Hitting the 30s is a hard hit. It can knock you down. At this age, you still don’t have to figure out what you want from life and you might still be completely lost like a teenager wanting to understand life. Well whether you care about age or not, moving from a decade to another has always somehow a certain impact on you, makes you realize what happened during the past years and reveals the lessons learned. Here is what I learned.
Please note that this post includes a lot of sarcasm.
Life is unfair
You will finally discover and realize that life is really unfair; maybe you kept thinking that good things are being prepared to you after a long period of struggles. I am sorry to tell you that life does not work this way; life is a cycle. The sun appears after the rain but it is a cycle. It is like a good student who keeps studying but who keeps failing as well. Working harder does not mean succeeding faster. Sometimes you can work hard and yet barely grow, and sometimes you can sit and do nothing and find opportunities knocking on your door. You will also discover that being good to people does not mean that people will be good to you. You will often find yourself wondering why bad things are happening to you even though you have been good. Well, I am sorry to tell you Santa does not exist. There is zero correlation between being good to people and people being good to you. It is a matter of ethics and education. It is a choice to be good. It is also a risk. And it is a decision that you take knowing that there is not a certain reward to it. Up to you to take that risk or not. It can be satisfying sometimes and disappointing other times.
You will also understand that death is not linked to age. Sometimes we die while still breathing and sometimes people stay alive even after they die. Some people die young without a real reason. Life is random. Or at least, the secret relation between life and death is still not revealed. So you learn that life is not about counting years until you reach your death bed, and life is not really short. Life is about short moments. Life is actually really long with plenty of short moments to enjoy.
Introverts are weird
You will realize that being an introvert in a non-stop talking world is equivalent to being weird. Only few will understand that you need your own space and that this doesn’t mean that you are not doing well. It simply means that you need some quiet quality time alone. Some will not understand and will keep asking what is wrong with you.
If you go to a party and you sit in your corner and enjoy quietly your drink, some will insist that you hit the dance floor. And when you refuse, they will tell you: “come on! Don’t be shy!”. They will never understand that it is not about being shy. You simply don’t like to dance (which is not equivalent to not liking or enjoying life). If, for example, I like strawberries and you don’t, how would you feel if I kept pushing you to eat strawberries to an extent that I stuff the strawberry right into your mouth? Well that’s the same feeling when you take my hand against my will and push me to the dance floor.
“And you read? Seriously? Who reads in 2017? Leave that book and let’s go partayyyyyyy – YOLO girl!” Well, our world is a long sleepless and boring party. People who read will wish to live on Mars. YOLO… I am personally thankful that we only live once. Once is already too much for me.
Being fake is the new being real
You will realize that being fake is the trend and is becoming the reality. Being real is not realistic anymore and will damage you in such world. You have to be an actor and take a part in this stage. You even have to act your feelings. Everyone knows that everyone else is acting but they are disregarding this and adopting the ostrich strategy. This acting lifestyle is working for them. And sometimes you realize that you have to learn to pretend with them to keep up. Otherwise, if you are too real and too honest, you will suffer and die painfully and slowly. You might encounter other real people. Never lose those. They will help you hang in there.
You will also realize that people around will continuously tell you how terrible gossiping is but at the same time they will start gossiping. People love the bla bla blas. Their lives are empty. I believe that we reached a time when we are really bored because life became easier. You will realize that an easier life where everything is accessible and available does not mean that life is less complicated. You will realize that it is actually more complicated and gets boring and you will start looking for alternatives in it to be able to spend what remains of your life despite the boredom.
A life lived on social media
On another level, you will realize that we live now in a social media world. You will realize that we are becoming a bunch of photos and quotes. We are losing our human side. Posting photos with a fake happy smile after more than 20 failed takes (can you keep smiling to a camera decently for more than a minute – is that the exact feeling at the exact moment that you want to share with the world? Take that challenge and let me know), posting photos with deep stolen quotes about life and its wisdom… that’s our current lifestyle. You don’t hit the gym anymore to work out for your health. You work out to tell others that you are. Well I am part of the social media world. Somehow, I try to keep up with my surroundings and I am an active person. But it is becoming tiring. I am somehow tired of seeing people faking their happiness. Why would we do that? Can someone just tell me please? Why do we show the world that we are doing fine when we are not? You will still not have answers to these questions when you hit the 30s.
