When you hit the prime age of 30, and are still single, you may start to question yourself as to how you got to this point without a ring on your finger, or even the hope of a relationship to get you to that point. When you are someone like me, who has spent his 20’s focusing on getting higher up on the career scale (and the real scale, hehe), as opposed to the love one, do you really see being single at this age as a good thing or a bad thing?
With the advancements in social media nowadays, especially with Facebook, Instagram and more, it is totally easy to get the feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) when you are reading other people’s exciting “life” updates. I am someone who prefers to see these types of updates as opposed to the endless Hillary/Trump bashing as I enjoy what makes the people that I know happy. So when I personally see someone who gets engaged, married, or pregnant, I really am happy for them. This is not the case for everybody.
Social media has become the newest “biological clock”, in that it can be a reminder for so many people that you aren’t in the place you are supposed to be in life. The word “supposed” really is derived from not you per se, but what society wants out of you. This works in so many directions, male or female, gay, straight or otherwise, in that by a certain age you should be at a status point that equals commitment in a relationship.
I happen to think that is crap. I spent my 20’s wanting love, understanding that it could be out there, but really focusing more on my career. Now granted, there might have been a bigger push for me career wise as I come from the generation that came out of the biggest economic downturn in decades, but I still would’ve wanted to prove myself in that aspect because of how driven I am. I never once thought that the aspect of a relationship would’ve sidelined my career goals, as I have had a couple in my 20’s that I was able to find a duality in both, but love for me never really was greater than my career.
Not to take anything away from love, or for whomever reads this to get the sense that I am jaded in anyways. I definitely am not. If your goal in life is to be married, have kids and enjoy the “family” kind of lifestyle, have at it! But I see so many people that I know stop their careers for whatever reason to make this a full time thing, knowingly that they have goals in life that can make it harder to fulfill as your age number gets higher.
I write about this a lot, but I lost my mother when I was 18. She was only 42. Before she was diagnosed with cancer, her career goals essentially would’ve been to move to Cape Cod, open up her own restaurant, continue her catering career, and enjoy a quiet life by the water. She got married young and was able to do an amazing job at both raising me and my sister and have a booming career, but seeing as she passed away so shortly, the latter end of that career wise was a short one and one that she wanted to move leaps and bounds on as a personal victory.
I’m only 30, and the thought of myself passing at a young age unfortunately has haunted me for a long time. That may be a reason why I work so hard in my career, so that when and if i pass I am remembered for my accomplishments, but the thing is, I focus on what makes me the happiest and me the most complete. Love necessarily isn’t that, but it would be nice to happen. I consistently am asking my friends who have these ambitions but don’t know how to even start on focusing on them, “What makes you happy? If this makes you happy, find it”. In life, we let our road blocks deter us from what we really want, and when you realize how short life really can be, you want to avoid those blocks at all costs and really make something out of yourself. If you fall, you can get up again. But don’t let fear of the unknown in your career stop you from really achieving what you want out of it.
Love is great, love is good, love is awesome. So is knowing your “self worth” and fulfilling your dream that you have had since you were a kid. In doing so, you will hopefully become a more self aware person so that when love comes around, you will feel fulfilled personally in that you accomplished what you set out to do for yourself from a young age. Find what makes you great before you find someone else.
Tracy Schwartz says
I have chills and I just literally cried while reading this in Starbucks. I was 23 when my mother lost her battle to Breast Cancer and she was 50. I have always feared of passing at a young age. I too have been through the “Career Ladder” and still am. Still looking for what will make me happy. Thank you so much for writing this post. Your honesty and rawness shines through and I wish you all the best.
PS. I remember you from campus (JWU) (hope you don’t think of me as a stalker)
Congrats on your success and keeping kicking butt!