I spoke with a friend recently who told me about his experience at a business launch party he attended in New York City. At this party, he spoke to many people between the ages of 20-30, who expressed a shared fear that at around age 30 (or maybe 35), they will get married, have children, work a steady job, and life will stop after that.
His story really resonated with me, because I had the realization that, 'WOW, I have this fear too! I am 25 and actively building my life right now to avoid this VERY thing because I don't want my life to stop after 30!'.
So if so many of us are walking around with this belief in our head, then the first question I want to ask is, 'Is it true?'
Well quite frankly, no. It simply is not.
There are 2 points that I would like to make around this.
Point #1 We all have a choice.
You might be someone who shares in the belief that your life will stop at the age of 30, or 35. I most certainly am not immune to this belief -- there is a certain amount of pressure we all face when it comes to accomplishing certain things at a certain age in our life.
I will be turning 26 this September, and I've noticed a lot of Facebook statuses being changed to "Engaged" lately. I can't lie and say that I haven't had a certain amount of fear showing up around myself "finding-someone-to-settle-down-with-for-the-rest-of-my-life-by-the-age-of-30".
The interesting thing with this, however, is that my fear doesn't come up for the sake of myself - I love my single self and the freedom I have - but where the fear comes up is around what other people think, or what I perceive they might think.
The good news is, I am now fully aware of my beliefs and my fears in this area.
And with awareness comes choice.
You can choose to live by what you believe to be the expectations of others, and what you believe you need to do in order for others to love and accept you; but if doing so will cause you to feel like your life has stopped, is this the choice you really want to make?
You need to do what excites you, and what makes you feel most alive. Living your life based on the perceived expectations of others will squander your best self, and will not allow you to fully live out your purpose.
The good news is, we all have a choice, and all the pressures and expectations ultimately exist nowhere but in our own minds. In fact, when you live life on your own terms, outside of the perceived expectations of others, you may just find other people telling you that what you are doing is inspiring.
Point #2 Life doesn't have to stop when you have a family.
On the other hand, you may truly want (totally for yourself) these things that typically come at around the age of 30: a partner, a home, a steady job, children, etc.
In this case, could you not just as easily believe that at around age 30 you will get married, have children, work a steady job you love, and your life will not stop, but rather, BEGIN?
Life doesn't have to stop when you have any or all of these things.
Perhaps you could have a family with whom you travel the world on a budget. Perhaps you could live in a community where the pressures of raising children are relieved by community support. Perhaps your partner and family could offer you opportunities for learning, exploration & growth that you never even imagined! Perhaps it could all be one grand adventure while you stay in one place, exploring things anew right in your home town.
The possibilities are endless! If you feel trapped by the "age-30-scenario", then ask yourself, 'Which part of it makes me feel like my life will stop?'. Once you know that, then you can change it. Easy peezy.
What it comes down to is that we all derive fulfillment and satisfaction through different means in life, and that's ok. We need to be accepting of this in ourselves, and in others.
If you aren't happy with your current situation, or you are harbouring a lot of fear about the future, the first step is to become aware of what beliefs you have about your current or future situation, and how those beliefs are limiting you. Once you are aware of these beliefs, you are ultimately free of them, because you have the choice to do what will truly make you happy. You will have the choice to either live out your Truth and your Purpose, or to live your life based on the expectations of others.
It's up to you.
Just remember that the possibilities are endless, and a truly fulfilling and joyful life is available to you by staying aware and open to the choices that will bring you the most joy.
To new beginnings after 30,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.