On Being Thirty-something: No Shame

Being thirty something is a whole new world.  It really is.  It starts with acknowledging this and having absolutely no shame about this fact.  For many of us it becomes shameful all of the sudden to be over thirty.  You and others start to qualify your status with other expressions like:”She is thirty [something] and she looks so good!” Or ” can you believe he is thirty [something]?!”    Well these expressions might seem flattering at the time in a way, but it implies that it is surprising in some way that you are so lively or energetic or simply look great.  When in fact something that I realized after turning thirty is that thirty something years are lively, energetic and we look good!  I was blindsided by this cultural oversight.  Here is a small story which demonstrates this ubiquitous attitude, I literally overheard this when I was working at retail job in Portland Oregon:  One male coworker said to a female:  “You look like you are dirty or something”, and then she replies, horrified, “I thought you said I look thirty-something”  and he laughs back,  “never, you will never look thirty something.”

At  the time I was about to turn thirty, these two people were just a couple of years behind me.  I got really red and it made me feel ashamed of who I was becoming.  A thirty-something.  I’m sure many people have experienced some sort of shame around this issue.  By no choice of your own its like you are being downgraded by our society in some way.  This is a powerful force to contend with.   It is a reflection of how terrified everyone is of getting older.  And it is totally annoying.  It is distracting and almost completely wrong.

One of the many issues that crops up when reaching your thirties is acting age appropriately.  This is really difficult at times when you feel way more energetic and capable than you are supposed to as a thirty-something. There is a huge difference between clinging to your youth and clinging to your life.  Clinging to your youth is what people like to call disparagingly the Peter Pan Syndrome.  Clinging to your life is doing you: living to your full potential and doing what you set out to accomplish in your short time on earth.  Its tricky honestly to understand the difference at times.  I would say the Peter Pan syndrome is rooted to clinging to old habits and feeling slightly awkward and like people around you are not really respecting you for some often unidentifiable reason.  The other way the way forward after your twenties is living in a way and choosing activities that point you towards helping you become increasingly comfortable with who you.  Being thirty-something demands that you live with a new energy,a different energy than in your twenties.  It is an energy that you have to create and also to find by being connected to who you are on a much deeper level than before.   This is going to be a central theme on this blog:  Solidifying and protecting your body, energy, mind and your potential.

Above photo by Dennis Stock  1968



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