Thought Catalog
April 15, 2017

Where Do You See Yourself At 30?

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What is the issue?
Jakob Owens

You always hear about the dreaded “mid-life crisis,” that people go through. You hit that certain age and find yourself looking back to your younger years with that wistful look in your eyes. What you don’t know? There is a whole other life crisis that can rear its ugly head decades prior to that. I am referring to the dreaded 30s.

I always laughed when people talked about turning 30 as a bad thing and really, I still do. The things that come with turning 30 however, can be no laughing matter. Suddenly all of your friends are getting married, having children, or moving away. It’s as if someone has hit the fast forward button on everything around you, but here you are stuck in the same exact place.
We as humans spend so much time thinking about where we see ourselves by the time we hit a certain age, hell, it seems to be one of the most popular questions asked at job interviews! “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Personally, I still know many people who haven’t truly discovered themselves by the time they’ve left their 20s behind.

Have you?

If you’re anything like me you’re still searching, and that’s OKAY. You’ve spent so much time trying to figure out who you are and how you want your life to go, and watched time and again as those plans have imploded. If I have learned anything during the first few months of being 30 it’s that despite what we’ve always heard, there’s no magical doorway to adulthood that comes with it.

Maybe you still haven’t found that dream job just yet. Maybe you still work 2 jobs just to make ends meat. Maybe you still live in a tiny apartment with roommates wondering when the time will come where you’ll be able to live on your own. Maybe you haven’t found “the one,” just yet. There are so many maybes the list could go on and on.

But are you happy?

A loaded question to be sure, but one that you should be asking yourself probably more than you do. Once I hit my 30s I found this question popping up more and more. Originally, the answer more often than not was no. I was attending weddings, helping people move, and watching as life seemed to be right on track for those around me. What I couldn’t figure out was why my life wasn’t on that same track.

And while it took time, one day while pondering my own misery on why my life wasn’t where I thought it would be my brain responded.

Who CARES?

Why let the expectations that have been put in place by society dictate where you should be? When did their expectations start meaning more than your own? Take a good look around. Is there actually anything wrong with the way you are now? Are you happy with the way life is progressing, even if it’s not going the way you thought it might? More and more I found the answer to the happiness question turning from a no to a yes.

All you have to do is let go.

Let go of what you thought would be. Let go of expectations you don’t even know why you have. Let go of letting the lives of those around you influence how you see your own. Because your life IS your own. Smile. Laugh. Live. Love. Have fun. Go crazy. Focus on what brings you joy. So maybe you aren’t married, or living in that house with the white picket fence.

But that’s okay. Enjoy the now. Everything else can wait. TC mark