My Life Sucks But I Feel LIke It’s Too Late To Start Over

I spent my twenties working the same dead-end job, dating the same guy for the sake of convenience, and renting my own apartment just so I didn’t have to live with my parents. Now that I’m 30, I realize I hate the life I’ve built but I’m too scared to start over and make a new one.

  1. I didn’t plan for life’s curve balls. In my twenties, I was naive enough to think that if I knew what I wanted and worked hard, everything would most likely work out as I intended it to. Now that I’m 30, life has given me a rude awakening: I’m nowhere near what I planned on achieving either in my personal or professional life by this point.
  2. Time flew past before I knew it. It’s easy to imagine that you’ll have enough time to figure things out, but the past 10 years seem to have gone by so fast and I can only assume that it will be the same for the next decade of my life. If I don’t make a change now, I’ll still be in the same rut when it comes to my 40th birthday.
  3. The internet has made things so much more complicated. Because of social media, there are constant “overnight success” stories being thrown in my face. Things are very different from the way they were a decade ago. Now it’s not enough to have gone to college, you have to think about your social currency and anything else you can offer to be considered a valuable employee. It’s about personal branding and having your own voice. It is a hard adjustment to make when you grew up believing that you just had to do your job well and career progression would come with time.
  4. My parents have high expectations. My parents made a lot of sacrifices to make sure I got a good education and had a good start in life. After college, they expected that once I got a job, I would be set for life. But I’m still living paycheck to paycheck, the cost of living keeps increasing, and my boyfriend’s lack of ambition isn’t helping to ease the stress. They keep asking when we’re going to settle down, buy a house and have kids, but all those things are far from my mind because I feel like I haven’t figured my life out yet.
  5. I have a lot to live up to. My siblings have worked their way up the career ladder. They’re doctors, scientists, and successful business owners. They’re living comfortable lives and all have stable partners that they’re making serious future plans with. My life pales in comparison. Sure, I’m the youngest so I still have time to figure stuff out, but in seeing their progress, I can’t help but feel like a bit of a failure.
  6. I don’t even know what I want out of life. This question has been haunting me lately. I thought I knew the career path I wanted to take and the type of life I wanted to live, but being in a career that hasn’t really excited me and having my plans not materialize as I’d hope has me feeling like maybe I lost my way. The only way I foresee getting a clearer answer to this question is getting out of my comfort zone a bit. Hopefully it will help me to see things differently and open a path I hadn’t considered.
  7. I worry that I’m getting too old. The age thing terrifies me. There are people who are younger than me who are millionaires or on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and when I think of them, I can’t help but feel that maybe I’m too old to start over and possibly achieve similar success.
  8. Maybe there isn’t anything better than what I have. In my mind, I feel that there has to be more to life than the 9-5 grind at a crappy job and a life that’s just OK. However, I can’t help but think that maybe I’m chasing a unicorn. Perhaps having a fabulous life only exists for the chosen few and the rest of us just have to be grateful that we’re getting by and surviving.
  9. What if I fail? I’ve only achieved mediocre success in my life so far. It’s terrifying to imagine quitting my job, as crappy as it might be, because I don’t know what else I can do to bring me fulfillment. What if I left my job and pursued some of my other passions and then they don’t take off? I might feel worse than I already do. It’s true that sometimes you have to take a risk to see the possibilities of what could be if you tried something new, but I feel like I have a lot to lose if things don’t work out.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.