You will learn that whatever you post and no matter how many likes you collect, you will not be happier and nobody really cares, including the closest people. I am personally someone who sometimes is sleepy at night and start liking all posts that I come across. There might be posts such as: “Eating vanilla for 20 days will make you live 80 years longer” that I liked without even noticing or reading the post. Many people are self-centered or are looking for anything that makes them feel noticed. And since people in the real world are too busy making money or struggling with daily challenges, these people try to get the attention they need on social media. But guess what? Social media can never give you that strong hug that will put back all your broken pieces together. Social media can never give you a real and decent conversation at 4 AM under a sky full of stars. Social media can never give you a real life. It is a lonely world in a crowded place. It is a place where some people turn their heads down and start collecting paper thumbs dropped on the ground and keep moving in the same place looking for more thumbs, while few others are walking forward looking up towards the real view.
Value V/S Price
You start realizing that value of things is much more important than the price. Yet, life does not work like this. You should have that overpriced-that can feed 200 families- bag with that big luxurious logo. Everyone should. It doesn’t matter if it is practical. You should! Go go go!
But yet, deep inside, you realize that life is much more than making money. You realize that you have to spend it wisely upon your needs not upon the society’s needs… You realize all this but you don’t act upon it.
However, I have learned last winter that a luxury silk scarf that costs 400 USD never made me feel warmer while the 10 USD wool scarf did. And guess what? That luxury scarf never made me look prettier or feel better. I have learned that it is a matter of the value of the item, not its price. And since then, I have learned my lesson and feel less interested in spending money on overpriced items that have no added value.
On another level and speaking of social media, if you are a woman, you should be a fashionista. Otherwise, you are weird. If you are a mother, you should be a fashionista mother (how cool is that!). You should not wear simple clothes. You definitely should not wear a simple black shirt with a pair of simple jeans. Even your pajamas should be fashionable. Make-up is a must anytime during the day and the night. Simplicity is no longer elegance. Only few people will know the value behind the human. Most of the people will only care about your image and more about the image that you reflect on them. Imagine someone driving a Bugatti with a nerd lady who read all quantum physics books, wearing glasses, a Birkenstock and a very boring shirt with Mickey Mouse on it – oh wait, t-shirts with Mickey Mouse are trending now; well you got the point. Does that look “right”? For me yes because I value this lady more than the Bugatti. But for many, the Bugatti deserves a better looking human.
Right v/s wrong
You will realize that there is nothing called right or wrong. Life is a perspective and a bunch of point of views. Even believing in God is a point of view.
Some people will tell you: don’t go to that place, it is wrong because it is full of bad people. This is a perspective. It is an opinion. What they call bad people could be the nicest people who were less fortunate and look bad compared to the more fortunate people.
Some people will tell you: “don’t befriend this person. Being friends with this person is wrong”. Who told you? Who gave you the authority to judge people by right and wrong? It is an opinion – not a judgement and a fact.
If you are still single, you will learn that people around will make you wonder if something is wrong with you. You will feel sometimes that it’s your fault that you are still not married. And the chosen one should be according to specifications set by your surroundings in some contexts.
If you are married, you might start regretting doing so at an early age – no one told you at an earlier age that getting married and having kids is more than it looks: it is not technically waking up next to the love of your life with a smile – it is more sleeping next to someone who snores or who takes the bed cover and leaves you freezing (whether intentionally or unintentionally) or waking up with a bad breath; it is not simply checking on the baby when they sleep with a lullaby playing in the background; it is more waking up at 3.30 AM after 3 sleepless nights in a row to a baby who cries while you try to silent all sounds around to make them sleep again until they do at 6 AM when you have to go to work. They will only tell you that it is a responsibility. But I hope you know to what extent this responsibility goes and what effort and time it requires before taking it. It is more about wanting to do it including the positive and negative aspects of it. including the sleepless nights. Including the snoring and the bad breath. Including the romantic moments and the challenging times. It is about wanting to do it and willing to do it with all its aspect.
If you are happily married then good for you and I hope you never get bored or find a reason to regret it.
Sacrifice or not?
You will learn that compromise and/or sacrifice are important when it comes to disagreements even if this does not mean a happy or right choice. Sometimes you have to make the sacrifice to please others. Stop saying that you don’t care about others’ feelings because if you have been raised on good ethics, even with a strong personality, you will always be under the pressure of ensuring the happiness of others even if sometimes it costs you your own happiness. There will come days where it is not about your happiness. Even if you realize that you are 30, adult and responsible enough to take décisions for your own happiness and life, you will be sometimes perceived as “you are only 30, you know nothing about life”. So better to wait until you are 60 and you will understand life and then start making your choices in life.
There are plenty of other lessons. But I believe that this is more than enough for now.