ASK LUCY: I’m turning 30. Fuck.

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Dear Lucy,

This year I turn 30 and I don’t feel so good about it.

When I was younger I thought I would have accomplished so much by 30 – naïve me thought I might be my own girl boss, have a guy friend that I like more than most who I would consider procreating with, maybe own a house/ apartment and generally be a bad-ass.

At this stage: I’m single & renting (without cats, so at least that is something), I work at a company I feel ok about but am in no way used to my full potential and babies? for-get-about-it.

I’ve traveled, I live abroad, I have enough memories to last a lifetime – but in a basic adult sense, I’m probably taking the piss.

I really do know it’s just a number, but my lack of ‘accomplishments’ is making me feel like a bit of a boob.

Help,

Anon.

Dear Anon.

Feeling like a boob sums this situation up perfectly, and to be fair – you are preaching to the choir. The thing is, I think everyone feels weird when they turn 30. The only people that don’t are:

  • People who aren’t yet 30, and patronise you by saying it’s not such a big thing (fuck off – you aren’t even there yet).
  • People who are over 30, and have the know-how to legitimately be able to patronise you without you being wholly offended.

I felt weird about being 30 for ages. Actually, I still feel weird. My general sense about the people rolling into their 30’s is that we all thought we would be bona-fide rockstars by the age of 25. And that’s a pretty legitimate thought, because.. well – let’s break it down:

  1. University was more or less advertised as the stepping stone to the rest of your life, so… when you finished at 24 you had at least 6 years to get your shit together, prove yourself at a job and BOOM – BE A BOSS, by 30.
  2. Television showed you all these fabulous people, like the Melrose Place gang and that Devil Wears Prada movie, where 23 year olds are living in sick apartments/ traveling the world, taking names and walking in high heels without even getting sore feet. Yeah, if they can do that at 23 – SURELLLLLY I would have managed even part of that by 30.. Or?
  3. Your parents probably got married at 20-25 years. So.. As a kid, when your little brain thought marriage was an achievement you should unlock – 30 seemed like an achievable marriage number.

Fact of the matter, things just don’t happen like that. Perhaps they used to – but when people were getting married at 24, working their way up the corporate ladder in their mid-20’s, buying houses and generally owning their “serious” life – they weren’t having any fun. If I think about all the things I have seen/ done at the age of 30 in comparison to those my parents age (at the age of 30), I’m probably winning.

I’ll tell you what is an accomplishment? Living your life; and the living part of that is entirely subjective. If living for you is: owning a house, having a husband, procreating and being at a senior level at your job – then, fuck – yeah sorry, thirty is terrible. But if it’s more about the “journey” (and I put that in quotes because I realise how vomit inducing that is) then probably you are ok. I don’t think you will look back on life, in a big picture sense and reflect on how many promotions you had – but more over how many funny/ cool/ exciting experiences you got around.

If you feel like you haven’t done anything, life is hopeless, let’s all give up – just quietly, we are not even at the halfway point, you’ve got heaps of time – and that’s the fucking cool bit.

Lucy

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About LUCY

Femme of sass, sometimes.