Why turning 30 is so dreadful

I was pondering on the dreaded thirties  and  being halfway through mine.
Why do people loath so much turning 30 years of age? This is not only true for women, as most would assume; it is as universal and much dreaded for men as well.
I was watching a movie of the so called coming-of-age transition and wondered why this theme has become quite trendy as of lately. These movies depict almost 30 year-old people trying desperately to hold on to the last shred of youth in them by acting out, ignoring their responsibility, wallowing in self pity for their failures.

When you turn 30, you feel this self-imposed pressure to define who you are. I tried to remember the phrases we used to define ourselves in our youth:
*most artistic
*Gothic look
*best "insert instrument here" player
*best student
*most athletic
*could-care-less-about-school friend
*grunge look
*rebel who thinks he is a devil may care
*all about "insert sport here"

Think back to your high school years and you will probably have a face in mind for each of the words I just listed. All these words have a thing in common: freedom. Freedom to dress a certain way without much resistance from the outside, freedom to act a certain way without long-lasting consequences, freedom to have the time to pursue likes and develop them into hobbies. Freedom to be.

"Youth is wasted in the young." A phrase I once thought was bogus that I now find myself using. If I knew what I know now, would I have acted differently? It is usually a question that resonates in these coming-of-age movies. I often wonder if my mother prepared me enough for adulthood. Should I have been given more responsibilities, warned how hard things would get, advised on how much rejection and failure we would endure. I think I should be grateful I didn't have to grow up so fast. I should thank my mom for the time to be who I wanted to be with the time to be that and enjoy a period in my life where I was totally free.

What are the words or phrases that typically describe a 30 year-old?
*in a dead-beat apartment
*in your own house
*employed in their dream job
*employed in a dead-beat job
*not-able-to-find-employment status
*spinster (seriously, at 30?)
*single and unmarried
*wife or husband
*mother or father

All of these have one thing in common: time is ticking. Again, you probably have a face in mind for each of these. They all carry with them responsibilities. The crisis depicted in the aforementioned movies usually has to do with not wanting these responsibilities anymore, wishing we could go back to the time we thought college was hard.

I have sleepless nights most nights. I had them in my youth as well, but the nights in my youth were spent songwriting and composing, coloring and designing, praying and praising. I woke up feeling great about my sleepless night and didn't mind repeating it. My nights now are filled with screaming babies, crying toddlers, holding, caressing, praying even more, scolding, giving discipline, and wishing I don't have to repeat that night. Don't get me wrong. I love to do it, but I do it for love of my children, not for love of myself.

When you turn 30, you feel there are certain things you should have accomplished already. And those few friends who have accomplished what you feel you are lacking are also not satisfied. You should be married already. You should have a great job already. You should have your own place already. You should have your own family already. And the dread of the thirties  is this voice in your head telling you if it hasn't happened yet it is very unlikely it will. Just remember Rachel turning 30 and her plan way out of time.

The thirties is a time when you feel your life should have purpose. And though many seek this purpose intentionally and have so for a long time, the struggles of the world you'd have to overcome seem daunting. Even more daunting is that there is so much you want to do and never feel you can.
Youth had the promise of time, of hope to be able to achieve anything, of a whole world waiting for you with open arms.

So yes, there you go! That's why they're dreaded. I'm not going to sugar-coat it. It's hard. It's a little lonelier. All those friends you had and with whom you could hang out every weekend? They're tied up in responsibilities as much as you. Getting a good job? Super hard. Buying your own house? Seems impossible. Starting a family? With what money! Getting money? Not happening!

Are there any good news?
Yes! The most wonderful news!
This dread is all in your head!!!
That's right! It's all your making. Everything is temporary and your thirties is where most of your dreams will come true. Your twenties where the last ounce of freedom and fun. Your thirties have new fun in them, but a fun that is mostly earn and not freely received like in your twenties. This is also the source of dread and the reason for the crisis occurring in these movies. You are in control of what happens to you and you have to make things happen.
Want that place of your own? Get serious with your money administration and start saving.
Relationships are not freely given. Your girlfriend won't stay on girlfriend status forever and she will demand a change.
Your love life is not what you want it to be? Stop accepting less than what you deserve and only seek relationships which will give you that. It is no longer a time to go for Mr. Wrong because he is Mr.-Right-now.
Your work is not what you wanted? Polish your skills, get that degree, get that masters, do something about it, send more CVs, keep trying.
Your body is not what you want it to be? Get healthy, get active, get moving.
Didn't make enough sacrifices in your twenties to be closer to where you want to be? Time is not over.

I find this to be so truthful.

Time is not over.
You didn't reach a deadline when turning 30.
The dread of the thirties is that it comes with the dissatisfaction of life we have been embracing for some time because the promises of our twenties aren't here yet, because we grew believing we were deserving of more and never seem to achieve this more.
The wonderful thing is that the thirties will teach us to appreciate what we do have, see how blessed we truly are, see how much we've been given that we don't deserve and still receive. The thirties will show you that family is important and you should have taken good care of it in your youth and still can. It will show you that those big circles of friends don't last, but the few ones you are left with are pretty much the bomb and all you'll ever need and can cultivate. It will show you to step up for what you believe and to believe in yourself because you can do this thing called life.

It will show you how important it was to follow this verse:

Ecclesiastes 11
9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth. And walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou that for all these things, God will bring thee into judgment.
10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity.
Ecclesiastes 12
1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, “I have no pleasure in them”;

I turned 30 in beautiful La Ceiba next to the most beautiful family I could have dreamed of.

Making memories with these lovely ladies, including our beloved Tia Sara

With mom on Skype watching Tia Sara give me my first cake smash face.

How wonderful that my youth gave me time to serve Christ 24/7, spend nights without end in His presence, and have that sustain me through the not bad days but harder days filled with more to do. The thirties require courage. They are not for the faint-hearted or the lazy who want it all to be easy. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can start being 30!

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