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Thread: Turning 30

  1. #1

    Default Turning 30

    So I generally don’t like to get personal, but I figured there’s a lot of people on here older (and wiser) than me, so why not?

    In April, I will be turning 30. And as the date gets closer and closer, I get an increasing sense of anxiety. Generally speaking, I’d like to think I am a pretty happy, confident person. I have my health, decent family relations, and a good circle of close friends. And while I am not rich (faaaar from it), I have a pretty good job and live pretty comfortably, assuming this oil crash won’t get any worse. But as I examine my life, I kinda realized I have really nothing tangible to show for it.

    I can’t really point to any milestone in my adult life that society says I should have at this point—no house, no marriage, no kids, a little saved up but all those online calculators say I should have more. Part of me is quite content with my life…But another part of me feels like I am flying by the seat of my pants and am just being lazy, or worse.

    Then there is the physical aspect of it. Neck is starting to sag a little; knees are starting to hurt when I sit for a long time. I even found my first gray hair this fall. I was someone who use to shut down the bars and pop out of bed just fine 2 or 3 years ago and now more than 2 glasses of wine at dinner will get me hung over the next day. Of course, all of these are natural and to be expected, but they are just daily reminders for someone who has always been the young one or the kid.

    When I turned 29 last year, despite having a big party, I had a bit of an internalized freakout, just thinking of all the things I should have “done” at this point in life but haven’t and thinking that I have one more year. I was fine until recently when I had a little meeting with my HR rep. She was just going over whether I need life insurance or not and made the comment, well if you die, people will be sad but I really don’t think anything will ‘miss you’ per say. I am pretty good friends with this person, so she probably felt more at liberty to be laid back with me but it was still like, wow, that stings. And largely because it’s true.

    I am probably overthinking it, and it’s not like I can stop it lol. But I am just interested to hear anyone who has turned 30. Did you make drastic changes to yourself afterwards? Were you a nervous wreck, questioning everything you’ve done with yourself up to that point? Or did the calendar flip and it was just another day?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Turning 30

    I turned 30 last summer.

    29 is worse in my opinion. When 30 gets here, it isn't near as bad as you expect it to be. Found my first gray hair today actually.

    No real physical problems yet, but I have found I can't do the nightclub thing that I used to enjoy so much in my early twenties, but can still go out and have a good time. I definitely notice a maturity difference when I hang out with friends in their early twenties. I also can't do more than four beers without a hangover and can't stand doing shots at parties.

    The worst part about it is not having reached any of the real life milestones, much as you said. No marriage, no kids, don't own a home, fundamentalist preacher father still trying to control my every move, etc. I wish I was more independent and had a more established life and felt more sure of myself. I feel I should be ahead of where I am at this age.

    I'm not quite where I want to be in life at this time, but I can't stop the passage of time. I have to work on positioning myself to get to where I want to be. Look at 30 as the beginning of a new phase of your life. I think society places too much emphasis on your twenties as if they should be the best years of your life. For a lot of people, their thirties are better.

  3. Default Re: Turning 30

    Ehhh... You have a few years to go before you get to have your mid-life crisis.... I just had mine recently.... Best damn 9 day road trip of my life!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Just a quick comment: my 30's were way better than my 20's.

    I bet your best years are still ahead of you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Can you turn some of these questions back on yourself like, what influence or accomplishments would you like to have in your life? If you know what you'd like to do then, how can you get there? However, from talking to people closer to the end of their lives I've often found that they actually aren't concerned with their accomplishments, but their day-to-day relationships. That's what a lot of people wish they'd done better.

    Or maybe you're just wrestling with intimacy/isolation or generativity/self-absorption questions that Erikson proposed.

    What do I know though. I'm only a few years ahead of you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Turning 30

    P.S. If you can't drink more than two glasses of wine, I might consider seeking medical attention. At 29 and 30, you can't drink like you are in college but you shouldn't be there yet. That could be a sign that something else is going on other than age.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Turning 30

    30 is a landmark Birthday. It's not unusual to feel the way you do. Media, not just the social kind, has hammered into our heads that you have to have a certain amount of items to have a complete life. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Like dantruka said, ask these questions to yourself. How you look at and feel about things change as you get older too. Stay open minded and true to yourself. It will all fall into place.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Turning 30

    Yeah... y'all need to chill. 30s were the best decade by far thus far. 36 was a bit rough as that means there are a bunch of 18 year olds running around that weren't born yet when you graduated high school. I'm in my 40s now and it's rough because my kids are now adults. But, it's also a new phase of life I'm particularly excited about because there is so much potential. It's like a wiser version of my 20s. On my own in the world... for the second time...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Do what makes you happy man. Age is just a number.

