General Question

phred78's avatar

How do you break out of your "30s" drama?

Asked by phred78 (214points) August 19th, 2008

I turned 30 in February and got a bit depressed before the birthday and still am, thinking about all the things I didn’t do and wanted to. All the “failures”, etc.
But the problem is I’m still stuck. I know what I want/need to do to move on with my life, but it’s hard being a full grown-up. Anyone else been through this?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I know I went through a similar phase. What got me out of it? I spent some time as a volunteer at a retirement village. I learned from these people that not only had my life just begun, but that mistakes made in the past fade quickly and goals yet achieved were just around the corner. One dapper chap used to say to me: “Do what you want. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Make mistakes. A hundred years from now no one will care to remember…” Do yourself a favor and visit the wise old folks. I’m now approaching 50 and feel younger then I did when I was 30.

phred78's avatar

It’s not that I feel old or older. I’m just questioning everything these days. Like, am I in the right profession? Should I be doing something else? Shouldn’t I be doing only the things that give me pleasure and give me something back? Am I surrounded by the right people? It sounds silly to just go with the flow. I feel like I should be more active. I’ve actually been thinking about doing things for others, for nothing more but the simple pleasure of helping people, so your suggestion makes a lot of sense to me. I know, when my mother turned 50 she finally relaxed :-)

flameboi's avatar

Uff, I’m about to get into the 25 depression…

phred78's avatar

@flameboi: 25 is the point of no return. Hair starts growing where it never existed before :P

flameboi's avatar

Actually, I see it as a quarter of my life that’s gone, It’s time to evaluate if its going good or not…

sarapnsc's avatar

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate—that’s my philosophy.”—Thornton Wilder

Write down a list of things you want to do, before you die….use it every single day!

That’s what I have done, and I check it off every time I do one. I am always adding and subtracting to my list.

It’s a goal, and it is something to look forward to. Breathe in all the oxygen you can, and thank your higher power everyday, that you are fit and healthy and are physically and mentally able to do these things.
Many, many, many people aren’t able.
Look at your life and find someone who isn’t as healthy as you, who don’t have friends, who don’t have a job and is homeless, who died at the age of 30, WHO JUST AREN’T AS FORTUNATE as you are. Tell yourself…I am thankful for being in my 30’s and being given this life and healthy body! Talk to yourself and tell yourself the things you are grateful to have been given, not what you haven’t been given.

Celebrate!!!!!!!!!!!! that is the reason for BIRTHDAYS!
Just celebrate life!

phred78's avatar

@sarapnsc: Thanks for the positive advice =)

flameboi's avatar

Good one!

PupnTaco's avatar

Oh, I thought you meant a 1930s drama like “The Informer” or “Dangerous Appointment.”

phred78's avatar

Eh eh eh! Mind you that English is not my first language. I know the question wasn’t posed in the most correct way. Funny remark though.

ideabrian's avatar

Take some action on a small project you’re interested in that doesn’t require any kind of return on your investment. Slow down – I used to rush a lot. Thoughts of.. Shit! I have to get this done in 2 months have turned into thoughts like; If I love what I’m doing, who cares how long it takes to do it.

Stop doing things you hate slowly and pick up some new things you might enjoy. Look at life as daily experiments. Look at each meal as an opportunity.

Most of all, if you don’t have kids yet, think about having some. They take the focus off of you and help you learn how present you can actually be – just playing.

baseballnut's avatar

Actually the questions that you’re asking yourself are necessary to continue to grow – and believe me, you don’t stop asking yourself those questions at any age. Try to see this type of self-inquisition as a great opportunity to continue to redefine your life or reinvent yourself and not an excuse to tally up failures. For example, if you aren’t sure you chose the perfect profession for yourself, find a mentor who can help you explore what else you could do that might feel more fulfilling. Figure out the path to that new profession and what baby steps (love that movie) you can take toward it. Or conversely, decide that the steps are too tough and reaffirm your commitment to your current job.

Think of it as an adventure or an opportunity and not as a pass/fail test because for most people, the questioning never really ends.

phred78's avatar

Thank you all :-)
I suppose I should just try to unfreeze and move forward. I’ve always had trouble with making choices that might affect others (people around me, specially my partner). But reaching 30 is giving me this “I don’t really care what others think” attitude. So, instead of trying to fight it, I should embrace it, and hopefully others will understand that I need to change. Wow, it’s really amazing, I think. How much can change in just a couple of months =)

ideabrian's avatar

@phred – yeah, embracing the feeling can be powerful. Also, try re-stating it.

