I Turned 30.... So Now I'm Just Waiting To Die

On my most recent brunch with my very favorite book club, I said this exact thing -  in a completely satirical tone, obviously. My birthday was February 9th. And I did turn thirty (cringe).

I didn’t think I would be one of those predictable basic girls who hates the age she is. I’ve never been that before. In fact, I can be quoted as saying “I’m not sad about getting older. In fact, I love it! I never felt comfortable in my own skin when I was younger as I do now.”

It’s as if the imaginary wrinkles set in just one week after the doomed day. I say imaginary because no one has confirmed they are there yet. They are like the exact opposite of imaginary childhood friends.

And that was true. However, I think there really is a form of dying that we associate with turning thirty, or any big turning-point age number. Let’s not dive too deeply into what society dictates we do or accomplish or have by this age, because that is another blog all on it’s own.

Here I would like to focus on the death of our twenties. What does it represent? The last chance for it to be acceptable that we haven’t achieved all that we thought we would when we were seven years old, playing house?

Does thirty, forty, fifty make us finally face that we aren’t this perfectly cultivated adult that has the degree, found and trapped a husband, went on that mission trip to Africa to shave anemic gorillas, works out enough to fit into size negative-two jeans, gets eleven hours of beauty sleep a night and already won an acceptable medal (not bronze) at the Olympics?

If you aren’t this person, you’re right. You’re kind of a failure. (Hear this in a sarcastic tone, please.)

My God, our standards have lowered in America. I mean, you didn’t even mention avocado toast or nutrition once!

At least, that is what I have experienced is this feeling of “I’m not a good enough adult!” And after a ton of vulnerability my clients have shared this, everyone in any one of my coaching trainings has shared this, and pretty much every single human being I’ve ever leveled with has shared this – which is a lot. People like to tell me things. For some reason they trust me 😊

This is the same fear that pretty much everyone has. It’s just highlighted in an aggressive pink, and underlined with a knife at these big number birthdays. And it doesn’t make sense. Of course, the belief is ridiculous, it’s rooted in a feeling. Feelings don’t have logic.

What is interesting is that the region of the brain associated with decision-making is actually located in the same region as the emotion center – in the limbic brain. The neocortex, associated with rational and analytical thought, is out of its jurisdiction when it comes to emotion.

So, this decision that we aren’t successful, and even worse – a failure, because we still have a feeling of lack in our lives is misled. It is an unconscious decision made from the wiring of our mixed emotions - emotions that we haven’t explored deeply. The more we avoid our feelings and beliefs, the more we create these mixed up rules and realities in our heads and keep ourselves miserable. And avoiding feelings is the easiest thing to do! Which is why I proceeded to clean out the mimosa supply at this particular book club brunch.

Shoot, there are plenty of people I know that are sixty who have had everything at one time and lost them several times, and gotten them back again.

As Oprah wisely said, “You can have everything, but not all at once.”

Amber CastanoComment