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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?

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?

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!

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 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!

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.

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

Met a good person not a person made from food.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

Latara Sun 09-Mar-14 00:58:38

When I was 30 I had a great time celebrating - I definitely remember that. If I was you I'd do the same. Enjoy being young, free and single while you can because you could be married with a baby in a couple of years, who knows.

PS. the 30s are the best decade, honestly.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 08-Mar-14 23:20:27

Please just make the most of what you are doing in your life now.

I spent my late teens and twenties desperate to tick the next box and be a 'grown up'.

I will be 40 next year and now I look back on a daily basis virtually and think 'Why did I not realise how young I was and how much time I had instead rushing into mortgages, marriages and babies'.

I was lucky to get on the property ladder when I did, DH & I are still ticking along after 17 years and I wouldn't swap my DD for the world, but I could kick myself for the opportunities and experiences I missed out in my desperation to be a grown up.

Lucyccfc Sat 08-Mar-14 23:08:14

Please stop comparing - you could spend your life doing that and being unhappy. Nothing will change by comparing.

You have the power to change things in your life. Sit down with pen and paper and make a plan. Think about what you want to achieve in life. Start with the most important goal (for example, earn more money, better career) and work backwards with a plan of how you can achieve it.

The plan may include doing a qualification, asking your boss for more responsibility, finding a mentor, joining a networking group, updating your cv.

I found I was coasting through life about 8 years ago and decided that I needed more. I wrote down my goals (making them specific) and planned against those goals. I am now in the process of doing the same thing again, as I achieved what I wanted and I now have another goal. The first part of my plan to achieving the next job I want is to do a post-grad qualification, that links to a project I have put myself forward to do at work. The qualification takes 18 months, so near to completion, I will start to register with recruitment companies, update my cv and Linked-In and contact my network of friends and colleagues. I plan to have promotion and earn at least £10k more within the next 18-24 months.

Without a specific goal and a plan, I would not achieve any of this.

Focus your energy on you and what you can achieve and not what other people have done.

Good luck.

BumpyGrindy Sat 08-Mar-14 22:45:52

You are thinking in a way which I only began to think in recently and I am 41!

Believe me, you're doing fine! I rent...self employed and no chance of owning a home. You're good...carry on as you are.

Beavie Sat 08-Mar-14 22:40:17

Chin up.

If it makes you feel better, I'm 33, single mum, 2 kids with different dads, in a housing association house, no income, only just about to start a degree this year so won't be earning for a few years yet. Plus have a massive list as long as your arm of fuck ups I've made, from wasting too many years taking drugs to being stuck in a domestic abuse relationship for 3 years and then going to court 18 times (so far).

I was a 'bright' kid too! Earmarked as one of the ones who would go places. I feel embarrassed of myself sometimes when I compare myself to my peers but actually the rest of the time I focus on what I HAVE achieved, rather than what I haven't.

The moral of the story is, don't worry about what others are doing. You are walking your own path and at least you have a nice clean slate so you can in time meet Mr Right and have a family, and do everything the right way round, unlike me!

RhondaJean Sat 08-Mar-14 22:28:15

Right a different perspective, when DH and I were hitting 30 we had been together nearly ten years, 2 kids, mortgage, you name it.

All our friends pretty much were doing the footloose and fancy free thing!

We were sad not because we didn't want our life but because we were in different places from them.

But to them, we had everything, we were set up.

(now, they're all paying off weddings and having kids and sleepless nights and we are a bit smug haha but I'm still a bit jealous of the excitement of the wedding and the new baby, but that's just because life is swings and roundabouts, and whatever stage you are personally at in life, if you compare to someone else, you always see Thr worst in your own life).

HadABadDay2014 Sat 08-Mar-14 22:21:26

Why not rent a room instead of a flat, much cheaper and it will enable you to save for a mortgage.

RhondaJean Sat 08-Mar-14 22:19:20

I'm marking so I can find this easily on my iPad and post properly.

bellasuewow Sat 08-Mar-14 22:17:14

I have a great career, a great husband with a great career, no money worries, we are on our third large house that we are renovating. I am 36. All good there except we have had two miscarriages that we are desperately disappointed with. We also have no contact with family due to abusive childhoods. Some things I have in abundance some things I will never have and I really struggle with although outwardly we probably appear to have it all I suppose what I am saying is be careful of assuming that others have it all despite appearances there are still many who would swap places with you.

AchyFox Sat 08-Mar-14 20:21:10

You are actually in a very flexible position, with few responsibilities, and significant choices re your future path in life.

It's really fairly common to be in this situation in late 20s.
You sound blue, perhaps it's the realisation that this is "it", that life ain't going to be getting any different or better .....ever!

I know I felt like this. A quarter of a century of ladder climbing; then the ladder sort of runs out; and fresh air beckons.

Problem is I don't know the solution, it's within you.
Is their something you desperately want to do ? Do that.
If not, find something.grin

But relax; worrying isn't going to make you happy.

thesecowsaresmallthosearefaraw Sat 08-Mar-14 19:53:30

OP, I am in my 40s and earn half of what I earned in my 30s because I made some stupid choices.

You fell down the ladder because of someone else's choice - you were made redundant. But you are back in work - that's a great achievement.

You say that you've made the best decisions you could. That's all we can ask of ourselves.

MaryWestmacott Sat 08-Mar-14 19:47:04

Everyone does compare to their peers, and if your peers are all doing well career wise and are marrying/starting families, it might feel you are massively out of step, but actually it sounds like you are on the same path, just following them a few years back. 29/30 is generally seen amongst middle class educated woman to be the appropriate time to start a family, but you do have the best part of a decade before you need to worry.

Are you happy with your career path, even if you wish you'd started it 5 years ago? If so, you do have that sorted! Then house, save as much as you can, if your wage does jump up with the promotion you are expecting, try to stick to your current lifestyle and budget and save the rest (do not get sucked into thinking you should live a certain way once you've got a promotion and start spending).

Marriage and children are harder really, I assume you are single. Quite a few of my female friends living in London were childless and single at 30, however half a decade on, all are married with children. It does seem to be an age where you really have to be a bit more focused in what you are looking for - just shag, not date reject any "gorgeous but useless" men.

But you are in a way lucky, you get to start your 30s fresh, no baggage, with a clear idea of where you want to be by 40 and no reason why you can't achieve it.

NurseyWursey Sat 08-Mar-14 19:14:13

I don't think there's anything wrong with your situation OP, you're being too hard a judge on yourself.

I'm not on much more than you, and I had to study for 5 years.

I can understand how you feel because all you're friends are doing this and that, but don't judge your life by theirs. Every single woman I went to school with had a baby before age 22, imagine if felt you had to meet those goalposts grin

TulipOHare Sat 08-Mar-14 19:06:31

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 can really identify with this feeling! I mean, seriously, that's me, that is.

Fwiw the only one of the "achievements" on your list that I can tick off is having kids. I've done that. Everything else? Nope. Not married, renting with no hope of mortgage, relationship very rickety, no career even before the DC (I got a first-class degree but then found myself at a total loss as to what to do next, so drifted until I met DP). I am now 35 and having quite the existential crisis. I worry about it every day and sometimes feel like a rat in a maze. And I do feel like the failure of the family (siblings all doing pretty well).

I would be over the moon and very proud of myself if I could get a job on £20k like you have.

As for what you read online, I agree with a PP that your anxiety over your situation is perhaps skewing what you read so that it seems everyone is happy and successful but you. It is definitely, definitely not the case.

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