Last week I turned 30. I’m always reflective when I have a birthday, especially one as symbolic as entering the 30’s. I’m not sure at what point in life we start to determine “deadlines”. I just know that most of us create this expectation in relation to certain ages.
I’m not going to get into an unrealistic expectation of thinking I should be a millionaire, because I don’t even know if it’s possible to be 100% fulfilled at any time in this life. I also know, very well, that there are careers and vocations that can emerge well beyond the age of 30.
But then I do wonder why there seems to be so much insecurity about the steps that I have achieved so far in my life? I know that many will identify with this, and also, I would like to add, that in reality, it has little to do with age. You can have this insecurity when you are 20, 30, 40, 70 years old. It has a lot to do with expectations .
I have the impression that working with the internet fosters a somewhat cruel comparison culture. Of course, all people, from all professions, are victims of comparison. But sometimes I felt a little old or inadequate in jobs or situations where I had to deal with people much younger than me. And I’m only 30! Rationally, I know I’m not old for anything in this life. But doesn’t it seem that there are thousands of rich and accomplished people in their mid-20s?
I think the keyword there is this: “seems”. Just because it seems like everyone around us is younger and more fulfilled doesn’t mean that this is the case.
But this article is not about influencers with “perfect lives” or dream sellers. It’s about how we receive this information, compare ourselves to patterns that don’t exist, and create expectations about our lives that invariably lead to frustration.
I’m here to say that it’s okay if you haven’t accomplished everything you expected at 30, or 40, or whatever. Also because it’s not a race, and we don’t know what is actually going on in each other’s lives. It’s okay to rethink goals, be kinder to your limitations and, importantly, appreciate what you’ve already achieved.
There is a very good phrase that I read recently on the internet: “ Do you remember when you dreamed of having what you have today? “. I think that this is something that could do us well to reflect on from time to time: being grateful for what we have and valuing everything we’ve already achieved, which I’m sure isn’t little.
I write this text for you, but also for me, to remember that my journey here was not perfect by any means. However, I tried my best and focused on doing the right thing where I could.
What about you? What have you achieved in recent years that you forgot to appreciate while thinking about what you still lack?