to in rugby league”. Given he’s only played five seasons and hasn’t won anything (aside from that silly world cup), this is clearly a melodramatic hyperbole – and not just your standard chest-beating overconfident sports persona braggadocio.
This is fully-blown delusion mixed with confusion. And it comes from a place deep within Fifita’s soul that asks those burning, existential questions that we’ve all grappled with – What do I want to achieve with my life? What really is “success”?
Perhaps Fifita’s greatest and most desperate statement was turning up to Sharks training early this week and writing his name in 5 metre high letters in the dew on the training field: “FIFITA”. Nobody quite knows what to make of it, and I’m assuming nor does Fifita. He is a young man and he is processing his feelings and doesn’t know how to communicate them, so he’s gone out and sent the world a really big message – literally.
Groundskeeper Flanno was not impressed
It’s clear he’s suffering from a shocking case of Quarter Life Crisis. But all is not lost. In a couple of years he’ll snap out of it, and with luck find a muse to set him on the right path to success – whatever that may be.
Of course, the worst is yet to come. As a rugby league player will have many more crises to contend with later on in life, including the Coming To Terms With Retirement Crisis, the standard Mid Life Crisis, and, of course, the Dealing With The Ill Effects Of a Barbaric Game On My Ageing Body And Mind Crisis.
By Ben Shine