Thirty, Flirty And… Crying? Why You Shouldn’t Be Upset Over The Big 3-0

by Marie Palisky

I’ve really never understood why people hate growing older, or why they fear turning certain ages so much. It’s as if the minute you hit 30, your boobs drop, your eggs dry up, and your internal clock immediately turns to “OLD”.

I didn’t understand until my boyfriend recently broke up with me completely unexpectedly, and I was left single, jobless, lost, and with all of our hopes and plans for the future gone. At 28, I immediately caught myself thinking “But I only have two years left to settle down and to find a partner. I’m running out of time and now I’m alone! What do I do now?”

And while it’s difficult to write about this specific topic because I’m freshly in my own existential crisis and still feeling miserable, here I go. What do I do now?

Well, I do what I’ve always done. I continue moving forward, focusing on myself, and trying to find my own happiness. There is no age limit on finding your own joy, finding where you belong, or bettering yourself. There is no set timeline of how your life is supposed to go or exactly when things should happen. And there are no expiration dates on when they should’ve. No clock to count down by when you need to find a partner or settle down. Or even when you are supposed to have hit your groove and locked down a career. Everybody’s paths are different.

And that’s ok.

30 really IS just a number.

And while I “get” it, the idea of hitting a milestone and not being exactly where you thought you were going to be doesn’t mean you’ve run out of time! 30 isn’t even half of your lifespan. Many people who are in their 50s or 60s will try to tell you such. Embrace it. For me, it’s a feeling of being lost, without a career, and with no one to look forward to things with. But for lots of women who have already found their partners, settled into a home, or are climbing their career ladders steadily, 30 really is just a terrifyingly daunting number. And THIS, I truly cannot understand.

Listen to me, you are lucky to have made it to 30. One of my favorite quotes by an unknown source that I try to pass on whenever someone moans about making it through another year is this: “Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many.” You’ve made it this far, so be thankful.

Are you really going to let the first digit of a new decade decide your self-worth?

Remember when you thought that high school, or even college were the best years of your life? I’m sure you’re terrified to leave your twenties because there are so many milestones, leaving school, etc.

The idea of success if relative. Am I a little bit nervous because I haven’t found “The One” or because I’m not at the top of my career (or even have one)? Or do I look back at my twenties, tallying up the number of countries I’ve visited or lived in, the number of miles I’ve traveled on planes, the diversity of the people I’ve met and look ahead and realize that I’m already ahead of the pack?

I have time to catch up, meet someone, settle down and put aside my own selfish life. But right now, I’m too busy living life.  And there’s no way I’m going to let a petty little number stop me in my tracks or try to tell me I’m not good enough exactly where I am now. If I was exactly where I thought I was going to be, I‘d already be married at 25 with a kid. And I couldn’t imagine that! I would’ve given up so much.

It’s all about perspective and what you want. And guess what? If you’re not happy, change. Put yourself on the right path. Set a new goal, but stop defining your success by an arbitrary marker we’ve all grown to fear way too much.

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