Some Advice on Living Your 30s Well

So true confession. I’m PMS’ing this week. Which for me means that I’m a bit cranky and craving salty foods. And also, those hormones knock my self-esteem down a notch and lead me into funny (in hindsight!), internet rabbit holes. I do random google searching about how I feel, with the goal normally being for me to feel like I’m not alone – that other folks feel the same way I do.

Tonight I googled “thirties and feel lost.” After reading Laura’s post from yesterday, I started thinking about how someone once told me that the chances of my career choice (screenwriting) being successful was like “winning the lotto.” Thinking back on that, what a crappy and mean thing to say! In my low moments, I wonder if he was right. What if I can never monetize my writing? I’ve managed to make money copywriting and writing for corporations but that’s not my goal – I want to write for films and TV. So anyway, I started to think worst-case scenario, what would I do to make money? And that’s when I googled “thirties and feel lost” and this particular Metafilter thread came up, What Do You Wish You Did in Your 30s.

In the thread, lots of 40 and 50-somethings wrote in about the regrets of their 30s. And it was somewhat uplifting. and inspiring, so I thought I’d share some of the thoughts here.

One woman wrote:

I would have divorced my first husband sooner, because I would have somehow woken up to how I was riding a wave of denial through my own life.

I would have spent way more time creating stuff (writing, acting, making art), because even if it had been shit, I’d have been that much more practiced now in my 40s.

I would have spent more time seeking out new and maintaining my existing female friendships (I’m a woman), because that kind of bond is crucial to my well being.

I would have spent those 10 years exercising, instead of taking up weightlifting at age 39 and finally honing and actually feeling my own strength.

I would have cut the few truly toxic people out of my life sooner, including my own mother.

Having said all this, I don’t have any regrets. I only look forward.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:22 PM on February 18, 2014 [8 favorites]

I liked this one a lot:

Choose the happier choice instead of the, seemingly, right choice.
posted by jennstra at 4:59 PM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Many people talked about saving money. I’m sure Laura would appreciate that 🙂

If you haven’t done it already, make sure you get on top of your retirement savings (getting any matching funds you’re entitled to in your 401k, maxing out a Roth IRA, etc). It’s hard to make up for the loss of compound interest the longer you wait to get your accounts in order.
posted by bcwinters at 1:54 PM on February 18, 2014 [9 favorites]

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