    Something I would recommended even though it sounds cheesy. Tell your close friends how much they mean to you. Life is better with good friends.

  10. Default Re: Turning 30

    Oh I've been there man.

    At 29 I saved up my tips for a year. Invited all my closest to a 30th party in San Diego. Rented an 80 foot yacht. And proposed to my wife in front of all of them. Unforgettable.

    Then the anxiety set it. I was 30 and hadn't done anything besides somehow tricking an amazing woman into loving me.

    So 2 months later I quit working for the man and started a 2 year journey to open my own bar. Which almost didn't happen after I basically got laughed out of a few loan banker's offices when I showed them my idea. Somehow we found time to get married in between.

    Here's my pivot: age 29 I was a boozing, 6am bedtime, smoker, bartender with a girlfriend. Age 33 I'm a married, non-smoker, 12am bedtime, business owner, set to open a second store...I still booze a little Those bankers that laughed at me now want to set me up with an attractive fixed rate loan. Now all that has its own baggage. It's not like living a vacation. I have 50 employees for instance. 50...

    I'm just pointing out how much a life can change in a short period of time. Roll back a decade and I was 19, I was a lonely college dropout making $250 week doing concrete. I decided to go back to school while pouring the Harkin's brick town theater during a bitter winter. 5 years later I was running a bar business that I got to design and build and dating the woman who would 5 years later become my wife and build our own bar together.

    I don't own a house, and I drive a 14 year old sedan. But I'm happy. I'm definitely enjoying my thirties more than my twenties. I miss the freedom. I definitely don't like the fact that it takes a whole day of my month to pay bills and debts. But in a way it feels more free to feel secure in a brighter future than my past.

    I think it's just different for our generation. People used to get married earlier, have kids earlier, it used to be easier to get home loans. I think it largely has to do with the job market. I read recently that millennials will have as many as 50 jobs in their lives. So I bring it up at a dinner convo. The baby boomers all took stock and no one had had more than 2 or 3 jobs in their life. Furthermore their parents generations only had ONE job, they turned 16 and went to work in the factory, or the bank, or the docks. Working towards their pentions, and deaths. Hardly anyone went to college. They got married, had kids, and by age 19 had enough work history to mortgage a little house that they lived in until they died.

    Now THATS sure gets me feeling better about how I spent my 20's lol. Hope some of that helps.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Turning 30

    ^^^ Awesome story!

    Amazing that the bar that bankers laughed at is now one of the most popular bars in OKC and you are getting ready to open a second concept.

    Life can change in a short period of time and when you least expect it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Don't worry about it buddy. I'll be 38 in March and the only thing I'm worried about is having to have reading glasses after I'm 40...lol.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCisOK4me View Post
    Don't worry about it buddy. I'll be 38 in March and the only thing I'm worried about is having to have reading glasses after I'm 40...lol.
    Multi-focal contacts - one of the best inventions ever!

    I'm 50, BTW, and to me 30 was just a number (all birthdays are just a number to me), so I can't give much advice. But I will say this - if you can look back on your life, and think "Eh, wouldn't change much (we *all* would change *something*, given the chance), enjoyed what I did, not many regrets", then you'll be good. We don't own a house (were in the process of starting to buy until my wife got laid off), don't have much retirement (need to start working on that way harder), no kids (by choice), drive older cars (8 and 12 years old), and have quite a bit of "stuff", but also have great experiences (Paris, San Francisco, NOLA, David Bowie concert in 83, Boris concert a few years ago, lots of other great shows, plays, restaurant meals, etc.) and not many regrets (there are a few - not buying a house sooner, moving to Seattle, not saving for retirement). Just basically live your life the way you want to, within reason, and it'll all work out.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Turning 30

    I meant to reply earlier to this, but I was waiting with baited breath last night if I would be a billionaire lol. For whatever reason I can like some posts and not others, but I really do appreciate it. I knew OKC Talk would come through!

    Also, it is a huge relief to hear so many people say their 30's was better than their 20's.

