Thirtysomething crisis just a fork in the road of life
Twenty years ago people would have called it growing up, but according to a Melbourne psychologist, Dr Tim Cullen, there is a trend of people between 28-32 are facing an early mid-life crisis.
Symptoms include fear, loneliness and isolation, with many people blaming their single status, long working hours and living in city areas with no sense of community. In other words, they’re not happy.
Unfortunately this is not news. A massive part of being human is feeling disgruntled, unhappy and dissatisfied, but more on that later.
The crux of this story is that we are experiencing these feelings approximately ten years earlier than generations before us. Back then life got serious quickly, with most people of our parent’s generation getting married and having kids in their early twenties.
This meant their mid-life crisis struck around 40-50 when they got some time to sit back and realise the shape their lives had taken. But instead of feeling lonely and isolated, they wanted freedom, independence and fun.
Perhaps in response to this unhappiness, today’s thirtysomethings have been determined to put off these conventional aspects of life. We’ve chosen work, travel and get an education before building a foundation for our lives with long-term relationships, children and property. Yet despite this, it seems we’re not much happier anyway.
That’s because mid-life crisis, or milestone crisis as Bernard Salt describes them are actually, just a necessary fork in the road of life. They can and do strike at any age, although tend to prefer those times when we’re feeling out balance, stuck in a rut or well overdue a holiday.
Very few people avoid these periods of introspection but plenty choose to bury the questions they tend to projectile vomit to the surface. This feels good at the time but it’s no long term solution, because the key to surviving these forks in the road is to face them head on.
Get ready to ask yourself the hard questions and hang around long enough to hear yourself answer them. Be honest with yourself about your real goals and dreams you have for your life.
Once you’re clear about those it’s easier to figure out what is blocking their path. Is it work or a job you can’t stand? Is it your relationship or your circle of friends? And depending on the answer seek some good advice.
Be prepared to make a decision to get things on track for yourself. As with all other hurdles in life, long term change is only ever up to the individual. Nobody else can make your life better for you.
And finally, understand that what you are feeling is part of a normal life and that no matter how much we have, we’ll always want more or something different. It’s just the way we are programmed. The only thing that really matters is realising just how much we do have and making the best of that.
There, what crisis.
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