There is life after age 30 Part I


If I ever hear the phrase, “Do it while you’re/they’re young!1!ELEVENTYONE!1!” again, it will be too soon.

Get this. Not everything in the world has to be done by a certain time in your life. You don’t need to travel the world, be fluent in five languages, buy a house, have children, get that great job, ad infinitum by the time you’re 25.

Nine times out of ten, people that employ that line of reasoning are the type of people that think everyone should do things their way all the time and that you are less of a person for doing it differently. After all, why spend 18 years of life being less of a person? DO IT NOW AND KEEP YOUR KIDS FROM BEING LOSERS!

Certain things are easier to do if you are young. Athletic training and learning a second language fluently are two of them. Yopung adults tend to have more energy and flexibility than older adults and children pick up languages faster than adults do.

But guess what. There is NOTHING stopping you from doing what you want to do at any point in your life (assuming class, health, and other issues of privilege don’t get in the way). You don’t *have* to do it right this second. You don’t have to do it the way the Joneses do it. Do if your way on your time.

Older adults can and do get active. Older adults can learn langauges and in some respects are better learners than children are.

There are advantages and disadvantages to doing things older vs. doing things younger. Don’t worry about packing your life full. You will never pack your life full enough. Every time you make a choice, you miss out on something else.

If you don’t get to do something you want to do, make it worth your while anyway. If you can’t travel, do research and watch foreign media. If you can’t start your own business, do something on the side or help someone else realize their ambitions. That way, when you DO get the chance, you will be prepared for it. You will have knowledge and experiences that you would not have had before and you will get more out of your endeavors.

Also remember that you don’t need to be talking or doing in order to get something out of life. For one reason or another, people assume that if you are an introvert or a homebody, you’re small-minded, unproductive, boring, and neurotic. You need to get out of your comfort zone (Christ in a cracker, I hate that platitude.) Don’t listen to them.

It is just as important to sit, listen, and reflect as it is to be out doing. You can’t take in what you’ve learned, and you can’t truly know yourself, until you have spent some serious time in reflection. Many artists, scientists, and other great thinkers have spent hours in solitude and quiet doing their work. Many great thinkers excel in multiple disciplines, but they do their best work in a few. Einstein played violin, but that’s not what he is remember for, is it? People that cover a lot of ground don’t always get much out of it because they can never give it the attention it deserves. The rolling stone gathers no moss. (People can spend their whole lives traveling the world looking for themselves and never finding it. Others pack their lives full of stuff because they are terrified of being alone with themselves. Yet when was the last time we insisted that these people “move out of their comfort zones,” slow the fuck down, and really evaluate themselves? But that’s anothe rant).

If you want to travel the world but aren’t interested in being a backpacker, why not wait until you are in your 30s? You will have a more mature perspective on life and people and will have time to learn more about the language and culture. Or if you plan on settling down in your 30s, you can do it as a young person and reflect on it later.

If you want to go to college because you want to have a job, a house, and settle in, go to college as a young person. If you want to go for personal enrichement, maybe going as an older adult is a better idea.

It’s your life, and there are upsides and downsides to each path you take. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are less than because your priorities are different or because you are going off the beaten path.

The same goes for your children. They DO NOT have to be fluent in five languages, winning spelling bees, and accepted to Harvard by the time they are 12. Assuming that they don’t burn out, they won’t necessary understand or benefit from it. They won’t necessarily use it. Some things-get this-are better off waiting for!

We all know young people that screw around in college and appreciate it only when they have to work in the real world. Then they know what an investment it really is. Having children is similar. Young moms can be good moms. You don’t need to be old or rich, or a PhD to be a good parent. On the other hand, it’s a good idea to at least have a diploma, a job, a sense of self, and some humility before becoming a parent. In that respect, parenting lends itself to the 20s rather than the teens. On the other hand, being older might mean less time and energy to pursue kids. Some people get lost in their careers or other obligations and the domestic sphere falls by the wayside. While this is a chosen lifestyle for many, others wish they had gotten married or had children (earlier).

And that’s all good. There is an abundance of life (and hopefully more brains) after age 30.

