Today, Jezebel has a great essay by Tracy Moore about what it is like being in your 30s in this day and age. It really rings true to me. I can't tell you how many conversations I am having with friends these days where we talk about trying to figure out life, career, and choices in general. The resounding thing we all agree with is that THIS is going to be our year. This year is going to be epic. We all feel this wind of change, which I feel is really good, but it's interesting to me the urgency of it all. Like, if we don't do it this year, it is never going to happen. And then what? But the "then what" is still going to be our life. And as long as we do the best to live it to the best of our ability, we'll still be ok. But it doesn't feel that way, for some reason.
This part resonated with me:
The carefree feeling of going out every night is replaced with a nagging voice that now reminds you of the repercussions, of what you should really be doing instead, and of the choices that may be slipping away, whether they are career, family, or fun. You are suddenly, irrevocably unable to waste time in the same way without chastising yourself.
Boy oh boy, is that ever true! I've always been a worrier and someone who never feels like they have the right to relax, and it is just heightened more as I get older. I want to be seeing more shows, but yet all I ever want to do is be home. And when I stay home, I feel like I should be doing more out at night. I need a LOT of sleep, but yet always try to push my limits by forcing myself out of my comfort zone and staying up. And when I do anything at all that isn't clearing the clutter out of my house, cleaning, and doing laundry, I feel guilty for shirking my responsibilities. Why do we have to beat ourselves up so badly? For Lent this year, I gave up* beating myself up, and it is a constant challenge. I apologize for everything. I second guess conversations. And I hate it. The experiment has been somewhat successful, but still not 100%. Especially in the performance and entertainment world, there are mega ups and downs all the time--and I am finding myself being more affected by them. The good news is that, every now and then, I'll be hit with a moment of clarity where I just don't give a crap what anyone thinks of me and I realize that I can't be everything for everybody and constantly on all the time. That I need downtime and solitude in order to be successful at anything. And that feeling is great. I just wish it was my normal. And the cycle continues...
Anyways, I am all over the place with these thoughts. But you know, ultimately, I love being in my 30s. My 20s WERE fun and fearless and carefree (well, my early 20s were. Then we were faced with cancer and other illnesses, and that makes you grow up really quickly), but my 30s are a lot calmer, richer, happier. I am having MORE fun, as long as I can keep the self-doubt, guilt, and other negative thoughts at bay.
* My denomination doesn't require giving anything up for Lent, I just do it for self-discipline.