It’s the peak of Summer and we are going full steam ahead into what literally feels like a steam bath. Personally, I don’t complain about the heat because were I live we get the extremes of each season and a wild mix in between all year round. It’s been 75 degrees around Christmas a few years ago. Yay Global Warming. 😦
So let’s do a deep dive into the pre-mid life crisis that is your 30’s. I will be the youthful age of 36 this year. I remember when I was a kid and thinking people in their 30’s were established adults. They weren’t baby adults (20 year olds) but legit, make their own appointments, have these luxurious careers, and are able to wear sneakers, stockings, and work attire on their commute to and from work. The 80’s career woman in movies made a huge impression on me. I used to want to grow up, live in New York City and be one of those women who do the crossword puzzle on the subway ride to their fancy careers where they had to outsmart their domineering male boss(es) for their corner office and well earned promotion.
The reality? I’m 35 and no where near anything I had imagined my life to be at this point. I don’t live in NYC (yet) and I’ve had to navigate numerous detours in my life so far. Some days I feel like I’m on top of the world and others I feel like I’m poorly treading water and slowly drowning with no one to come save me. Cue the dramatics.
I don’t have a fancy career. No fancy swinging lifestyle like I hoped. No butler and I rarely wear tights anymore because they are way more of a hassle than they should be.
What does this all mean? Do you feel unfulfilled in your 30’s too? If you do too, you are not alone. We are all trying to figure things out and navigate our way to success and happiness – however that ends up looking.
Frankly, at this point, I find success in the small wins I have in life and the goals I set for myself. I’m still highly ambitious and have made a lot of plans for upcoming projects that will get started toward the end of this year. I had to learn to stop rushing things, people, and life. I had to stop regretting choices made. I had to mourn the life I thought I would have. It is weird to say out loud (well type) and weird to even think about. Mourning is usually reserved for tangible things that have died; People, pets, circumstances (like relationships). But to mourn a wish? Go right ahead. Give yourself time to accept things for what they are right now. It does help in making a clear path to what you want in the future. In doing so, I was able to cut through a lot of anger and resentment and make a clear path last year. I knew for a long time I was spinning my wheels but the wheels had to spin because other people and circumstances were solely dependent on me being the adult. Me being the rock and support system. In so many words, it’s very overwhelming and worthy of its own posting (I’m sure a few of you feel the burden of your family, whether it’s a current marriage/relationship or your parents.).
So where does this leave me?
Without running away to other parts of the world in an attempt to find myself, I have made spaces and times specifically for me. I work hard to stay organized but also make sure with the frenzy that is life to not neglect myself. Doctor appointment? Don’t put it off. Dentist appointment? Schedule two in the year and stop cancelling the appointments. Traveling alone? A HUGE YES. There is something freeing in traveling by yourself. If you haven’t done it yet in your life, I highly recommend it! Also, dining alone, movies alone – just about everything that you worry you need another person for – do it alone. I swear it’s therapeutic. I’m to the point now I am working to make a space in my home that’s just for me. I also started gardening more that way when I walk past the plants, I know their success is a direct result in my hard work and efforts.
So, are the 30’s all that dirty? Or do they get a bad wrap due to rhyming? I think with a little work, your 30’s can be a wonderful (and official) transition into adulthood. Spend the decade making your life the way you want it to be long term. Seriously learn how to invest your money, make sure you keep up with doctor appointments, and stop forgetting about yourself. Society is going to do their hardest to make you feel like a failure but it is your job to remember that you are not.
You will make the best of things. You are a success. You are a beautiful soul that needs to tell their story to the world. Tell your story in every expression of life. We need exactly who you are to mix things up!