    Quote Originally Posted by IanMcDermid View Post
    I think it's just different for our generation. People used to get married earlier, have kids earlier, it used to be easier to get home loans. I think it largely has to do with the job market. I read recently that millennials will have as many as 50 jobs in their lives. So I bring it up at a dinner convo. The baby boomers all took stock and no one had had more than 2 or 3 jobs in their life. Furthermore their parents generations only had ONE job, they turned 16 and went to work in the factory, or the bank, or the docks. Working towards their pentions, and deaths. Hardly anyone went to college. They got married, had kids, and by age 19 had enough work history to mortgage a little house that they lived in until they died.

    Now THATS sure gets me feeling better about how I spent my 20's lol. Hope some of that helps.
    Ian, I love your story! And the quoted part is especially true. When my dad was 26 back in 1986, he was already married, had two kids, in college, and was a homeowner. He was also in the military though, and everything was pretty much taken care of for them. It's simply a lot harder to make it nowadays. My dad has never been one to hold it me up to his expectations, but I do wonder if he secretly thinks I'm a loser lol. Heck, I am the weird one among my friends for only having 2 jobs after college...most have bounced around several times. FWIW, if there is one thing about this feeling of anxiety, is it has allowed me to really examine possibly changing careers soon. FYI I will be in town this weekend and we will make an effort to hit up the Pump while I'm there!

    On a more serious note, in typing this out yesterday I realized something. I no longer live in OKC and I'm not a huge fan of where I'm at now. And a big reason for that is I am surrounded by people, many my age, who are very successful but highly judgmental. I've gotten a lot of why don't you have this and at this age you should be doing that. Last month at a Christmas party someone said to me "You're 30 and still rent?" with the biggest look of disgust on her face. And while I am typically a person that could care less what people think of me (just look at some of my posts here) the combination of this on top of a creeping anxiety has probably allowed it to get in my head more than it should. So over the next year I am going to commit to dropping some crappy people out of my life.

    Anyway, somewhat of a stream of conscious ramble/rant. Keep the responses coming....

  15. #15

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by FighttheGoodFight View Post
    Something I would recommended even though it sounds cheesy. Tell your close friends how much they mean to you. Life is better with good friends.
    Not cheesy at all. I think I will try it this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
    P.S. If you can't drink more than two glasses of wine, I might consider seeking medical attention. At 29 and 30, you can't drink like you are in college but you shouldn't be there yet. That could be a sign that something else is going on other than age.
    I should probably add when i drink two glasses, they are REALLY big glasses and I typically fill them all the way up. So I doubt it's anything more than age.

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    This is good stuff. Thanks for the link.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    Multi-focal contacts - one of the best inventions ever!

    I'm 50, BTW, and to me 30 was just a number (all birthdays are just a number to me), so I can't give much advice. But I will say this - if you can look back on your life, and think "Eh, wouldn't change much (we *all* would change *something*, given the chance), enjoyed what I did, not many regrets", then you'll be good. We don't own a house (were in the process of starting to buy until my wife got laid off), don't have much retirement (need to start working on that way harder), no kids (by choice), drive older cars (8 and 12 years old), and have quite a bit of "stuff", but also have great experiences (Paris, San Francisco, NOLA, David Bowie concert in 83, Boris concert a few years ago, lots of other great shows, plays, restaurant meals, etc.) and not many regrets (there are a few - not buying a house sooner, moving to Seattle, not saving for retirement). Just basically live your life the way you want to, within reason, and it'll all work out.
    If I may ask - what happened that put moving to Seattle in the regret category?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by adaniel View Post
    So over the next year I am going to commit to dropping some crappy people out of my life.
    I've never really shared personal details about my life on OKCTalk and I'll spare you from having to be the first to read it, but I will say that cutting crappy people out of my life was one of the absolute best things I ever did. I used to kick it with some people that I finally realized were just toxic pieces of **** and weren't worthy of my time. I cut them out and life has done nothing but improve. Crappy people will drain the life right of you. Don't take all year to cut them out. Do it and be better for it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Just a quick comment: my 30's were way better than my 20's.