Raise the roof if you’re over 30 and still going strong.

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9 comments

  1. Allison · December 8, 2011

    I am 29 and looking forward to the next decade. No, my life is not figured out by any means–I am still finishing my college degree while working full time. My husband is under-employed and still struggles with his anxiety disorder. We still want kids, travel, careers, and so on, but I’m not going to waste any more of my time worrying that we don’t have it all yet.

    Hat’s off to you.

  2. jenincanada · December 9, 2011

    27 and really looking forward to my 30s. The 20s have been full of BIG ups and downs and I’m looking for a calmer, more satisfactory 30s. Not that I don’t have things to be proud of here in my 20s, but things could be a bit more stable. Great post, will be sharing.

  3. KellyK · December 9, 2011

    I turned 30 about six months ago. I was a little bit “Oh noes, 30!!” about the whole thing until I realized that my 20s were infinitely better than my teens, and the later 20s were better than the early 20s. So there’s no reason for my 30s not to be even better still.

  4. Kimmyfromttheblock · December 11, 2011

    It really depends on what you call a life…I did not find much to life after 30. At 30 I still felt young and kiddish but everyone made me feel old. At 34 well that was the magic age. I no longer felt young at all. I felt middle-aged. If you aer single make no mistake it get’s harder to find a man that you will like if you are a picky person after age 30. If you are single and find someone that loves you, that you find attractive well get it while you can. Once a girl turns 30 also be prepared for every 45-50 year old to hit on you. They’re figuring you feel as though you are getting old and that you will settle on them. I am 35 now and have found my 30’s to be absolutely miserable by comparison to my 20’s. I would imagine it only get’s worse in your 40’s. I want to be realistic and getting older is no fun. I wish people would just admit it. In the end we all are gonna look like crap so I don’t know why people say age is just a number or getting older is better. I guess people have to tell themselves something to cope.

    • JoannaDW · December 12, 2011

      I’m sorry that your life did not turn out the way you wanted it to, but I would appreciate it if you did not project your dissatisfaction with your life onto the rest of us. Not everyone ages the same way, and not everyone agrees with your idea of good-looking. Lots of people over 30 find lovers, travel, have children, and lead active, healthy, happy lives. Will it be just like when you were in your 20s? No, but it is not impossible, improbable, or inferior. And what makes you think all women over 30 want to be attached? Maybe they remained unattached that long for a reason.

      You also seem to have missed my point that *some* things DO lend themselves to being older-like parenting, even if getting older overall sucks for you.

      I suggest that you do something to improve your life rather than tear down someone else’s.

      BTW, I’m 22. So I’m hardly in a position of “just trying to cope.”

  5. siya · December 27, 2011

    I am 29 and in few months will enter into my 30’s. I use to think that it will be hard for me …but hey to my surprise I still feel fresh, young and dynamic. I think it was all possible because of the people I have in my life and all the god granted gifts. To mention here I am diabetic and 30 and married…but no one can guess my age and still treat me like I am 5 yrs younger.You have to be happy, contented, share joys with others, help others and that’s what will make difference to your soul and in turn your body.

    • asif · February 19, 2012

      Well I suppose age is just a fact of life. It is part of “living” just like everything else is i.e. eating sleeping… We just have got to mature up get over ourselves and accept + be at peace with our natural cycle of life.

  6. Ro · August 23, 2013

    I’m 32, in my second year of a bachelor, (still haven’t gone over seas, am going next year in July), have no problems with admires (infact the number of admires has increased since my twenties). I am newly single and enjoying it, I paint, write, cook and have taken up many new hobbies such as ice skating and Do I miss my party hard twenties? No, Do I think society brainwashes people in believing your life is dull after 30? Yes. I still have many challenges, like every other person, as I did in my teens and twenties, but I wont let a number define me. I would be extremely saddened if a younger person believed that after 30 their life is over. My advice, open your mind, believe, you have a new opportunity to recreate your life every single day, no matter how many times you have fallen.

  7. Ro · August 23, 2013

    Sorry, I meant admirers, admires

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