Did you have the same odd feeling as I had before turning 30? The feeling that one third of your life is over and you haven’t accomplished anything? That there is nothing more waiting for you, and you ended up like the grasshopper that didn’t prepare for the winter? Nothing more wrong.
Apparently in your 20’s you are supposed to enjoy yourself and in your 30’s you are supposed to learn your lessons. Maybe, but enjoying yourself in your 30’s is much more fun! Let’s be frank about one thing. In your 20’s you are mostly broke as you spent your hard-earned cash on rent and booze during Friday parties. How could it be different? Until half of your 20’s you are at university, doing a part time job maybe. For the second half of your 20’s you figure out what you want from life and occasionally make some major fuck ups. Then the day comes when you realise that you turned 29 and you have no clue what to do next. Been in the same place six years ago. Remember as it was today. Was talking to my bestie PRS after a horror movie marathon saying that everything is wrong, and I’ve wasted my time chasing after unrealistic things. PRS told me – hey don’t worry stuff changes after you turn 30… trust me had the same thoughts last year. She was right. The moment I turned 30 it felt like somebody turned on a light in a dark room. Things I used to worry about, things that seemed unsolvable were now irrelevant. I have no reasonable explanation for the change.
Maybe there is a little switch in the brain that gets activated during your 30th birthday. As the switch says – add more, don’t give a damn.
This might be it as after 30 I got more relaxed about life and adopted a view of – I’ll embrace whatever comes my way and I won’t swim against the odds.
Now being halfway through my 30’s I can confidently say that switching from 2 in the front to 3 was the best thing that could happen to me. I finally figured out how I want my life to look and what to do to achieve it. I became more self-aware and learned how to address difficult matters. Some examples, shall we?
1. Salary negotiation
When applying for my first job I didn’t know how to articulate what my salary expectations are. Why? I was afraid what the hiring manager would think about me. I didn’t wanna come across as greedy. Besides I didn’t feel comfortable talking about salary or a potential salary rise with my employer. There also comes the aspect of not having that much work experience in general at the age of 25 to be eligible to ask about any salary at all. Since that first job interview, I have no issues anymore talking about salary expectations with my employer. One thing is that I gathered relevant work experience over those 10 years. Second thing is, I realised that I deserve a fair salary for the work I do. Now, what advice can I give you to overcome the salary discussions blockade earlier.
If you are looking for your first job and you are not sure how much you should earn, do a small internet research on average salaries in the sector you are applying for.
It’s easier said than done but put all your courage together and articulate the amount you would like to earn. Yep, I know it’s hard but it’s like sitting on a rollercoaster. You are afraid in the beginning when the rollercoaster goes up but after the straight down it’s not that scary anymore. Lastly, be open. If you know that your experience is not sufficient, be open with the employer. Say that maybe you haven’t been managing project tasks, but you were studying at two faculties at once which means you know how to prioritise your tasks.
2. I don’t like it
In my 20’s I was terrified to say that I don’t like something. While shopping for clothing the shop assistant suggested I try on a dress or shirt. I did it despite not liking it. I thought that it would be impolite to say that the piece of clothing is not my style. Result, sometimes I ended up buying a T-shirt I didn’t like at all. It’s not the case anymore. I realised that all shop assistants regardless of shop profile or broader service sector are there to advise and help. Last year when shopping for ski accessories I wasn’t afraid to say that I didn’t like this or that pair of goggles. I was specific in describing what I’m looking for and eventually found the perfect pair of goggles. Same is with saying that something is out of my budget. Previously I used to say that I’ll think about it and come back later. Obviously, I never came back to the shop. What’s more, I was avoiding going to that shop in the future. Crazy right? Now I have no hesitation to say that a pair of shoes for example is out of my budget and I’d rather wait till they are on sale. Surprisingly the shop assistant usually says… Oh we have a sale coming up in two months feel free to pop in. Well, there are some persistent salesmen but there is a way to say no to them without ending up buying unnecessary stuff. The advice I can give you is to say “no thank you” every time you are not convinced about buying goods or services. There is nothing wrong to say to a shop assistant – Mam, sorry but that is not my colour. You have it in black? Or saying, thanks I tried it on, but I don’t feel comfortable in it. The shop assistant won’t get mad at you or won’t judge you. A bit trickier are the persistent salesmen who do cold calls. I used to hear what they have to say every time as I felt sorry for them. Now I simply say, Sir/Madam sorry but I’m not interested. To save mine and your time I’ll hang up now. Thanks.
3. What people think about me
The two above examples summarise to the ultimate anxiety when you’re in your 20’s – what will people think about me when I do or say something.
In your 30’s you just think… who cares, don’t give a damn. Man, there was a time in my 20’s when I didn’t leave the house without makeup. Even when going to the local supermarket I had to put on makeup as I had the fear in me of what people think if they see me without makeup. Geez how stupid that was. Strangers who didn’t even know me should have an opinion about me, really?! Now I don’t care if I’m going to pole training or to the supermarket downstairs, I can’t be bothered to pun makeup on. Point is that in our 20’s we still struggle with our identity and put lots of emphasis on the opinion of others about ourselves. As time goes by and we reach our 30’s we know more about ourselves, who we are, and the opinion of others stops being important to us. A hint on how to get there… it’s not revealing. Just take a pen and a piece of paper and write down all the things you are good at. That helps with self-esteem 😉
So, what makes turning 30 so fabulous? Apart from all the realising who you are and what you want from life stuff, your 30’s just give you power. Suddenly you realise that all those things you weren’t able or couldn’t do in your 20’s are now possible. You stopped caring what others think about you, so you do all sorts of crazy stuff. Wear an ABBA costume to a party, order an uber and have fun watching the driver’s facial expression when you get in. Also, one of my favourites. I went for a kobido face massage with kinesiotaping. Meaning I had colourful tapes on my face. Well, the uber driver looked a bit surprised when I got into the car, but he couldn’t stop himself from asking. Mam what do you have on your face 😀
I mean in your 30’s you become more confident and aware of what you can and can’t do. What’s more your perspective changes and you lose the fear of setting out your expectations. This Monday for example I went to an acrobatics class, but it didn’t meet my expectations. Had no hesitation to say that it’s not what I was expecting so I won’t come again to the training and will look for something else.
I will definitely be sharing more with you about life after 30 in the coming posts. Like travel, dating, partying, enjoying life, health, habits changes etc. So stay tuned 😉