    I bet your best years are still ahead of you.
    Hopping on the encouraging bandwagon here... I'm only 25 so can't really speak to this thread (though I'm having my own version of these feelings, just scaled down to my mid-20s lol), but my boyfriend is 35 and went through the same feelings around 29 or 30. Now that he's in his mid-30s the birthdays don't bother him anymore... he has obviously not followed the "traditional" path but is seemingly much less bothered by the passage of time in his 30s vs. 20s when expectations were so prevalent. I don't doubt that I'll have the exact same thoughts as you, but from his perspective and Pete's, there's no reason why your 30s can't be even better than your 20s. /twocents.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by adaniel View Post

    On a more serious note, in typing this out yesterday I realized something. I no longer live in OKC and I'm not a huge fan of where I'm at now. And a big reason for that is I am surrounded by people, many my age, who are very successful but highly judgmental. I've gotten a lot of why don't you have this and at this age you should be doing that. Last month at a Christmas party someone said to me "You're 30 and still rent?" with the biggest look of disgust on her face. And while I am typically a person that could care less what people think of me (just look at some of my posts here) the combination of this on top of a creeping anxiety has probably allowed it to get in my head more than it should. So over the next year I am going to commit to dropping some crappy people out of my life.
    This sounds like my experience with my social group in Edmond when I first moved back to Oklahoma. I pretty much had to cut those people out of my life because they were making me feel inferior and miserable. I still deal with this kind of crap from my family but you can't choose them...you can choose your friends. People should accept you for who you are and where you are in life as we are all individuals. I have personally found central OKC to be a lot more chill in this regard than Edmond. I am sure DFW, as large as it is, has different attitudes in different parts of the city. This idea in suburban America that one should have to be to a certain point by a certain age, i.e. married by 22, kids by 25, homeowner by 30 is bullcrap.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Working on my 3rd 30 here and life is better each year for us. Work and don't expect to obtain anything you don't work hard for. In fact, Steve Harvey has a pretty good video;

  21. #21

    Default Re: Turning 30

    I'll chime in here as well. I'm 46, and age has always been a number to me, so I'm lucky. I still feel like high school and college were not that far back. It probably helps that I didn't have my (only) child until I was 37. People my age (gulp, a lot of them) already have grandkids, and it seems to have aged them into this whole other world, both mentally and physically.

    Anyway, the advice I give you is this: Don't be afraid of change. We all get so wrapped up in our comfort zones (even if unpleasant) that the older we get, the harder it is to change when change is needed. I was trapped in that mentality for many years in both my work and my personal life. Finally, within the past two years and with the strong encouragement of one of my lifelong best friends, I've made substantial changes in both those areas. The results are incredible. People who know me from both "seasons" continue to comment that I'm a completely different person now. That's not to say that my life is perfect--far from it--but rather to say that if you're not in a place (mentally/physically/educationally/career, etc.) where you feel like you are making your best contribution to a good life for yourself, then don't be afraid to just go for it and take the leap of faith! If it works, then great. If not, are you really any worse than you were before?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by turnpup View Post
    Anyway, the advice I give you is this: Don't be afraid of change. We all get so wrapped up in our comfort zones (even if unpleasant) that the older we get, the harder it is to change when change is needed. I was trapped in that mentality for many years in both my work and my personal life. Finally, within the past two years and with the strong encouragement of one of my lifelong best friends, I've made substantial changes in both those areas. The results are incredible. People who know me from both "seasons" continue to comment that I'm a completely different person now. That's not to say that my life is perfect--far from it--but rather to say that if you're not in a place (mentally/physically/educationally/career, etc.) where you feel like you are making your best contribution to a good life for yourself, then don't be afraid to just go for it and take the leap of faith! If it works, then great. If not, are you really any worse than you were before?
    True words. Sometimes change is difficult even if we know its going to be for the better, because it requires us to step out of our comfort zones. It's easier to just continue in the status quo, even if it makes us miserable, than it is to take a leap of faith and make a change.

  23. Default Re: Turning 30

    I'll roll over 63 later this year. Life is really good, but I read a study one time that examined what people 'regretted' -

    And #1 on the list is what people didn't do in life as opposed to what they did.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Some things may be downhill for the next decade or so but then it gets better. That may not be for you but if it is, you're normal. Maybe being aware will help. Good luck.

    Cite:

    The U-Bend of Happiness

    The surprising finding is that people increase in happiness until around 30 then happiness heads downward into midlife and then back up again to higher levels after the 50ís. This U-bend of happiness seems to hold true even across cultural differences. People are the least happy in their 40ís and 50ís with the global low point being 46 years. Past middle age there seems to be growing happiness into the later years that occurs regardless of money, employment status or children.

    The Relationship of Age and Happiness: A Surprising Finding | This Emotional Life

  25. #25

    Default Re: Turning 30

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellaboo View Post
    I'll roll over 63 later this year. Life is really good, but I read a study one time that examined what people 'regretted' -

    And #1 on the list is what people didn't do in life as opposed to what they did.
    I read an article on Yahoo! that said something similar. That and they regretted "worrying" so much as it didn't change anything.

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