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To be worried about my life?

(36 Posts)
scaredscared Sat 08-Mar-14 16:17:53

I'm a junior after changing career (made redundant), and am earning a 20k salary. I don't have any kids, am nearly 30, not married, and rent in the SE.

Lots of people on here seem to be married, own their house/flat, have a good career/salary, have children or are TTC children, and though I admire those of you who are doing so well, I can't help but feel bad about myself. I look back at my life so far and feel I've made the best decisions I could have at the time, but I just feel I've missed out somehow as I don't have any of these stable life things - from the outside I'm not 'doing well,' iykwim?

I'm likely to be promoted soon, but realistically it'll be years before I'm at a significantly better pay grade, and I'm really feeling the very little money thing, and the not being able to afford my own place - it makes me feel low when I think that I'm at the same life stage as that of your average 20 year old, but am ten years older. And what about all the rest of it? My mum wants me to do a big thing for my 30th but I'm dreading the thought as inside I feel like a total disappointment - I was always expected to 'do well', in a vague, formless sort of way, as I was considered a 'bright' kid.

I know it doesn't help to compare, but a lot of my peers are getting married, having babies, buying houses, starting startups/having good career success and I just feel bad. Is it realistic to think I'm unlikely to 'catch up', or defeatist? Or is being 'successful' even something I should be worrying about at all?

Scarletohello Sun 09-Mar-14 01:10:01

I understand why you might feel that you haven't achieved as much as you could but I think it's important to bit compare yourself with others but to look at what you have achieved. Life is pretty tough these days and you have done really well.

I'm in my 40s, had a good job in London on 32k, got made redundant as a result of Government cuts, ended up moving back to the Midlands to look after v unwell elderly parents with dementia/ stroke. Haven't worked now for over 2 years. Really wasn't in my life plan but had to deal with it and make the best of it. Many people in life are struggling and the road to hell is to compare yourself to others. Please look at what you do have and learn to appreciate it. There will always be people better off than you but there are many more who will never have what you have...

JazzyCardi Sun 09-Mar-14 01:16:23


I am not in your situation but feel the same way. I'm 37 and rent a flat with my DP of 16 years. We have a 12 year old DS together.

My list of things to achieve are:

buy a house, or at least rent one that is affordable
work in a job that I enjoy with reasonable pay
have another child, although I've almost ruled this out as unattainable

A lot of my friends have all these things. They bought at the right time and are now planning WOW kitchens, thinking of third babies or going for promotions. If I sat and thought about it I'd realise that I'm bitter wink but I really try not to.

All you can do is be grateful for what you have (and I'm not being patronising, it's just something that I try very hard to do), identify what you really want and then plan accordingly.

There is absolutely nothing wrong about being single and childless in your 30's. You have years to change that if you want to. Also, please celebrate your 30th doing exactly what suits you.

innisglas Sun 09-Mar-14 02:25:35

I think it is more important to consider your present quality of life, not how much you earn and what you own. It doesn't sound like you enjoy your job, who needs a lot of money when they enjoy their job.

As for financial security, what on earth is that? I hate to say it but nowadays nobody has any financial security. Mortgages take forever to pay and who knows what tomorrow may bring.

Yes it is useful to have goals but, IMHO, not at the expense of the present, because the present is all we have.

snowqu33n Sun 09-Mar-14 03:20:17

You can definitely make over your life a number of times. Things are constantly changing and evolving. I am living proof that you can get married and have a kid after 40. I worked in jobs I didn't enjoy all through my 20s and 30s. I was single or in failed relationships for a long time and what sustained me was living out other dreams, mostly childhood ones like owning a horse and riding in contests, going traveling to interesting places and learning new sports. It is a lot harder to do those kind of things when you have a relationship and/or kids to look after, so make up a bucket list and see what you can achieve now.

Pitmountainpony Sun 09-Mar-14 04:02:23

It is not uncommon to feel this way but honestly if you are getting by and have some friends you are doing fine.
At30 I was finishing my degree working as a waitress to find it. Within five years I went from 23 k to 45 k in the profession I chose, then went in the right pub on the right night...maybe 34 and met a food person, settled down, had kids, gave up work. So much can change in a few years. So do not be down on yourself. Get out and enjoy life and have new experiences. You are still so young but you may not feel it. You are.

Pitmountainpony Sun 09-Mar-14 04:02:55

Met a good person not a person made from food.

Kafri Sun 09-Mar-14 07:42:08

Im 30 this year and am getting to the end of my first year of uni.
I dropped out at 19 after deciding the course I was doing wasn't for me and had worked ever since.
It took my mum passing away last year for me to jump into what is decided I wanted to do but had always thought I couldn't afford to do it.
Circumstances change. I loved my last (not well paid at all) job but they refused my request for part time hours after mat leave so I had to find another job. It was then I decided to look into going back to uni like I'd always promised my mum I would.
So I'll be 32 when I finish and just stepping on to my chosen career ladder bug that's ok. I just figure I'll have more life experience than those 21 year olds graduating with me.

woodlandlilies Sun 09-Mar-14 07:50:46

I can empathise, OP.

I am 32 and while I've done well in my career everything else is a disaster zone and it does get me down quite a bit. Keep fantasising about running away to London!

scaredscared Sun 09-Mar-14 10:44:17

Thanks guys. I did graduate in 2008 (hollow laughter), so I guess there is some element of things having been somewhat out of my control.

What people are saying about making the most of your freedom right now to travel and so on - the thing is I can't really afford to travel/do lots of things I'd love to, as I just don't have the money. I could conceivably do some cheap stuff, but if I do, I can't save anything at all. And that clashes completely with my hope of owning my own place at some point - it's one or the other, you know?

I know, I know, first world problems, but I'm trying to save everything I can. Ugh, and I need driving lessons. And my bike needs new tyres. So not much I can play with without guilt guilt guilt.

However - thanks for the reminder not to wish your life away, but to take control and live mindfully. You're all right, and thank you - you've cheered me up guys.

woodlandlilies Sun 09-Mar-14 10:49:25

Scared, living alone is EXPENSIVE! People forget this I think - bills , council tax, rent/mortgage all have to come from one monthly income and not two.

Being young free and single can ironically be very restrictive!

BumpyGrindy Mon 10-Mar-14 21:24:21

Scared what do you do for fun? Do you have a good social life at all? It seems to me that you're prematurely worried about...not much at all.

I have 2 children and a DH....we're both self employed...we rent. Currently I am hoping to get a 2 bed housing association flat to get a little security for the family. Can you imagine that?? I was/am supposed to do great things. I went to university with some people who are now internationally famous...hugely famous actors who DID manage to be successful.

And here's me...hoping for a bloody HA flat to bring up my two kids!

But I'm not focusing on my "failures" but on my successes. I've done well in some ways...and continue to do's a funny thing and even if you had enough to buy a place...what then? More work? Are you enjoying your life? Doing your hobbies and having fun?

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