Hitting Your “Save Point”

Another video game related post?

Not really – this one doesn’t have much to do with video games, it’s mostly just a play on words. I was scrolling through my social media feed, wasting time… and I came across a post that said:

Reaching 30 is like making it to a save point

I don’t know who to credit this quote to – it was one of those posts that had been shared and reshared/recreated many times. The context of the post was debating which years/decade were supposed to be the best time of your life. I think one cliché is that high school or college is the best time of your life, and then after that your life slowly gets worse and worse, or at least busier or more stressful. #adulting

If you’ve played a variety of video games, you are probably already familiar with save points. They are in games that don’t automatically save as you go, but instead you have to reach a certain point before it saves your progress. Sometimes it can be really hard to get to the save point (you may end up dying multiple times) so when you finally reach it, it’s like a breath of fresh air.

Right before I turned 30, a good friend of mine (who was a year or so older) told me that your 30s are so much better than your 20s. Despite some skepticism on my part, I have (so far) found this to be a true statement.

While I do miss my younger days of naiveté and less overall responsibilities (and less aches and pains!), I have enjoyed many things about being in my 30s, many of which revolve around the theme of self-awareness and acceptance. I’ve listed a few things below:

  • I’m more aware of my flaws, yet also more compassionate with myself for not being perfect
  • I’m more certain about the trajectory I want to move in my career
  • I feel more secure in my marriage (married for 11 years)
  • My religion and faith has become my own and not something I just accepted out of obligation
  • The friendships are fewer but deeper
  • Student loans are (finally) paid off!
  • I’ve lived long enough to experience some intensely difficult times, and have also watched myself come out of those times a better person
  • I have less time and desire to worry about what others think of me (still working on this one, but it’s better!)
  • Even though I’m not good at everything, I have learned some things I’m really good at and can acknowledge them as strengths

My twenties was such a period of transition, as it is for many people. I graduated college, got married, moved to a new city, applied for (many) jobs, started new jobs… I hated the uncertainty of life during my twenties – school had always given me a clear path, but with that over, life seemed almost too open. There were a million possibilities, and yet simultaneously nothing really seemed attainable. I had started my career as an elementary school teacher, but had found it to be really stressful. I had self-doubts about what I wanted to do with my life, and about who I was in general.

I feel like things have settled out a lot more in my thirties. I feel more sure about who I am and what I believe. I know now that being in a classroom all day with 25+ elementary kids does not suit my personality. I’ve given up on being perfect and trying to fit into a mold of someone I’m not, and now I can focus on just doing my best and leaving it at that. There’s a lot more freedom to be myself because I’m not always trying to impress everyone anymore. Things are still uncertain as far as life is concerned (especially this year!) but I’m enjoying the certainty in things I have learned about myself.

My 20s were a time of self-discovery. But after all that time trying to find myself, it’s nice to finally be discovered! Supposedly in your 30s your personality has pretty much set and does not change drastically anymore like it does in your teenage years and your 20s. I like the idea that I’m finally the person I’m supposed to be – though that’s not to say I will not keep working on flaws or trying to improve myself…

The idea of your 30s being a prime time of life is nothing new. There are articles and studies out there that would say “real happiness doesn’t begin until age 33.” I’m sure that could be debated, but it’s interesting to consider.

So, does this mean after my 30s that I will have nothing to look forward to, or that it’s all downhill? I don’t think it has to mean that. I hope turning 40 will feel like another “save point” in life. And even if it ends up that my 30s really were the best decade of my life, it doesn’t have to mean the other decades weren’t special or meaningful.

Have you had any pivotal moments in your life that felt like save points?

2 thoughts on “Hitting Your “Save Point”

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