A few months ago I wrote this blog post about my 30th birthday and all the brilliant things I did for it. What’s funny about social media, blogging, the internet, is everyone shows their best bits, their glory moments, the times when they are looking at their best. It’s true and I’m completely guilty of it. Yes, I did have the best birthday ever (… which involved a lot of good food obv!) but what didn’t you see on that blog post was me, later that week, sat on my bed thinking “Oh shit, I’m 30, what the fuck am I doing with my life?”
30 is a weird one.
30 is a weird one. You’re in this really strange middle ground where you’re definitely not a kid anymore yet you don’t feel old enough to call yourself a fully-fledged adult. By 30, you’re supposed to (and I stress supposed to) be at a place in life where having babies, buying houses, job promotions and serious relationships are on the horizon. It really is the most confusing time because you’re around such a different mix circumstances. You’ve got friends who are married, friends who are divorced, friends who are earning shit loads of money and some who are still figuring things out. No wonder you might start questioning and comparing your life to others. Where do I fit in? Am I accomplished enough? Is my life on the right track?
From that list of things in life you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing (and again, I stress supposed to) I can’t say I’m close to any of them and that’s something that I’ll admit I find quite scary … but not for the reasons you might think. I’ve come to realise maybe it’s not the goals themselves I desire but what I actually crave is the feeling like life is moving, like you’re achieving something and buying houses, having boyfriends and job promotions all give you that. They are milestones and visual representations that make you feel like your life is taking some sort of direction and if you aren’t accomplishing them it can make you (me) feel like a failure. Mix that in with friends around you who look like (and I stress look like) they have their shit together it’s time for a midi (yes, midi!) life crisis!
The truth is…
The truth is it does SEEM like everyone has their shit together until you really speak to them and realise most people have no idea what they are doing in life and are just winging it or faking it. It’s just that some are winging it or faking it more confidently than others. We live in a world where you should always be doing MORE, accomplishing MORE and being MORE because social media, marketing, adverts make us feel like we’re not pretty enough or smart enough or fun enough. What I’ve been doing (and sadly still do) is comparing my life to someone else’s highlights and therefore fuelling the question of why at 30 years old my life’s not as exciting or accomplished as hers or his or theirs. I’m not scared to admit that I feel like I’m in limbo right now. I know exactly what I want yet I also have no fucking clue. I want to date more but also want to be by myself. I want to travel but I want to stay close to home. I want to change my job but I also never want to leave where I am. I’m exhausted just saying it! Being 30 nowadays I think is the hardest it’s ever been (for all those still living in flatshares at 30 I feel your pain 110%) but for all negatives, there has to be positives so I thought I’d share some reasons of why hitting your mid-life crisis at 30 could be a blessing in disguise … and what I’m trying to take from mine!
It’s a great time to re-define your values and priorities. Realise your self-worth.
You’re old enough now to have a good understanding of what’s really important to you in life and what isn’t. Cut the crap, embrace the good, get rid of the bad and know your self-worth! Be honest with yourself – what do you really want to do? Not what your parents or friends think is a good idea, what is important to YOU? If you don’t value yourself then no one will value you. That goes for jobs, relationships and friendships.
It’s the perfect time to embrace change … even if it’s really scary!
I’ve been stuck in a routine for years and always been scared to break it because I think what if the grass isn’t greener on the other side? I read a BRILLIANT book a few months ago called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and it teaches you to do exactly that. Feel the fear and do it anyway! It teaches you a simple rule of whatever life throws at you, you can handle it. Break up? You can handle it. Hating your job? You can handle it. Making a big decision and scared of the outcome? You can handle it whatever the outcome but you need to just DO IT! There’s a quote by Einstein and it says the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results. If you want things to happen and you keep reaching a dead end you’re going to have to drive down another road.
Reconsider social media.
A topic for another extensive blog post but now more than ever I’ve realised social media can be more of a hindrance than a help if you don’t use it properly. Time spent scrolling mindlessly on Instagram is not productive and comparing your life to someone else’s manufactured one is not helpful or realistic. What value is it adding to your life? If the answer is none then maybe reconsider your relationship with it. This book has helped me a lot.
Realise you shouldn’t beat yourself up as much and take the pressure off.
I’m a complete recovering perfectionist. If it’s not perfect it’s wrong and I’ll tell you what it’s bloody exhausting being that person. What happens if you don’t send that email or tidy the house? What if you don’t tick off everything on your to-do list or what if you don’t look like that model in the photo? As long as you’re trying your best that’s all you can ask for. Remember you are only human and ticking off a to-do list doesn’t validate your self worth. Elite Daily put it perfectly when they say at 30 … “You ache to be the best possible version of yourself. “Do I know enough?” “Have I’ve done enough?” and “What other dream do I need to fulfil?” It’s good to have goals in life but remember you’re doing the best you can right now so don’t beat yourself up too much.
The question I keep asking myself is it okay to feel like this or am I being selfish and unappreciative of all the wonderful things I already have in my life? Well take it from me, the big lesson I’m trying to teach myself every day is because you want more doesn’t mean your less appreciative of what you have now. It all comes down to knowing and most importantly owning what you deserve!
Your 30’s are a time in your life when you’re looking back on the past, dealing with the present and thinking about the future. You’ve got enough wisdom to be a real-life adult (a scary concept I know) yet you’ve still got your whole life ahead of you. It’s not an easy time and that shit can be a lot to deal with sometimes – Especially if you live in a flatshare! If you’re feeling like this too remember you’re not alone and I’m using what some people call a ‘midi (yes, midi) life crisis’ to re-evaluate what’s important, what’s not, what I want in life and what I don’t. On reflection, it has been a bit of a blessing in disguise.
Let’s call it a mid-life reflection instead. I sound less crazy that way 🙂
Charlotte – Auntie, Struggling Perfectionist, Mermaid Wannabe, Virgo.