There are so many articles out there telling younger women what they should have achieved before a particular age. As if these are rules written in stone.
So we all go through our twenties with this fear of falling behind or that we are not living our lives to the fullest potential. It is being constantly relayed to us that we have so much to achieve in this short time. This is why I was so concerned about turning 30!
Your twenties can be a time in your life where if you make mistakes, you can fix them. You have fewer responsibilities and can even afford to be a little selfish. But just having that narrow mindset of spending that time ensuring you are working towards the ‘things’ that will make you ‘successful’ by 30.
I had an accident at work that changed my life. This meant a large chunk of my twenties was spent in and our of hospital for physical therapy and treatments. The accident has changed my life as well as what I career I am able to physically do. This has ultimately ‘pushed back’ my life success timeline, whilst I get as healthy as I can.
When I was about to turn 30 I was so terrified that I hadn’t achieved all the things society was telling me I should have by 30. I still sometimes switch to that mindset, especially if I see someone I know hits one of those ‘milestones’. I am actively trying to discourage this in my thinking.
Here are 8 things you categorically don’t need to do before you turn 30:
Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash
Travelling is expensive, can be stressful and time consuming. If you don’t have it in your budget or your work schedule won’t allow travel, don’t worry. One day the opportunity will come. You can experience different places and culture at any age.
2. Have good credit
Bills happen. Emergencies happen. While good credit is important, do not stress that it isn’t the brilliant score you want yet. You have plenty of time to change your score. Just make sure you are making smart financial decisions.
3. Own your property
With the rise in living costs and the money needed for deposits and mortgages, it is becoming harder for people to own their homes. There is a lot of pressure for you to own your home – an icon of success! However, there is nothing wrong with waiting and saving your money before you pour it in to a property.
This is one milestone that I have been concerned I haven’t hit yet, but I keep having to remind myself, it is coming!
4. Know what to do next
Life is full of ups, downs and surprises, you can never plan an exact life. On the other hand, you can have goals, dreams and aspirations to work towards. Just because you have those it doesn’t mean you need everything in your life figured out. You will gain clarity as you along. There is no need to do a 5 or 10 year plan – just focus on the next day and don’t stress!
5. Have your dream career
Not everyone finds their dream job that they love straight out of school or university. Some people get their dream job and realise it isn’t what they want. Sometimes people don’t know what their dream career is until much later in life.
There are so many people who became successful or found the job they loved after the age of 30. A few examples are: Vera Wang – she was 40 when she debuted her first line of dresses, Alan Rickman, Oprah Winfrey, Henry Ford, Harry Bernstein and many more. All those people found the jobs they love and their success after the age of 30! It is never to late to ‘start again’.
This is something I am currently working on because of my work accident I can no longer join the police the usual route. So now I am having to make a decision about going to university and whether a different route into the police is possible. I definitely feel more at ease knowing that I still have time to find a career I love – even if it isn’t the one I have always dreamed of.
Photo by Mateus Felipe on Unsplash
6. Have a baby
Unfortunately women of a certain age are asked continuously “So when are you having a baby?” or told “You better hurry up, or it will be too old”. This is one I am struggling with. As my accident and treatment has and still is taking years with all the legalities, I am aware that now the clock may be ticking. Truth of the matter is, there are plenty of women who have children in their late 30s and 40s. My mum even had my youngest sister when she was 39. I know I have time and so do you. Do not feel rushed as it is a big decision!
On the other hand, if you don’t want children that is okay as well.
7. Have a spouse
You do not need to be with the love of your life by the time you turn 30. Plenty of relationships come and go, not all relationships are in your life to stay. People find their person in different times of their lives, not just when they are in young in their twenties. The right person will find you!
8. Be engaged and married
For people that want to get married it can be difficult if you see friends and others getting married – it can feel so far away for you. But don’t stress. Marriage is something that shouldn’t be rushed. Your time will come.
These are just some of the things that society tells us we need to have accomplished by the time we reach 30. There is no rules on when you need to achieve life milestones by.
Although it can be hard to ignore the pressures that society places on us, just trust in your own journey.