Turning 30: Not where I thought I would be

As my 30th birthday is quickly approaching (just a few days left now), I am feeling a strong need to reflect and take stock of where the hell I am in my life, where I’ve been, and where I should aim to go from here. And what better place to pour these thoughts out than onto the interwebs, of course. 😀

This is mostly a career-related rant. (For once, I have had years of feeling perfectly blissful in my personal life. You can’t have it all, eh?)

In all, I’m definitely not where I thought I’d be in terms of career and personal development by my 30th birthday. In fact, over the last year I’ve felt a terrifying and repeating pang that told me maybe I picked the wrong career and have been barking up the wrong tree. The meaningful, super serious, and prestigious career I’ve been working towards for the last 8 years. And the master’s degree. Yikes, would that be a big waste of time and energy, and my 20’s for god’s sake! It always seemed so glamorous and important from afar – but the realities of the industry and my job, have not been that. And I don’t feel particularly good at my job. And I’m not sure I want to be. Very sobering situation.

In all of my 20s I was proud of the fact that I chose a really meaningful career track and secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) judged bankers and high flying corporate lawyers for selling their souls. But somehow I still wasn’t spared from the 9-5 boringness, and on top of that, I don’t make anywhere close to what a soul-selling lawyer does. Womp womp.

So, nope. I don’t get to be one of those 30-year olds that have career climbing handled and are established in their field, and bla bla bla. Likely I’ll be pivoting to a new field or role eventually (this sounds better than a U-turn), and get to experience beginner woes all over again. So much for being an ‘expert’!

But then again, I say all of this knowing it’s not really a big deal. Or that it might seem like it now, but that in the end it will not be. Because one of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last 30 years is that you cannot live your life based on some kind of template. It’s okay to have different timing and prioritise different things than the status quo, and to figure out your own stuff in your own time. And also, it’s ok to change your mind. And discover that you actually now want something else. I mean, there are tons of successful people who didn’t even get on the map until much later in their lives, am I right? The important thing is knowing you have the power to make whatever you want happen and working as hard as is required. Maybe that’s what I’ll take into the coming decade. 🙂


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