There was once a time when the only age-related crisis was the mid-life crisis, which was said to trigger around 40 years of age, and usually occurred among the testosterone-fueled male gender. Who can forget the various commercials, movies, advertising and entertainment instigated by tales of balding middle-aged men, shamelessly swapping Cadillac’s for Corvettes and wives for girlfriends? Yep, that was what we once had to look forward to. Those were the days…
Now, with student loan debt, foreclosure, social media anxiety disorder and general economic unrest at an all time high, crises seem to be in store for all age groups. The quarter-life crisis (which I regrettably endured) is a more recent phenomenon that threatens twenty somethings with unemployment, lack of healthcare, low wages, and worst of all, a humiliating walk down the path to your parent’s house, and consequently, your old room. It’s scary to grow up and face the real world. College is a blast, but reality hits you like a ton of bricks. Still, in your 20’s you’re invincible, you’re attractive, you live by the YOLO motto. You survive. Until you realize you’re about to turn 30. Then, it gets real. This is me. And what I call, The Almost-Thirty Crisis.
For the past two years, I’ve watched my peers freak out over their impending 30 th birthday. Personally, I didn’t see what the big deal was. After all, I was looking forward to entering my 30’s, and leaving all my bad decisions behind me, along with my 20’s. A fresh decade to make more mistakes? Bring it on! At least that’s what I told myself. I promised myself that I’d start my own 30’s off with a bang. I’d plan a trip, cross an ocean, lounge and live it up with my closest girlfriends. The only thing is, I’ll be 29 soon, and no 30th birthday plans have been made. In two months, I’ll be entering into the LAST year of my twenties. Crisis, activated.
Where has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday I graduated from college. In fact, it seemed not so long ago that I could party all night, work all day and never skip a beat. Before I could say career, or homeowner, or wife, or mother, 30 was on the horizon, and now there’s no turning back. My Almost-Thirty Crisis is here, and the only way to survive it is to….well…survive it. Here are some useful tips I’m using to get through it:
Take a breath, and pause. The first step is accepting it. Yes, you’ll be 30 soon. No, the world won’t stop.
Enjoy the lessons learned. Your twenties are often full of craziness, self discovery, and lots of learning. Take those lessons and move forward, smarter.
Be grateful. Be ecstatic to have made it this far, and hope for many, many, more years to come.
Accept change. Some relationships were lost among old college textbooks and empty tequila bottles. That’s okay. Leave them there and move forward with those who stayed through your ups and downs.
Look forward. Things happen. Don’t beat yourself up over goals you didn’t achieve or mistakes you made; you have a new decade to improve and get even better.
Time is not on our side. So seize the moments, hold on tight, and Instagram it for proof. Whether I celebrate my 30 th abroad, on an island, or at home with my loved ones, it’ll be a celebration indeed. An introduction to a fresh decade of possibility.
Now that, I can look forward to.