What I have 'learnt' since turning 30....
- Hazel Butterfield
- 04 February 2016 12:02
They always say that you get serious and have more or a mature and calm outlook on life in your 30's. That you know what is more important. Your priorities are more rational and focused. With claims of "Ooh I'd never go back to my 20's, but if only I could tell my 20-something self what I know now". I'm not convinced.
Yes being in your 30's is a milestone, but it is a more definitive time to start the eager comparisons. Have I peaked? She's doing well, have I not been trying enough? Babies, no babies. Marriage, singledom and divorce. Facebook. Facebook is a dick.
Personally, I'm still finding myself in conflicting positions. Then again, my noggin is a tad on the loopy side at the best of times. But let's put that to one side for a jiffy. As a 'youngster' I was ridiculously proactive, I bought a house at 18, worked crazy hours earning well and modelling in London, travelling all over the world with the money I earned and even squeezed in a quick psychology degree in my downtime. It's something I do with when I'm unsure, I keep busy making sure something is done while I'm waiting for the lightening bolt. When in any turmoil I fight. If I need to be somewhere, make something happen or just make sure something is paid for, I come through for myself. I just sort it.
But - what about when life is going ok? This is my issue. I'm 34, I love my career, my kids are stupidly happy, the boyfriend is doing as he is told, I live in a nice house and I can pay the bills. My friends and social life are bang on. This is where I'm struggling. Am I at ease because I'm in my 30's or am I being lazy as there is no fight or flight scenarios? I feel like I am not 'go get' enough. There appears to be no urgency in my aspirations and yet in theory I appear to be doing loads. Is it just busy doing nothing or am I comparing myself unrealistically?
A major part of your 30's (and 40's for that matter) are realising that some comparisons are irrelevant. What you may have wanted years ago, or maybe was important to you, changes. Stop comparing yourself to people who quite frankly you no longer have anything in common with. You know which friends you need regardless, but whatever life may have thrown at us, you develop new circles and new requirements from your friends and learning to embrace that is incredible.
On the other side of the coin, you do get to (hopefully from common sense and life experience) become less naive. We don't all have to think the same nor expect an age to be something that determines intelligence or superiority. I know people in their late 40's and early 50's who still behave like teenage bullies in a playground when they don't get their way. They lie and cheat their way through life. This is a choice, as is how you deal with such people.
Learn what people do and don't matter. Figure out what makes you happy and appreciate that things change. How dull would life be if it didn't? The main and most important think I've learnt in my 30's in knowing who I am and who I don't want to be.
Age means nothing. How comfortable you are with yourself means everything.