My Haunting (almost) 30’s
By Cailin Chien
Turning 30 is something I’ve longed dreaded, and I know I’m not alone. Your twenties are for figuring out what your goals are and building a foundation to accomplish that. As I’m nearing 27, all my fears and worries about not finding the right job, not paying off my debts, and not being with my dream man has increased severely. In hopes of lowering the pressure and my own anxieties, I’ve decided to ask my friends what their worst fears are and what they’re most excited about.
Let’s start with the ladies - I wasn’t surprised to hear that a lot of my girlfriends’ fears surround being alone and feeling unaccomplished. The fear of remaining complacent and not seeing growth in our self-awareness, acceptance, and self-love is one answer that stood out to me. People in their twenties are learning to love themselves, learning to accept their own flaws all while loving others at the same time. And if we’re still struggling with that in our thirties, did we learn anything at all?
My guy friends also expressed their fear of feeling unaccomplished and not being financially secure. Most of them explained that hitting their career benchmark is especially important. What surprised me here was their excitement to open up a new chapter in their life and hopefully share it with someone. Instead of the typical “girl” answer of getting married and starting a family, they hope to experience love.
Dating someone who’s in their thirties has its perks. I can make fun of his old man habits (trust me, he has many!) and ask for advice because he’s already gone through what I’m experiencing. He’s constantly reassuring me that there will be time to do all the things I hope to accomplish. Learning to be patient and making the best of the journey is what’s important. Everyone has a path and things happen to people at different stages and ages. If things happen and you’re rerouted, that’s ok too. However, it’s especially important to be open to other opportunities to find your way back or create a new path.
What I learned through talking about this with my friends is we’re all struggling with the same pressures and anxieties. We can blame society but really, we put the pressures on ourselves. We might still struggle with all the same things we’re struggling with now or have new pressures and anxieties we’ll have to work through. The real fear is thinking we’ve learned enough and that we can stop growing. Closing ourselves off to new ideas and adventures because we’re hitting a certain age. Maybe our twenties is just a time with simpler needs and responsibilities and maybe we’ll always be figuring out what our path is. I just hope I have fun along the way.