Something has to change

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?

9 thoughts on “Something has to change

  1. I’m 23 and going throught this I really can’t find another job and I feel like if I change the job then all will be fine, it doesn’t pay and my life is just on a halt because of this I really am going to change this.

    1. Hi Noks, The good news is that switching jobs and careers is very possible, the not so good news is that the current economic situation often makes it much more difficult than we’d like. But I promise you that you do not have to be stuck and unhappy forever. If you’re interested, I would like to give you a complementary coaching session and we can talk about this and some of your goals and where you would like to go in the future. Just head on over to the Discovery Session tab of my site and fill out the questionnaire, but also somewhere in there, add a little about the job you have right now, what you like about it, and what you don’t. I’ll get back to you a few days after you send it in, to schedule a complementary session.


  2. I’m not sure what I thought my life would be like at 30. I’m 29 now, and I guess I thought I’d have an agent and maybe a novel published by now. I had hoped that I would be able to cut down my hours at the day job sometime soon to focus on writing. I took vacation time off work the first year I won nanowrimo, to prove to myself that if I had more time, I could get more done, and I can, and when I have more time to write, I do get more done.

    But it’s the day job that’s killing me. I’m burning out from the constant talking to customers on the phone, have nothing left for my husband when I get home to him. I’m giving up shifts when I can’t afford to because I just hate it so much. And it’s not that I hate the job, it’s that it’s eating up so much of my time that I could be spending doing something I love. And I can’t afford to cut my hours willingly, because mine is the only income in the household. I’m not interested in moving up in the company – that would only make things worse. I felt trapped and crushed by life, like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a break.

    So, I started keeping my eye out for a way out. They don’t come up on their own, but as you know, I’m taking things into my own hands, going back to school. I need a day job that I won’t hate, and hopefully will leave me more time alone to recharge, rather than burning me out talking to people all day. Aspergers syndrome – I’ve coped remarkably well with a job that doesn’t let me be alone with my thoughts for even a moment, but 10 years of this is enough.

    1. Lindsay, Good for you! I’m so proud of you for taking things into your own hands! Going back to school and all. We can have the easiest job in the world, but if we don’t like it, it drains us of all energy so that we have nothing left to give when we get home. Keep me posted on how the transition goes. And keep your eye on the final goal: a job you like that leaves you with enough time and energy for your husband and your writing!

  3. Hitting 30 was totally deflating; my life was not what I had imagined at all. But I’ve learned to embrace the continual crises that happened in my twenties, around thirty, and that will surely come to me in the future. Because I believe – based on experience and what I know of developmental psychology – those periods of questioning ARE living. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention; I hadn’t heard of it before.

    1. Hi Rebecca, welcome to my blog! It is an eye-opening book, in that it was really something I connected with. Curiosity and exploring and wondering what it is all about and where we are going, as you say, IS life.

  4. Oh boy. I don’t know that my life would have looked when exactly like this if I pictured it when I was younger, but I am relatively satisfied with life. I am 31 now and although not everything has gone as I might have planned, it has certainly been an experience. I have a lot of fun stories to tell at least. Nice topic.

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