It´s weird what a number can do…especially when the first digit changes for good and stays for the next decade. But more than that, it holds a different energy – thus you do feel somewhat different (even though so many keep saying, I don´t feel different at all, it´s just a number blala, yea wait til your 32 or 35, the 30ies will hit you at some point).
“30” holds a different set of expectations, from yourself and society – how to behave, what you should have had accomplished so far, and what you should be aiming to achieve in the next few years (helloo marriage and baby!). But luckily (or not) our generation cares (and worries) about so much more than a wedding and house with garden. We care about travelling – france til japan, by 30 we might think we should have started a start-up already – of course with big success. We care about freedom and work we find meaningful. We don´t need to get settled, have kids and a dog (okey the dog can stay).
Most people who hit 30 nowadays, are by far not interested in those stereotypical things people used to, like back in the days (lets say grandma days). Most women I know can´t even handle the thought of having a child in the near future. Most men (boys) are still…well boys.
Both genders in general just don´t feel like actual adults. As kids everyone above 18 is a grown up for us and we start to create an image of what being an adult is supposed to look like. This picture in our mind is by far more adult-like than we´ll ever feel.
And in the world we live today, it gets harder not wanting to stay young. There is just so much to do and explore. We have a harder time commit, cos we like our freedom to chose, anytime and everytime.
There is nothing wrong with that…except..
…there sort of is.
Living in a multioptional environment challenges us to constantly work on maintaining or developing our identities. So many possibilities to do, look or be in order to feel like the person we want to be in this world. That´s exhausting. It´s exhausting because it creates even more expectations we hold for ourselves, an image of our self that we want to embody. But these expectations are often in conflict with what life is right now, and our inner resistance to those expectations (that´s a whole other chapter by itself..).
Turning 30 (or any turning age for you) can be a “oh so great reminder” of those unmet expectations, which can make us feel like a failure in whatever area you chose to.
Still haven´t found that one relationship you think you should be in by now?
Still working in a job that drains you daily and makes you wonder what the hell am I supposed to do otherwise?
Still not working out and pretending alcohol is healthy because alcohol makes you happy and happy equals healthy?
Still living in a city that stresses you when all you want is smell roses and sleep under the stars? (hey don´t laugh, I´m just trying to include all people here okey).
So yea, it´s this: I still haven´t….I still need to…. But now I´m a little too old for this..or that. Or worse, will it ever happen?
Closing a chapter when in fact you haven´t come to an end in the previous one makes it all harder to move on.
Yes certain things aren´t so simple to do anymore than with 21.
And before I continue, think yourself of a few things you feel like you can´t do anymore or would feel kind of weird, now that you´re much older.
So what did come up? Doing a couple of internhips again? Taking a year off to just explore, try new things and figure life out? Partying 3 days in a row and then being back at work by 9? Going back to school? Not knowing the top 5 news-stories of the week? Tell people you´re still finding yourself? Live life as if there´s no tomorow?
Yes they might partly be true, but to be honest, there are not that many things you can´t do anymore when you´re 30. However by then, we already lived quite a while and this time frame gives us more room for self-judgement and regret on how we spent this time. Thanks comparison syndrome. But that´s smth we have to live our whole life with, better we learn how to manage it properly now than when we´re 40. Because it gets woooooorse.
30 is a beautiful number I think. And however people might see it, it does mark a new chapter in one´s life, even if nothing huge changes „immediately“.
The good thing is, we can use this turning point to help us redirect our mindset in order to make changes we wanted to make for a long time (in our 20s for example?). And as I said in the beginning…if it doesn´t hit you now..it will at some point. The earlier the better. Who wants to realize they haven´t done all the things they wanted to in their 50s??
And it´s not even about accomplishing certain goals or dreams. It´s about doing smth everyday that moves you forward to that thing you want to achieve. In the end it´s about that feeling. That feeling of, I actually went for it. Because then, 10 years from now you will have the best feeling one can have before entering a new chapter: _____________
You can pick your feeling.
Chose how you want to feel til your next chapter begins and aim to feel that way every day.
So, on the one hand, yes, 30 is just another number. On the other however….the youth as we know it, is pretty much over. It´s over. For some people this process can be hard to accept. Ah ok, a name for this phase has been given already? Well then, hello midi-life crisis (not to confuse with midlife).
And for those people who can´t relate to any of that? Well, good for you! It is supposed to feel that way. A cool ride with a lot of bumps in the road.
I always say, the best thing about getting older is that we´re all in this together.
One wrinkle at a time.
Have a good turning year.