As I approach my mid-30s I’m beginning to wonder, is it time to settle down?
I’m in that weird stage where I’m not young enough to be lost but not old enough to have it all figured out.
Or am I? Should I know what I’m doing by now?
Ok, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I’m generally where I want to be and I believe I am exactly where I should be right now, but a part of me is still hella confused.
I really want to plant some roots somewhere, quit the rolling stone life and be that “I’ve lived here for 20 years” type of person. But maybe I should have thought about all this sooner.
I read a column in the Washington Post that said “If you’re in debt, you don’t deserve a vacation” and I felt that, but then I did the math. I’ll get to take a vacation in my 40s, as long as nothing changes in my life between now and then. It was down the rabbit hole from there, from babies to buying a house.
I’ve spent most of my life thus far just trying to make it to the next day, be it those traumatic teenage years and living day to day while I was homeless, to living month to month now that I’m on my feet. All this time I’ve been trying to find comfort in the uncomfortable.
I want nothing more in life than to finally feel comfortable.
I imagine comfort feels like a huge sigh of relief, a weight lifted off your chest. I could breathe if I was comfortable and not in a constant state of struggle. And for the umpteenth time, I’ve hit snooze on my biological clock.
But maybe your 30s is the best time to take it slow.
I think of people like Ava DuVernay who didn’t pick up a camera until she was 32. She then went on to be the first Black woman to direct a $100 million feature film, A Wrinkle in Time.
“This is a testament to whatever path you’re on right now is not necessarily the path you have to stay on,” DuVernay said in an interview with Refinery29.
Oprah Winfrey’s talk show went national when she was 32, Martha Stewart developed her catering company at 35, Toni Morrison was 39 when she published her first book, and Stephanie Meyer was 32 when “Twilight” published.
We’re all not out here trying to be celebrities, but I think it helps to soften the sting.
Being in your 30s is not when you have to have life figured out, but it’s when all your hard work finally pays off.
Knowing this, I can take some comfort. I know things don’t happen on my time, but I just want to get my Martha Stewart on.
Well, not that, but my life goal is to decorate my home as if Martha did it herself, then host dinner parties complete with a pantry straight out of the Container Store. And don’t let me be able to go into Target and buy the luxury bath towels instead of the cheap ones.
Once I get to that point in my life, it’s over for all y’all. Joanna Gaines, I’m coming for you too.
I don’t know when this struggle will finally be over, but I know I won’t take it for granted when it comes.
Wherever you are in your 30s, if you’re not where you want to be or don’t have what you want, make sure you’re doing what makes you happy. Use this weird time as an opportunity to re-evaluate your goals and values.
If you’re doing what you love, don’t stop. Instead, look for opportunities to expand and progress in it. If what you’re doing doesn’t lead you to where you want to be, take a note from Ava and pivot.
It’s not too late. It’s still just the beginning.