I’m 35 this month which is a ridiculously odd feeling. I don’t feel 35 and I hope on some level I don’t look 35 either! Personally, I feel like my thirties have so far been me catching up with all the things I didn’t do in my twenties. However, one big thing I’ve discovered since being in my thirties is that society and stereotypes try to box in your thirties to what you should and shouldn’t be doing. I have already spoken about the continual pressure from people to have started a family by now, but there are many things I don’t feel I should be having to do, just to cater to the rule book of your thirties. I say sod it. I say sod conformity.
Why don’t you have children you’re in your thirties!?
Oh my. How many people have asked me about children has been absolutely ridiculous. Firstly, it is absolutely nobodies business. It is actually intrusive. I get that people might ask if I have children, which I will reply no, but to prise in on asking why and when I want them is quite rude. Secondly I don’t have to have children to ‘complete my life’, I would like them yes, but when? Who knows when, but the time will happen when we want it to. I know I may struggle to have children, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Having a family of my own doesn’t need to be the be-all and end-all, for some it might be and if that’s their priority great for them. Me? It isn’t.
Dogs aren’t really family
Correction, dogs ARE family. My dog is my fur child and will continue to be so, if or if we don’t have children. She is so incredibly important to us we’d do anything for her – isn’t that the definition of family? Just because others might not see dogs like that, so be it. But it’s what works for the individual and who is anyone to criticize.
You shouldn’t waste your money!
What’s the saying, you can’t take it with you? Granted, you can’t be frivolous with life but you have got to live it. We have our own house which is more than a lot of people who are in their thirties right now. We have the base, what we chose to do with our money is our own right. Yes, the house does need fixing up. We have been there for 5 years now and only a handful of projects completed. It isn’t a priority to us, we’d rather have the experiences right now, there is plenty of time to do the ‘house’ bits.
You’re never in the country surely that’s a big money hole?
Travel can be costly – we know! But we’re thrifty because travel makes us feel alive. Obviously, travel isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and those in the non-conformity boat might spend their money elsewhere, but for us, travel is the one. I didn’t do it in my twenties mainly because I lacked confidence and was essentially an anxious mess. My thirties have given me the opportunity to feel free. I don’t care as much (anxiety still does get the better of me at times), so I want to explore the world and different cultures. Actually, travel has opened my mind up to being in a place to tackle life problems from alternative angles. I feel far more relaxed and humbled about life because of it.
You need a stable job that you work in for years!
Wow. Just wow. That might be someone’s cup of tea but that isn’t mine. The 9-5 concept has always baffled me. Why 9-5? I agree we can’t be jumping from job to job month to month, unless your freelance, but to stay in the same job until retirement scares me most of all. I feel a weird claustrophobic feeling if I start to think about doing 9-5, evenings in front of the TV and weekends just catching up. The rat race idea doesn’t interest me. Having freedom and flexibility to actually live life is far more important. I work hard and juggle a lot in my life, but I’d rather have many things that excite me on the go then something that is a fun sponge and traps in a 9-5. That might be for other people – not me. I’ve done temp roles, maternity roles and have built up my freelancing and I’m finally in a place where I know what I want to do. I also have a surge of confidence about it, which in my twenties did not have.
What my thirties have taught me so far…
I’ve noticed over the years starting in my late twenties even, people can get quite weird by your choice to not follow the path to conformity. I love to learn, do and see everything, I dictate my life to accommodate that, but I have found those who don’t, regardless of having the option to follow the same path, can be bitter or opinionated in what they deem the correct way to live. We don’t have heaps of money, we haven’t come from money, but we make it work. We are the go-getters and work hard to do what we want. ANYONE has the option to do that. Our flights to these places are super cheap, sometimes we don’t go abroad we stay close to home, but it allows us to go explore, we save and save to do so. That’s our choice, and it could be anyone’s. We all make our own decisions and just because ours isn’t what society deems the ‘right’ way, doesn’t make it wrong.
What’s next for my thirties?
Continue as I wish and say no to conformity. We still live in a society where people are very opinionated about what we should and shouldn’t be doing in our thirties. When Nick and I are ready to have children we will, but right now that isn’t what we want. I think my husband hit the nail on the head in a recent Instagram post of his… so I’ll just leave this here. Power to your thirties – do whatever you want with them and remember what works for one doesn’t always work for another, but just support people and their choices.
Throwing out the thirties rule book…
We travel a lot. We have made hard decisions in our lives to allow us to do this. It’s not easy and rarely pretty. We’re watching our lovely friends bring up beautiful children. We’ve had more than our fair share of trials, tribulations and spiteful, green-eyed monsters along the road. But we’re doing what is right for us, right now. We’ll evolve as our lives change, little furry doggies, for now, tiny people in the future.
We’ve skied the Alps, hand-fed flamingos in Aruba, watched the Tour de France in Paris, stood under waterfalls in Iceland, been locked in a cell on Alcatraz, raced sports cars in Barcelona, banana boated in Seychelles, welcomed the new year in Sydney Harbour, partied in Abu Dhabi, safaried in South Africa, looked over Manhattan from 1 World Trade, paraglided over the Dolomites, run a marathon through Berlin, watched the sunrise over Los Angeles from behind the Hollywood sign and kayaked into Dubrovnik Harbour. Travelled first-class and cattle class. In convertibles and our beautiful KA, Bernie. Eaten like Kings and counted change for hot dogs.
We’re a team, and I’m so proud of my partner in crime/life, who busts her ass to work and blog and travel and put up with me.
Here’s to the next adventure. It’s ours. Conformity? We’re alright thanks.
Jane Canham says
I love this article Annie, I have reached this place only now in my early 40’s and so much of what you say about children and jobs resonates with me.