Becoming A Thirty-Something


Most of the times we celebrate things, it’s about major milestones. Like a 30th birthday, or maybe a new job, getting married or reaching 100k of portfolio worth. On the other side, we never forget the major downfalls either, like the 1987 market crash, breaking up with someone or getting fired.

The crash of 1987 was the latest real depression so you could say. It also happened to be my birth year. As you can guess, today is my 30th birthday. And turning 30 is what many calls, the point of no return. You’re officially a responsible adult (or you should be) and you’re officially old. When you’re are actually 30 (or past it) you probably know it’s not that black and white. And instead of celebrating it big, I do something different.

I’ve never been a fan of hosting big birthday parties. With my birthday stuck between Sinterklaas (Dutch holiday) and Christmas, I’m good with all the festivities as is. This year supposed to be different. I was genuinely thinking of celebrating this milestone how it should be done. It would mean having around 60 guests coming over and lots of preparations. But should it? 

Why exactly should it be so big? Why should I invite as many people as possible? Having foods and drinks, receive lots of gifts and get endless questions about how life’s going for me. Is turning 30 really that important, or is it just another year that goes by like all the others?

For some reason, the age of 30 is a milestone in itself. As if you have completed the first stage of life, and continue into official adulthood and getting settled. By now you should have your life perfectly in order, found your passion, owning a home, maybe some kids. Set for life, living the dream…

I’ve never had a clear vision of how my future would like when I was a kid, and even while in college. It’s clear that you want to do something that you actually like doing. But you can only find out what that is by trying until you found something that clicks. And still, once you have found it, it can change after a few years when you feel the urge to discover something new. 

Now I’m 30, I have no feeling whatsoever that this is it. That I have achieved what I need to achieve and live my life accordingly. Sure, I’m satisfied with all the things that happened. But did I ‘make it’? Do I have a successful career build up? Is this the kind of life I’m going to hold on to for eternity? Have I done everything I should have done before my thirties? God, no. 

Figuring out how life works is – hopefully – a process that takes a lifetime. And I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Instead of thinking of what I should have achieved by now (like – insert example articles), I want to focus on living in the now, be happy with the things how they are, and work on those aspects in my life that are important to me.

Meanwhile, instead of focusing on achieving goals in the far future. Focusing on everyday life can be even more important. By not focusing on any targets, goals, projects, but just the plain act of doing what matters. those actions will reward themselves over time. And if something doesn’t work for out like expected, then at least you’ve tried.

The compounding of every little thing in your daily life has a great effect on your future, sometimes without you even noticing it.

 For example, I know that if I eat healthy every day, I will become healthy in the long term. Same principles with working out. If I will go to the gym every day, in the long term I will become a much fitter person. The problem is, I don’t know when that will happen. Only that it does take time. Maybe even a very long time. 

If I set any target or goal to achieve, once I’m there… Then what? It’s not about getting healthy, but about being healthy. And what gets me there is eating healthy, working out, reduce stress and take care of myself. It’s about the little things, all that you do on a daily basis that really matters.

Look at one small action. Like eating one healthy meal or working out for only 10 minutes. The impact will be nothing. The effects of one action are negligible. But if those things will be repeated every day or week, over a long period of time. Ultimately it will pay off.

Just focus on what is important at the moment. What really matters. And enjoy it while doing it. Enjoy every moment that is spent with family and friends, with yourself and your relationship, in building a portfolio, in writing blog posts. Stop with waiting until you have achieved something, or reach a certain goal in order to let yourself be happy. Accept that an imperfect life can be a great life. 

You can still set goals, and still try to become a better person. Work on things to gain skills or building up experience. The life you dream of is in your own hands. But it all comes down to what kind of action you make today. 

12 thoughts on “Becoming A Thirty-Something

  1. Happy birthday 😉 And the rest of it sounds very familiar. When I turned 30, I had no real vision of what I wanted to do. I had worked my ass off for about 10 years, just came out of a bad relationship and only then started to find time and energy to think about ‘the greater good’. On the outside, I had everything sorted out: I made good money, had a huge house, a car, a cat, etc. But I wasn’t really feeling it.

    However, I have noticed that since then, I’ve taken some major steps in personal and professional growth. I’m not sure if it’s something like ‘life begins at 30’, or that I wasn’t in the right place to take those steps before, but I really like it.


  2. It sounds to me that you are very goal oriented in spite of your goal free stance. You eat healthy every day, you go to the gym every day, this did one goals to me. Even your practice of living in the moment every day seems pretty goal like to me. Which is a big part of why you are a quality individual destined to be successful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am pretty result driven and therefore goal oriented. Nonetheless, I sometimes feel it can’t go fast enough. Focusing on the here and now helps me to see what I can do today on what I want to reach tomorrow. The examples weren’t actually happening (yet) though 😉


  3. Happy birthday! You have already achieved a lot and the most is still to come! 🙂 Enjoy your big day, even if you don’t want to make a big deal out of it!


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