I just celebrated my 30th birthday this March and damn it feels weird. A bunch of people say "You are getting old", others think "30 is the new 20", and some don't really voice an opinion but do have a lot of regrets. But where do you stand in all this? On my end I still feel like a kid ready to experience life and many adventures, or maybe I don't realize yet that I just started a new decade of my life... In any case, here is how I think you can overcome any prejudge or fear of being 30!
Being 30 doesn't really mean much besides that from now on, you will add a candle to your cake or change numeration, but besides that does anything really change? Being 20 or 30, you are still pretty young and let's face it, a number on paper doesn't really change who you are deep down. Your values and persona don't change due to a number, they might evolve with experience and you becoming wiser, is that a reason to fear being 30? Hell no!
So what happens in our minds? We still have several decades to live, responsibilities evolve throughout our lives but hey, it happens all the time, we were meant to get a job at some point or to meet the right person, to settle down or have kids, but nothing to be afraid of :) Life goes on. However, a bunch of factors can influence you perception of aging, in a good or in a bad way...
As a matter of fact, you are going to spend at least 38h/week at work so this factor plays a major role in how you feel about aging. Being in an old school/retrograde or young environment makes all the difference. I realized this since I changed jobs last August. A lot of things started to change for the best and I think it affected my view on life and on being 30 : cool colleagues, a lot more fun every day, new work challenges, new friendships, etc. But most of all, being stress free. This is really a luxury that plays a major role on your mood and that influences you in so many ways...I feel so much more positive and open to change, I dare to try new things and to fail because it is part of the learning experience. This is why I took again driving lessons, bought a car, passed the driver's license, went back to the gym...Things that I honestly am not a fan of but that I feel pretty good about now...
Partner support also plays a major role. If he/she is behind you and supports your choices then you have a major ally backing you up! Living with a person that pushes you to become your better self and to realize your dreams will get you through any age crisis you may encounter because you are living your life without regrets or fear of rejection! Plus having a little sunshine in your life is just wonderful!
Yourself! Because you can be your worst enemy. Accept yourself but be ambitious! Life goes on!
Considering this, I would say that surrounding yourself with the right people and cultivating a healthy work environment are going to get you half way through your 30s. Working with grumpy people on projects that don't excite you = boring days, regrets for others or just a bad mood. Stay open to opportunities and don't be afraid to change (to get out of your comfort zone) if you feel that it is what you need...Of course do it the smart way! The same logic applies for friends and partners, negativity only bring negativity so choose your friends and make the right choices.
Having said that, you can also work on personal factors and one thing that I like to do is list the things that I want to do/be able to do/never dared to do:
Getting my driver's license [DONE]
Driving a bike [School research done]
Learning to drift with a car [Found a training in Belgium]
Piloting a plane
Learning to shoot [Ongoing]
Becoming a good archer
Getting a six pack
Seing Aurora Borealis [100% planned]
Getting my lateral split [Almost there!]
Buying an apartment [Searching Now]
And the list goes on! Before I changed job and was in a different mental state (much less positive, much more stressed) I thought about doing things, now I act and get out of my comfort zone. This is the switch you have to find and flip. This got me to cross the first bullets of the list above! I learned to drive, surpassing my fear of cars, and I just got my driver's license at the end of March. On the first attempt I failed and the examiner did a good job putting me down but I was confident that I drove well (and safely!) and didn't agree with the outcome: failure. I passed the exam a second time with flying colors immediately after failing, I couldn't stay on a defeat and now I have my license! Daring sometimes brings confidence in oneself and a lot satisfaction! But most of all, making the right changes: leaving my previous company was the best decision ever! It changed me and even my partner noticed it instantly: I am more cheerful, I made a bunch of cool friends, I don't have stress and can detach myself from work when I go home, I feel more energetic and ready to challenge myself!
Crossing bullets out of your To-Do List is very satisfying because these are your achievements, you did all the work! From surpassing a fear to going through a lengthy administrative process or challenging your own body! This is the kind of satisfaction that you will need to keep going and to make more dreams come true. And becoming 30 doesn't change the fact that you can achieve so much and get the results that you want.
PS: jealousy over what others do or own doesn't count ;) If you want something, try to get it, analyze how others did it, evaluate your situation and come up with a success plan!
Now what about those who don't have dreams or plans or wishes? Bullshit! There is more to life than Netflix, just get out to see it! Think about what you wanted to do as a child? A regret you've been holding on to for a while? These are things that you can still achieve today, get satisfaction from, like these travels you've been dreaming about or that idea you wanted to give life to. So many possibilities are right there for you, stop thinking about the 30 and get out there!
I often hear women talk about the fact that they are 30, don't own a home, don't have a man or kids and regret it but hey, you re thirty! You still have time to get what you want, but for this you also need to work a little. Get out there if you want to find someone, choose also where you go to meet the right type of person you're looking for...Go apartment hunting if that is an absolute goal for you. Sometime luck finds you but if not, make it happen.
Don't change for others
Another important thing is that you don't have to change to please others! Unless you are a real wreck in desperate need of change, that would be another story. Then change for your own good. But if at 30 you love unicorns, eating cupcakes for dinner and go to Disneyland, don't change: OWN IT. Aging doesn't mean you have to enter into a mold and loose that spark of madness! It's what makes you different: it's what makes you YOU! I often thought that aging would mean becoming grumpy and old, or just that responsibilities would mean having less fun...But that will only happen if you let it! I understood that when I met one of my previous colleagues who was 63, single, rents her apartment, parties more than her son and is super happy! She is out with friends, travels solo and has fun no matter her age and that is what I love about her! She embraced life, responsibilities and made it all work with her personality. And honestly, she doesn't even look 63 when you see her, I am 100% sure that worrying less and having fun is what made the difference for her.
Being yourself, protecting that spark you have and being ambitious will get you going! Life is too short to not enjoy it to the fullest. So stop worrying, surround yourself with the right kind of people, make smart decisions about what you want to achieve and what is good for you. Take life as it comes, solve one problem at a time and enjoy everything else!
If you have more ideas or thoughts about how to overcome an age crisis, drop a comment below!