the 30 year slump

Tonight I am supposed to be going out with my closest friends to celebrate a few of their 29th birthdays (as long as the weather doesn’t get too bad).  I’ve been 29 for a few months now, but lately, it’s really starting to hit me that this is my last year in my 20s.  I mean, I still have a good 9-ish months until I actually turn the big 3-0, but turning 30 is really making me think about all I have – and haven’t – done with my life.

Thirty feels bigger than any other birthday.  I know it’s really just a number, but I think 30 screams, “Hey!  You’re an adult!  You should know exactly what you want to do with your life and where your life is headed.”  But, that’s so much farther than the truth.

You know those quizzes going around Facebook, the one that’s about your mental age?  I haven’t taken it, but I’m pretty sure mine would say that my mental age is 18.  I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have a “career”, to be married and have a child, to be responsible for money and a house.  It’s been almost 11 years since I graduated from high school, and yet, I feel as if I’ve never left (and I promise, it has nothing to do with the fact that I am still friends with the girls I went to high school with).

In Health class, I teach about the lifespan.  We talk about birth all the way to retirement age.  When I teach about the 30s, we talk about how that’s the time where people begin to focus on their careers and their families.  Quite honestly, I don’t know if I picture myself retiring as a teacher.  Sure, I like it alright.  But, do I really feel like it is my passion?  I’m not sure.  I know that I’m in the subject area I want to be in (health and fitness) but I don’t know if teaching is where my heart truly lies.  I’m not sure exactly where my passion is.  Maybe I’ll figure it out in my 30s.

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I absolutely know that volleyball is a huge passion of mine.  Can I go back and be a player again?

One of my volleyball players was telling me about how one of her teachers is pregnant at age 34 and how old that is to have a kid.  It was the second time in 2 days that I have been reminded about how I need to start thinking about a second child since I’ll be 30 soon.  Because 30 is apparently too old to be having kids.  Crap.  Since when?  My mom was 30 when she had me.  One of my friends was 34 when she had her youngest.  Since when did 30 stop being the age where you have kids?  I understand that after 35 there are some risks involved in pregnancy, but 35 is still NOT OLD.  And heaven forbid we should decide to have a 3rd or even a 4th child in our 30s.  I’m really in no hurry.  We will have a 2nd child when the time is right.  I don’t feel like my age has anything to do with it.

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Thirty also means transitioning to a new age division in running.  And the 30s are typically a tougher age group than the 20s.  What?!  This can go one of 2 ways for me:  I can either dominate the 30-year-old age group or let it dominate me.  Either way, I know I have a lot of training to do to make sure I’m in the best shape I can be to continue to be competitive and successful with my running.  I’m not ready to start slowing down yet.

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My friend Michelle who is still KILLING it in her 40s!

As I approach my 30th birthday in October (it’s the 20th for anyone who wants to send a gift or throw a huge party for me), I am starting to feel farther away from the 18-year-old that feels like just yesterday, and more and more like the actual “adult” that I’m supposed to be.  I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, when we’re going to expand our family, or whether or not 30 is going to slow me down.  The unknown has left me feeling a bit lost.  I wish I had these answers, but I just don’t.  It’s a slump that I’m praying I can get out of by the time my actual 30th birthday rolls around.

I know this post is a little random, but it’s been tugging at my heart strings a lot lately, so I just had to write down my feelings.  Am I alone in thinking there is some kind of 30-year-old slump?

  • I turned 30 back in October, and it was hard for me because I felt oooold. I don’t think anyone has life figured out though, especially when it comes to career and family. Everyone says your 30s are way better than your 20s though!

  • Amy

    As a pregnant 34 year old, I am so laughing at your student. That’s hilarious. But why are you taking your cues from a teenager?

    Believe me when I say that your 30s are SO MUCH BETTER than your 20s. It gets so much better once you turn 30. And it is not “old”; it’s just that you’re a ‘real” adult at last. Time to put the pieces together. It’s so great.

  • Sarah

    Twenty-nine was a strange year for me too, it’s very reflective thinking about leaving an entire decade behind. But turning 30 was awesome! It felt like a right of passage, like “Hey, I survived!” I’m going to be 32 in a few months and while being an adult in general is overrated, the 30’s are my favorite time so far. I just had my first baby 8 months ago and in no hurry for #2. I have a job but I wouldn’t call it a career or a passion. I’m still in a process of self-discovery that I’m not sure will end anytime soon.

    I do believe the times are changing and a lot of women are waiting until their 30’s to have kids. For us, it was more financially responsible and we’re more mature individually and in our marriage. I have a friend that is 34 and thinks she has to decide in the next year whether she wants to have a baby or not and that makes me sad. I think our culture has developed that mindset. But, I remember when I was in high school and thought people in their 30’s were SO OLD. Ha ha, kids.

