If you are designed to learn from mistakes, your early thirties will dedicate itself to master half of that skill; learning isn’t that half. Thirties is when you finally grow up, as described by a discarded classification of mental retardation, into a visibly aging organism of borderline intelligence having a grand IQ of 50 to 69. Now that the context is enumerated, allow me to indulge you in few of the notably stupid turns that life takes in its early thirties.
Chapter One – Friends? Screw them.
Thirties is when you finally grasp the obvious fact that you no longer have time or, more importantly, energy to stay in touch with losers with no real career, interesting hobby or undeniably strong interest in YOU. So you, decisively but carelessly, distill the unmanageable list of forty “friends” to, lets say, six. Great! quality after all matters more than quantity, right? not exactly.
Eventually you realize, or you wont, that your chosen six aren’t exactly the kind of friends you were used to a decade back when they seemed to solemnly pledge all the time in the world exclusively for you. Your new friends unfortunately have jobs, busy jobs, super busy jobs, super stressful jobs and that is all that they usually have. Additionally, compared to you, they either have more money which they totally don’t deserve or less which is why you dubiously suppose yourself to have earned their implied respect. To make matters worse, they also acquire spouses who can only be accurately described as party repellents with whom they dutifully procreate. The resulting little “bundle of joy” however often seems to entertain a rather strong and sadistic opinion that 2:23 AM is a totally acceptable time to pull a prank and wake up mommy and daddy.
So, here you are, totally unhedged on friendship, having your pleas for, for the lack of a better word, reunion politely, but constantly, rejected and eventually left with nobody you feel worthy of confiding to about your happiness, sorrows, guilt or insecurity. In the spectacularly rare chance that you happen to meet your friends at the same dinner table, you record this event on Facebook with a distinctly similar pomp and celebration as your vacation two years back in Bali. So much for not wanting to keep in touch with losers, looser.
Chapter Two – Sacrifices? Yeah sure.
Thirties is when you mature to become adept at measured responses to complicated life events. It’s when you finally put a string of endlessly poor erratic judgements behind you and proclaim a firm NO to expose yourself to unnecessary physical risk like, lets say, amphetamines, base jumping or running on a treadmill.
Mere measured response isn’t all that has been mastered, you are now also an expert “prioritiseur”. You have total clarity of what’s important in life like money, career growth, iPhone, more money etc which you’ll single minded-ly set forth to achieve even if it means insignificant sacrifices like frequently skipping lunch, often moving dinner to midnight or completely seizing to place that already rare call to your ever anticipating mom. Thanks to these small sacrifices of health and relationships, you can look forward to a successful and fulfilling, often not so long or peaceful, life. To hell with long lives as long as it is filled with passion. Right?
Final Chapter – Passion? For what.
Talking about Passion, a strange phenomenon becomes evident in early thirties. After a rather difficult and often stressful day at work, you rightly expect to feel what is only logical as you deposit yourself into your comfortable bed – tired. Hapless as it might be, what you feel isn’t tired, but empty. A puzzled mind grappling with the mystery of what it is exactly that you achieved working on industry specific doubtful receivable related contingent accrual risk calculation – About why your life is so miserably devoid of passion.
Alienating friends and family, hardly sleeping or giving up on your heath are clearly NOT the reasons for feeling empty. So you do what any normal urban middle aged man would do to cope with this complicated life problem – pop your smartphone to download “productivity” apps; watch a dozen TED talks hoping, against hope, that they might inspire you; connect with friends through Facebook “pokes”; read random blogs, maybe even write a blog post; And as you write, catch yourself whispering “Fuck, this is pathetic!”.