If 30 is the new 20, then why are all of my friends in a complete panic?
Those who are single are accepting dates from any guy who flashes them a smile. Those who have boyfriends are pressuring them to propose, even if they can barely stand a weekend away with him, let alone an eternity. And those who are married are pushing for babies as soon as they return from their honeymoon.
Where’s the fire?
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve dreamt about wearing a Vera Wang surrounded by all of my nearest and dearest since I figured out how to make a toilet paper veil for my Barbie. And my ovaries do tend to spin around like police car lamps each time I see a precious toddler on the street. But, with all due respect and understanding, I just can’t wrap my head around the haste of the checklist.
We’d all like to claim that we live our lives to the fullest and emulate the quotes we constantly post on Facebook. But, we’ve been conditioned to believe that by thirty, the boxes should all be ticked. It’s no surprise that the majority of girls hovering around the thirty mark aren’t where they anticipated. Where is my high-profile job? What about my handsome, charming and supportive husband? And by now I should at least have one of the two children from that new Burberry for Kids ad? Right? We are trying to cram a lifetime into thirty years!
This is where we are all going wrong.
Things used to be much easier. Gender roles were established and followed. When a woman’s only goal was to get married and hold down a household, it is attainable by the age of thirty… Or even twenty. But women are no longer raised that way. We are educated through the same systems as men, and we inherit the same thirst for accomplishment and discovery. We want it all- and we deserve to have it all! But in order to have it all without sacrificing the quality of what we get, we need to allot ourselves more time. Otherwise, as demonstrate by these first few generations of working, driven, balancing-act mamas, we cannot pull off every aspect seamlessly.
This isn’t to say that no one should get married before they are thirty, or even pop out a baby or two. Instead, it’s about re-thinking your decisions, and your motives for making them. There are exceptions to every rule, and some people are dealt a royal flush on their first hand. Props to these broads! As for the rest of us, we need to keep striving for our goals, and quit worrying about the arbitrary deadline.
At thirty years old, you are only (God willing) one third of your way through this life. So, why at this point do we pressure ourselves so hard to complete all of life’s challenges? Do you truly plan not to develop, change or grow over the next sixty years? Do you really think you’ve peaked because you are married with a baby.
Invest in your life, and stop wasting your time on things you don’t truly enjoy. If you think the paper-pushing job you have held for two years is going to be more fulfilling after twenty, you are gravely mistaken. Life is challenging, and we all need support sometimes. Take your time choosing a partner that supports your decisions, understands you and loves you to your core. When the chips are down, truly loving that person is going to be the only thing that will get you through.
Your adult life has really only been about ten years long, so essentially, you are only about 1/7 of your way through the life you have chosen for yourself. You rarely hear people say how much more fun and fulfilling life has gotten as they have grown older, because most people stop developing after they take on a life of routine.
Constantly challenge yourself!
One of my greatest teachers held down many careers before he became an educator. He was a basketball player, a physicist, a pilot, wrote science text books and children’s books, and at one point even worked on the show MacGyver to advise them on what was really possible or not. His life was lived to the maximum. And when he taught, we listened. Yes, he was married and had a daughter, but this was only part of his life. Although they enrich your life on a different level than anything else is capable, other people cannot bring you completeness.
So I say this to you: Stop viewing thirty as the finish line. You have merely finished the first book in the trilogy you are the author of. Don’t make the second and third books redundant.