There’s a fabulous book titled “Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation—And What to Do about It” written by Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin. In their book, the authors contend that women often find that when they reach the age of 30, their lives are not what they had expected. Either they are not working in the career they wanted, they are not married with the dream house the 2.4 kids and the white picket fence. Or, women are finding out that they have all of this, but it is not as fulfilling as it was supposed to be. The result is something like a mid-life crisis. I would even go so far as to call it an identity crisis because we are no longer the kind of person that we are expected to be, nor are we satisfied with what is expected of us.
Maybe I’m just restless, but I have felt this mid-life/identity crisis several times over the years. Growing up, like every other girl I knew, I expected to be married with kids by the time I was 30. By the time I reached High School, I was quite certain I didn’t actually want kids, though I still wanted to get married and on the assumption my husband would want kids, I would have them. I fell in love with the idea of a house-husband. He could stay home with the kids and I could work. By the time I turned 30, I wasn’t married and I wasn’t dating anyone. I had to support myself and face life alone. But I was stuck in a job that wasn’t satisfying, that was mentally and emotionally draining, and it didn’t pay enough for me to support myself. Something needed to change. I felt helpless and stuck because I couldn’t afford to leave my job, I didn’t know what else I could do for work, and I didn’t think going back to University or getting any other kind of education was possible.
“Midlife Crisis at 30” presents some wonderful examples of women who made changes in their lives, changing career and finding love following their identity crisis. Unlike the women in this book, most of us don’t have the money to make clean-cut and drastic changes.
Does this mean we have to live with this unhappiness? Do we have to feel stuck in a job we don’t like or not getting the promotion we deserve? Absolutely not! I didn’t, and neither do you!
How can you start to make the changes that will bring you a more satisfying life? Before you do anything, recognize that you have the resources within yourself to get what you truly want. Next, take some time for honest evaluation. What do you have right now that brings you joy? Where do you feel stuck? What do you feel needs to change for you to have more joy? What is one small step you can take toward making that change possible?
I’m curious, what did you expect your life to look like at 30? What does it really look like? Are you happy with the difference?