I came a couple of days ago from my hairdresser who is soon reaching the magical milestone of turning thirty. We talked about life, our plans and the wonderful feeling of having already achieved something during your lives. When you are in your thirties, you have something to look back to, accumulated knowledge, experiences, some wisdom, memories, also some mistakes. At the same time, there is something to look forward to. You have dreams, goals and some “empty time” that you don’t have any plans for. Being thirty feels good.
Recently, I have seen a lot of these “entertaining” articles that are listing things to do before turning 30. You should be working on your dream career, have a perfect spouse and know if you want to have kids or not. Basically, you should have all figured out. These lists feel so exhausting. Also comparing yourself to others does exactly the same. Many people in their thirties have interesting and challenging jobs. They have a mortgage, kids, the whole deal. And many of them say something like: ” I know what I want. I know who I am and I am so content with the place I am right now.” And there I am, listening and watching, and feeling like a loser.
We are all experts at something
It is no wonder that comparing yourself with others makes you feel even more confused. Before you turn thirty, you have usually done things at the same pace with your age group. You began your school at the same time, graduated on the same day, moved out from home around at the same time, and usually started dating at the same time. However, at the age of thirty, your lifestyles start to become fragmented, differentiated. Someone has three kids and a house in the countryside, another one is climbing on the career ladders, the third one is studying his or her second degree and the fourth one is taking part in a yoga retreat in Bali. We are all different if you look close enough. We all are masters at something and beginners at something. But for some reason, we seem to notice the things in which we haven’t achieved that much, but ignore the things we are experts at.
If something makes you feel exhausted, stop it
I used a lot of energy on comparing myself with others and stressing over for not being on “the same level” as others. I felt pressure for not having enough followers on my blog, for not being a “big boss lady” or let alone a business shark (despite my business degree). I didn’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I didn’t even know if I want to have kids or not. Then one day I just decided that if I feel exhausted when I compare my life with the lives of others, why wouldn’t I just stop comparisons altogether. Instead of observing the lives of others, why not to observe my own life? Then I started to notice how much I had developed. I had become a nicer person. I was a lot wiser, more mature, more me than ten years ago. I had walked a long way and reached many milestones, even though they were a bit different than for many others.
Be happy NOW
Sometimes I felt soooo much pressure for not knowing what I want to do when I grow up. Already in high school, I envied those who knew exactly what they want to do. I have always been curious and interested in many things. Nothing just hasn’t really popped up as my passion. Should one even find a passion, some particular purpose or calling?
However, at the age of thirty, I decided not to give f**s about that thing either. Who has ever found his or her calling by feeling stressed to discover one? I came to the conclusion that I should just list things I like to do and do that more. Simple as that. Instead of worrying about the future, I could focus on the present and make it as good as possible. Isn’t being happy today the most important goal one can have?
So here I am studying with people ten years younger than me. This is me planning interrail in Europe and an exchange year abroad. I am working with different projects, not making a lot of money but owning my life 100 percent! It really paid off to stop comparing myself with others. We are all unique.