Why is it that so many people should begin to freak out as soon as they approached that dreaded age, thirty? If you take one step back from the significance that society has prescribed to that age, you’ll see that it has no meaning whatsoever – it just signifies how many times you’ve been around the sun. But, of course, that view is too clinical – and, like it or not, people do seem to have an intense emotional reaction to entering their fourth decade. Fortunately, most of the issues that people have seem to be the same as everyone else’s, so at least there’s some safety in numbers. Below, we take a look at the most common issues, and offer some advice about how they can be overcome.
What Have You Done With Your Twenties?
Well, well, well, wasn’t life fun in your twenties? You were getting out there in the world, taking chances that you wouldn’t dream of taking now, and all-around trying your hardest to figure out what this business called life was all about. Alas, once we reach thirty, those dazed and confused days of our twenties seem to look a little different. Instead of viewing them as formative and character building, we think of all the ways our life could have been better if we’d committed to someone and something concrete as soon as we were out of university. Well, here’s the solution: get over it! You could have done things differently, but you didn’t. And guess what? The people who did commit to people and careers early on sometimes wonder what their life would be like if they’d just tried different things from time to time.
Love and Life
We’re happy to play the tread the murky waters of the dating pool when we’re in our twenties. What does it matter if the relationship fizzles out after a few months? There’s plenty more fish and time ahead of us. When you’re thirty, however, this begins to feel less true. If you’re a female, then you’re wondering about having a child. If you’re male, you’re looking at all the rings on the fingers of the ladies, and suddenly realize that the dating pool isn’t so big anymore. But it’s important not to overthink these things. You don’t need to have a child by the time you’re thirty; with the costs of treatment for IVF lower than ever, people can have children later in life. And if you’re looking at all these married people, remember that you’re probably not paying attention to all the people who are single. Fact is, more than half the people aged thirty are unmarried! So don’t worry so much about these things, especially finding a partner. If you panic and “settle” for someone, then you’re much more likely to find yourself as one of the people who is divorced by the time they’re forty.
Unsure About the Career
If you’ve been building a career since you got out of college, then you probably haven’t stopped to think “is this really what I want to be doing?” all too often. That’s where your “turning thirty” crisis comes in; with all this introspection, you’re naturally going to cast your eye at your job and wonder if it is the right one for you after all. Well, here’s some good news, finally, about the rising age of retirement: you’re going to be working longer than ever before, which means you’ve barely got your professional life underway, which means you shouldn’t be overly concerned about trying something new. It’s much better to start a career that you’ll actually enjoy at age thirty rather than shuffle along in a job you don’t like into retirement. Though remember this: you might only be focusing on the bad sides of your job when it comes to your analysis. Don’t throw it away just because you’ve had second thoughts about it!
Redefining Your Values
In all likelihood, you’ve lived your life with one set of values. They were acquired through your parents, or from your friends, or whatever else. In your twenties, they were essentially your identity! And now, since you’ve turned thirty, you’re beginning to wonder if you were right all along. The truth is that nobody’s “right”; our values come from within, and are sculpted by experience and various other factors. Your second guessing isn’t a sign that you’ve been wrong this whole time; it’s a sign that you’re maturing, that you’re capable of seeing things beyond your limited worldview. Under scrutiny, you may indeed ditch some long-held beliefs. You may modify others. And then there’ll be some that you believe in your heart to be right, and that’ll be that.
It’s reasonably enjoyable to have no money when we’re in our twenties. We’d LIKE more of it, sure, but it’s no problem if we don’t; after all, no-one else we know has any money either. However, when people start buying houses and so on, the issue of having “no money” becomes real. If you’re in a poor financial state and you don’t own a home, and you’re not on the path towards more money, then it’s understandable to feel a little on edge. Will you ever be financially free? The answer is yes, but only if you work for it. The best time to get saving would have been ten years ago, but that’s gone now, so the best time is now. Start putting small amounts of money away – whatever you can afford – and get a hold of your finances. You’re not going to catch up the homeowners and the like overnight, but your financial race is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Start practicing good financial habits, and you’ll be on your way towards undoing some of the financial errors you made during your free-flowing, free-spirited twenties.
Getting older is a fact of life; and hey, it’s better than the alternative, anyway! Don’t worry too much, and you’ll find that your thirties can be even more enjoyable than what’s come before.