Example, recently I’ve been getting these dizzy spells when i get up from sitting a long stretch. Instead of telling myself “You’ve got a brain tumor!” (or something equally negative) I now tell myself (Hey, what a great opportunity to the designs painted on the inside of my brain!)

So, instead of calling it a 30s drama – maybe call it a 30s comedy – a 30s documentary – or a 30s action sequence.

Whatever you think, try framing it the opposite. is also a neat set of 4 questions for helping you think about stressful thoughts. I forgot to mention her stuff. Its good.

mzgator's avatar

Life’s too short. Enjoy the now! I will be 40 next year. The year I turned thirty, I had the same issues you have. A month after my birthday I had a cancer scare. I had to have a hysterectomy a month later. During my recovery I realized that I had to live my life to the fullest each and every day. I had to love my husband and child and show them every day how much they mean to me. I had to try new things, even if it scared me to pieces. I am totally in good health. I have traveled and lived life to its fullest. My thirties will go down in my personal history as some of the best years of my life. My new attitude on life will continue until I die. Next year I am going to Hawaii with my husband, daughter, brother, sister in law and niece. My brother and I have planned to go zip lining one day. I am terrified of heights. I am not gonna miss this chance to spend a day with my brother, in Hawaii, challenging my fear and making another memory for myself for when I am old and gray. Live life to the fullest. Enjoy life…it doesn’t matter how old you become…it’s the wonderful journey that gets you there!

gailcalled's avatar

@phred – What is your native tongue. If nothing else, congratulate yourself on writing English beautifully. And no amount of agonizing is going to slow down time. I am over twice your age and grateful to be here. Spend some time with the elderly and compare and contrast, as Sueanne_tremendous has done. The experience will put parts of your life in perspective.

Good luck,


phred78's avatar

@gail: I’m portuguese, born and living in Lisbon =) Thanks for the nice comment. I agree, talking to older people usually helps. Most of you have been there, so it’s comforting to know I’m not alone and that I’m not overreacting.
@mzgator: Luckily I’m in good health and I love living, I do. I’m not scared, just worried. And it’s my goal to live to the fullest. I’m in good company =)
@ideabrian: I think I’ll call it “30s adventure” :-)

tinyfaery's avatar

When I realized I wasn’t supposed to be anything, or supposed to be somewhere by a certain age, the crisis seemed to dissipate. If the 30s are the new 20s, then you are right on track. You should be thinking about who you want to be, and what you want to do with your life. I’m in my mid-30s now, and I feel like I’m starting to hit my stride. Do what makes you happy now, there is no such thing as forever.

PupnTaco's avatar

For me, turning thirty was a bigger deal than turning forty. At thirty, I realized I no longer had the convenient excuse of being young and stupid.

gailcalled's avatar

I am no longer young, but I still can play the“stupid” card occasionally.

marissa's avatar

phred, I have read what folks wrote and it is all great advice. I went through a similar feeling when I turned 30 and I’m wondering how I’ll feel when I get to 40, but I am blessed to be where I’m at, I take the attitude that sara and mzgator mentioned most days. But I want to mention, don’t make a sudden, drastic change, while you are feeling this way. Make sure any major changes (career, relationship, etc) are well thought out. I know people who made major life changes without thinking things through clearly, just because they were ‘bored’ with the ‘same old thing’ and then later regretted it. Some times a person feels ‘stuck’ and they are so desperate to feel ‘unstuck’ that they make a change, just for the sake of change and don’t really think things through.

phred78's avatar

I think all that you guys wrote makes perfect sense. I reckon being cool about it is the best thing I can do.
But I am going to make some changes to my life. Somethings just don’t make sense anymore and thus need some rearrangement, specially concerning work. I feel like I need to accomplish the goals I wrote on my sketchbooks 5 or 6 years ago. I forgot about them for a while but now they’ve come knocking on my door. So I think I should pay them some attention.
Again, thanks for all the great input and support!

sarapnsc's avatar

phred, always keep one foot forward and Happy Belated Birthday!

gailcalled's avatar

phred; From where I am sitting, 30 sounds wonderful. I wonder whether I could learn to write in Portuguese in the next 5 years?

phred78's avatar

@sara: Thanks!!!

@gail: I don’t really know :-( But there are thousands of portuguese people living in the US (assuming that’s where you live), so I imagine there must be some schools there. I have no idea. But hey, you can start today. Here’s the basic stuff:
Good morning: Bom dia
How are you?: Como estas?
Hello: Ola
Thank you: Obrigado
Where can I find a post office?: Onde encontro um posto dos correios?


marissa's avatar

Bom dia!

Good luck with all that you pursue!

phred78's avatar

Obrigado marissa :*

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther