The 30s Epidemic

Just a whimsical cartoon the lighten the heavy.

Just a whimsical cartoon the lighten the heavy.

Chatting with a friend of mine today, I realized that most women my age face an epidemic. It feels embarrassing and downright STUPID for us to talk about it sometimes. I mean here we are, out of our twenties and out of most of the day-to-day “Am I going to eat ramen today?” or “I need my mom to pay my car insurance…again” issues. In most cases, we’ve reached a level of financial stability and likely some kind of family (whether it’s a community of friends or a partnership). The children we prayed for are probably already here. The house, the car, the job…it’s all here or in the works. We’re sort of sitting pretty in the part of life that it feels like we spent 10-15 years striving for.
And somewhere in there we wake up one morning and ask:
Is this all there is?
It’s not a mid-life crisis. It’s not a quarter-life crisis. It’s this weird thing in between where so many of us get bored. We look around for those fireworks we had in our 20s, the adventures we expected to await when we started making money, the magic that came with having a family. Reality sets in and none of that stuff happens. And we kinda can’t believe it.
Why does this happen to so many of us?!
I don’t have the answers, but I’d venture a guess…

Expectations.

We have an idea of what will happen when we GET all the things that we want. But once we get them and the great Everest-style climb is over, we summit, look out over our accomplishment, and then what? Climb down. And then it’s over.
Now what?
Is there more?
Do we do something else?
WHAT DO WE DO?!?! SOMETHING BIG IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN NOW!!!
And so…we quit our jobs. We blow up at our families. We leave our partners. We move. We do anything to change our realities so we can feel SOMETHING close to what we thought we would be feeling. But the SUPER fun end-game is that whatever you change…you wind up back in the exact same place sooner than later. (Those are the people who say things like, “Why do I always attract the cheaters?” or “I always have asshole bosses.”)
We get bored. And wondering when the point of life will illuminate itself.

You’ve seen the 5,000+ cliche memes that basically say if you want your life to change, you have to change yourself? It’s SO annoying.
And it’s SO true.

Someone recently asked me why am I with Bear; what it is about him that makes him “the one”. My answer? Because that’s what I chose. It’s not because I love him, because there will be days I don’t. It’s not because he’s adorable, because there will be days I don’t think he’s so cute. It’s not because he’s hilarious, because there will be days containing ZERO laughter. The answer is that I choose him everyday. It’s not as fluffy and romantic as everyone would like for it to be, and neither is accomplishing a big goal or reaching a destination.

Even when you accomplish EVERYTHING, happiness and satisfaction are never the end result. There is no achieving happiness. It’s not a destination. And that is so frustrating because I reeeeeeeeally want it to be a destination. I wanna get there and just have IT be the thing that makes me happy. But just like Bear is my choice, happiness is my choice. Even when I don’t know what the point is.

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