Life for People in Their 30s : My Journey Thus Far
What are/were the:
Main challenges surrounding life for people in their 30s?
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As a child I remember time moving so slowly. I would look at clocks and hope time would speed up. Nothing was fast enough for me. Now I am the exact opposite. Time moves too quickly. There is so much to do, too much to do. It can become overwhelming.
Last night I was thinking about life for people in their 30s. I summarised the following categories that have been relevant to me so far as man in his 30s. I’m sure they are relevant to others too. The below categories are commonly discussed among people in my age range.
Pressure injected into life for people in their 30s is a hybrid of societal influence and self infliction. There are conventional pressures of home ownership, financial success, and establishment of family. I admit to being susceptible to the first two. My often high expectations of myself only increased the pressure. I think that this area is particularly daunting for men. It’s pressure to be an object of success. There is a fear of not measuring up to these societal and self imagined benchmarks.
When I hit 30 I panicked. The pressure of time kept nagging at me. I have never felt established enough and I can never seem to give myself credit for achievements. I’ve always immediately looked towards the next level up.
I had to train myself into not succumbing to the societal and self pressures to perform to certain standards. I’ve learnt to enjoy the moment and to be grateful for what I have. I will always have goals, but I won’t allow myself to be pressurised by them. Walking to the beat of my own drum and defining one’s own path is best.
Health and Wellbeing:
Men and women can be at their physical and health peaks in the 30s if they work at it. Unfortunately, men and women in Australia are often apathetic about their health and wellbeing and allow themselves to diminish as they get older. They get overly comfortable in relationships and marriages and let themselves go.
I understand the importance of keeping my engine as finely tuned as possible. Whether I am single or not, I maintain my health and wellbeing. I do not take drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol. I insist on a 5 day a week exercise schedule. It consists of weights, cardio, boxing, and yoga. A well balanced nutritional diet is also a must. Also lots of water daily, lots of laughter and good sex.
The Sweet Bird of Youth
Youth is a precious element that doesn’t last. When you reach your 30s you are most likely feeling better and looking better than you ever did in your 20s. You should ooze confidence, self awareness and have some sense of purpose. With this height comes the realization that youth is a sweet bird that will one day fly away and never come back. But that’s ok because you had it and you utilized it to the best of your ability.
“The Dance” doesn’t last forever. The key to surviving it and not being destroyed by your own vanity is knowing that day will inevitably come. It’s completely natural. That’s not to say that you can’t feel young in many ways or be a vibrant person. Just don’t expect to be able to do all the things at 60 that you did at 30.
I don’t have a family of my own but I belong to a great family. As you watch your parents become older you learn to value them more. I understand that not everyone has ideal or functional families so this part might not be relevant for everyone but it’s important for many. I treasure my parents daily because they have given me unconditional love. Honestly, most of the happiness I’ve had in my life I owe to them.
As you watch your parents age you learn to value relationships with siblings. When your parents pass they will hopefully be your strongest link. I am not fortunate enough to have any living grandparents but I envy people who do. Grandparents are a blessing and a direct link to an old world that no longer exists. My heart fills with love whenever I think of my grandparent memories.
In my early to mid 20s I wanted to be the centerpiece of social occasions. My social calendar was filled with weekends of partying, night clubbing, bar hopping, dining and general high levels of social interaction. Those days are gone. That’s not to say that I don’t value my friends. I enjoy spending time with them whenever it’s possible. However, I don’t crave as much social interaction as I used to.
My need to be a social centerpiece was an immature need to prove something to the world and to myself. I no longer have the need to prove anything. You could call me somewhat comfortably reclusive. I value quality time with quality people. I won’t engage in social activities that I am not interested in.
My motto: “I don’t want to be surrounded by ‘The Party’. If I want a party I will seek it out”
Ambitions relating to career were my driving force in my 20s. I had such a vision of myself as a 30 year old. It generally doesn’t work out exactly the way you imagined. Honestly, my projected visions were rather vague and superficial. So who cares? Throughout my 20s and early 30s I specialized in marketing, sales, business development management and account management.
I’ve worked for multinational companies and I’ve worked for myself. I wanted to be self employed and I did that too. So many positive results came from it.
As I moved into my early 30s I noticed that my ambition levels weren’t as strong and relentless as they used to be. I was concerned. Fears of losing such a centre piece of my personality infected me. However, I didn’t lose it. When I find something that I feel strongly about, I make an impact.
I’ve always defined myself by work that is my own creation. One must give themselves over completely to their own creations. I know that I have a lot more to give to the world through my career endeavours and I will never lose sight of that.
In addition, other factors in life became more important which is why I felt my ambition was leaving me. Brings us to our final point regarding life for people in their 30s.
I felt my ambition was evaporating only because I put a greater emphasis on finding real love and true compatibility. I never wanted it in my early to late 20s. The early to mid 20s should be about self discovery, fun and adventure. Serious relationships and marriage are best formed when people are in their later 20s. People in their early 20s are still highly developmental and I advocate for freedom from attachments to make all those developments.
I clearly remember a voice inside me at 28 telling me that if I don’t make inroads into finding love that I would regret it. So I made the pilgrimage. It was well worth it. I don’t want to sound trite, but there is truly nothing better than having genuine love in your life. The course of real love isn’t always easy, it can be challenging at times. I don’t believe life is complete without it. It’s the key to happiness. I can function well without it but, as a human being, I function so much better with it.
Life for people in their 30s can be so wonderful. Live it well.