  • I will be 29 in July and it def makes me panic. There are so many things I wanted to have accomplished and a place I wanted to “be” by the time I was 30 and these things just haven’t happened yet. I keep trying to remember there is a reason and God is in control but it’s hard!
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    • Kristen

      Yes, God is in control! Always a great thing to remember!

  • I guess I’ve never worried about getting older because life has been better every single year and I know more to make it better. I am loving the hell out of my 30’s and I think we will forever have those oye am I a grown up now moments :)
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  • Oh man, I’m turning 30 this year too and still am not sure how I feel about it all :/

  • mjogro75

    Girlfriend – I had my first baby at 32, and my 2nd at 36. Your 30s will be great! No worries, truly. What do teenagers know, anyway? They think 21 is the be-all, end-all age. We’re here to tell ’em it’s not!

    You will continue to age as gracefully as every. You can set your clock or calendar by that fact :).

    • Kristen

      When she told me that, I was like, “Hello? I’m almost 30!” I think they forget that I’m not the same age as them at times…

  • I haven’t even turned 29 yet and I’m already dreading turning 30… most of which for what you talked about in this post! But, it is what it is and instead of focusing on how freaked out about it, I am going to try to enjoy it… :)
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  • Lee

    Umm, I had my first baby at 35. So you definitely have plenty of time! Turning 30 was scary to me too because it felt like I should have had so much more accomplished. But then when I actually turned the age, I realized it really was just a number. And I like being in my 30s more than being in my 20s. I did a lot of dumb stuff in my 20s and I just feel better and more confident about myself now.
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    • Kristen

      And you have a beautiful little boy. PS – I would’ve never guessed you were 35! You’re youthful like me! ;)

  • Jenn

    Your going to listen to some highschool student like they know what they are talking about? Please! It is much more common these days to START having kids in your 30s – in my book you are already ahead of the game! Life is also more exciting when you don’t plan it out. Live your life and just go with it! Age means nothing!

    • Kristen

      Yes, I agree – I do enjoy not having it planned. I laugh when I hear people have a timeline for when they want kids. I still have no idea how many kids I want! Maybe just one, but I’d be happy if I had 5! (I might eat my words when/if we have a second…)

  • Kristen’s Mom

    The thirties are absolutely THE BEST! You will enjoy it so much! As I turn the big 6-0 this year (yikes), I just keep telling myself that it’s just a number. As long as I feel good, that’s what’s important. (I also don’t think I look my age, so that makes me feel good too!) I still say I haven’t figured out what I want to do as a career — and I’m 6 years from retirement! You’ll figure it all out – so just enjoy and dominate the 30-39 age bracket!!!

  • I wouldn’t let a silly comment from a high schooler freak you out. You’re doing just fine. Life is a journey and you’re going to love your 30’s.
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  • i totally hear ya girl!!
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  • Ashley

    I just turned 30 and I feel a lot of the same things you do! My Hubby is still a student, I am working at a job I hate, and I only have 1 child. I thought I would be a SAHM with 3 kids by now. Life never goes how you plan it and I struggle with this every day. Good Luck!

    • Kristen

      So true! I am starting to think it’s normal to not have life figured out at 30!

  • Your 30s are going to be so fantastic! I look back at my 20s and while they were mostly great – they were so dramatic. My 30s are just more — fun!

    I had my 3rd when I was 34 and yes, I definitely felt “older” (and more tired) than I did with my first (28) and 2nd (30 – but almost 31), but I felt no difference during pregnancy and feel like I’m back to my old self — 8 months later. So… eh. Take that advice as a grain of salt. Plan your family in accordance to YOUR schedule! It will all work out.
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  • Jen

    I’m going to be 32 in March. I didn’t have the same panic many of my friends felt at 30 because, well, I had a colicky newborn and did NOT care.

    One thing, though, age really is just a number. You have no idea if you’ll live to be 70, 90, or 100+ so I guess I just don’t see the big deal. Like you, I’m not very mature, I have no idea what I want to do with my life, and we definitely aren’t close to having everything figured out — I hate that we’re still struggling financially at 31 but I think that’s common at every age nowadays, sadly.

    And 30 is not too old to have a kid! I think this is a regional thing? I was the first one of my friends from back home to have a child — at 29 — and half of them aren’t even married yet. My mom had me 3 weeks shy of turning 34 and my brother when she was 37. Sure she was a little older than many of my friends’ moms growing up, but she is without a doubt the most energetic and youthful 64 year old out there! People think I’m lying when I tell them her age.
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    • Jen

      Oh and you will definitely dominate the over 30 age group! :)
      Jen recently posted..Pregnancy update: week 29

    • Kristen

      I don’t know – most of my family had kids later on in their 30s, so it seemed really normal to me to be over 30 when I had kids. At first, I really wanted to wait until I was 30 when I had my first. At this rate, it’s likely Matt will be at least 34 by the time we have our second! Thankfully, we both look like we’re 18 still… ;)

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