Doomsday: 30th Birthday

30. The epic age that plagues all women. Something mysterious happens right after 29…. the world feels like it’s crashing down. Now, myself, I’ve yet to experience this terrifying day. I’ve still got a few years ahead of me but the very thought makes me shutter. However, I have known quite a few women who have braved this birthday with courage and class (and a little bit of alcohol) and lived to tell about it. So what is it about these two little numbers 3 and 0 placed side by side that sends us into a tailspin? Well, I actually found a book that sheds a bit of light on the subject! Enter: “Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation – And What to do About It” by Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin.

Interestingly enough, it all starts with a little thing called Girl Power. Our mothers’ generation (the Baby Boomers) broke through the glass ceiling and fought hard for us to be able to be anything we want to be and told us, their daughters, that we can do it all. Instilled in a young age was the thought that we can be a surgeon, run for President, be a mother, make it to the gym and have dinner on the table by 6p.m.. We were raised to resemble Superwoman both in the corporate world as well as at home.

Anyone feeling a bit worn out?

Now a days, women of Generations X & Y are starting to feel the unforeseen consequences of being able to have it all. By age 30, we’re worn out, stressed and ready to call it quits. Women that started their lives as little girls playing soccer from 3-4, dance lessons from 4-5, piano lessons from 5-5:30, dinner at 6, a play date at 6:30 and finished the evening reading and practicing math flash cards from 7:30-8:30 have been multitasking from day one. Being pushed to be all that we could possible be and given every opportunity under the sun, somewhere along the line, we forgot about real life.

According to “Midlife Crisis at 30” women across the nation, no matter their profession, are all having individual meltdowns right around their 30th birthday. Many women focus on education and career during their 20s and put their personal life on hold. Suddenly, at age 30, we’re smacked with two scenarios:

1. There’s no personal life in sight. No potential husband or partner, no possibility of kids in the near future and a career we work 12 hour days at only to come home to an empty apartment and bad Chinese food.

2. We’ve recently gotten married, our careers are taking off like never before and we’re feeling the biological pressure to have kids now before we’re physically unable. We’re pulled in three directions and find ourselves smack dab in the middle of three very important life situations and a bit stressed to say the least.

It seems that what the Baby Boomer women worked so hard for has come back to bite us in the behind a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I think I can say for our entire generation that we are eternally grateful for everything that has been done for us but we are at a unique crossroads that women have not been before: we have TOO many options and have realized we can’t do it all. Even with all of our so-called success – the perfect job or the perfect husband or the perfect degree… there’s frequently something missing from our life – some sort of feeling of substance that we keep searching for.

The solution? Well, that’s for another post but I can safely say that we do all know there is life after 30 – it just might not look like what we thought it would. What I’ll leave you with is a scene from the hit sitcom, FRIENDS featuring Rachel on her 30th birthday. I think we women can all safely say… we completely get her tears.

-Caitlin

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~ by caitlinludwig on November 30, 2010.

4 Responses to “Doomsday: 30th Birthday”

  1. Not to freak you out, but 25 was my hardest year. Growing older is fantastic! I wouldn’t trade in who I am and where I am at 27 to be 21 again 🙂 Bring it, 30!

  2. Tricia,

    I love your enthusiasm!! When I look back at some of the other years, I’m glad to be past them. Sometimes hind sight is 20/20. 🙂

  3. WOW!!! This is soooo true. I turned 30 this past May and even though I love my life, this is the age we are being pulled in many different directions. Thank you for this article I feel better knowing iam not the only one feeling this way.

  4. I totally agree with Tricia. I’m not going to lie; I’m only approaching 26 right now, but days before my 25th, everything fell to crap. The 7 year relationship I was in ended, I found myself without any real knowledge of dating as an adult, I had a house that needed two incomes and only one pay check, two dogs, a job I liked some days….It was all overwhelming. The way I’m looking at it, I’ve got nowhere to go but up.

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