August 18, 2014

Why 30 Really is the New 20

'Don't worry, 30 is the new 20!' This expression is usually used among a table of full cocktails, as a girlfriend turns the big 3-0 a midst clinking glasses, cheers, and toasts to the future. But unfortunately for us, 30 is really the new 20 in all the ways we wish it wasn't.

When you are 20, you have no money, no job, and no real direction in life. There seems to be an infinite menu of options. Yet as soon as you chose one, the others are eliminated from contention, and the fear of buyers remorse settles in like dust on unused china plates left too long on the bottom shelf of the buffet.

So 30 rolls around. the decade of contentment, prosper, direction. Except something changed somewhere between 2004 and 2009 when I graduated college and then law school, when financial powerhouses collapsed, markets tanked, and uncertainty ran rampant like unconstrained brush-fire. Now, as I build a family, buy a house, work hard to climb the ubiquitous corporate ladder, those 30-something fortunes are out of reach and in their place I find the familiar discontent of my 20's still alive and well a decade later.  It is in some ways different- security of marriage, love for others runs deeper, and caring for a child fills my heart with indescribable warmth and fear. And these treasures would have at one time seemed fictitious to my 20-something self.  But the feeling that things are still not settled, finances are tight, time is escaping and standing still all at once is present. And perhaps that is life. And really 20 is just a younger, more tolerant 30, and our 30-something selves can teach our 20-something selves to live in the moment, say thank you, and just keep calm.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! As someone still in my 20's I completely agree that it is difficult not only to land a job, but to find something you enjoy, save money, establish some sense of security, all while trying to find your way in life. When I graduated from college I was pretty insistent on figuring it all out within my first year out. Now five years later, I'm slowly learning to be patient, live in the moment and just take things as they come.


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