Today I turn 30. There is something about 30 that makes most people really reevaluate their lives. At 30 you are somewhat expected to have everything put together. You are expected to know what you want to do for a living, have a house of your own, have the child bearing process going, and more. Basically, expected to be a stable and productive part of society. But what if you don’t have all that going? Why is there this unspoken pressure at this time in our society? This pressure can be motivating or truly damning.
I’ve witnessed many of my friends dread the day they turn 30. Some have a sort of “quarter-life crisis,” resulting in rising to the occasion or falling into a deep depression. Analyzing all that they have done and all that they haven’t. For one good friend of mine it has been most detrimental. He’s been replaying all his mistakes, beating himself up, and repeating. The constant pressure and negative self-talk has led him to darker paths than he has ever explored.
An example from the other end of the spectrum is a woman I know. Though she was dreading 30 and perceivably having a meltdown over it; she got over it quick. Deciding to triumph over the anxiety and begin a new mission. Changing her profession to a more stable and lucrative one. Now she has made enough money to buy her own house. The societal pressure crushed her into a diamond.
I, myself, just turned 30 on the 7th this month. Luckily, I am not affected by this pressure. I think it has to do with my near to death experience. Since having my stroke at 20 I feel lucky to be alive. Therefore, every year that has passed feels like a blessing. Don’t get me wrong, as always, life has its extreme frustrations. But, during those frustrations I pause and try to remind myself that I could be dead. Not everyone has experienced near death experiences, but, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be grateful for your life. It’s amazing how we’re made up of a bunch of water and cells and somehow we can think and feel so deep. Don’t take it for granted the ability of you to just be.
“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.”– Hervey Allen