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Am I depressed?

I'm a few months away from my 30th birthday. Is this a "oh my God I'm turning 30" thing?

Lately nothing seems fun anymore. I'm very fortunate to have a very secure job, lots of vacation time (I work for the federal government), but as lucky as I am-this isn't EVER what I thought I'd be doing. I never ever wanted to work in an office. I think that I'm just sort of...depressed that this is really what adulthood is. I dreamed big as a child, but yeah, most peoples childhood dreams DON'T come true. I worked in the industry of my dreams for about 10 years (starting at age 15), then the economy tanked and work was hard to get, so I ended up here. Realized that, my mother was right, job security and health insurance are indeed important to have, and I've stayed.

I've been deferring my student loan payments for the past few years due to financial reasons (honestly, most of my financial troubles were my own fuck-ups), and am set to start making $300 a month payments next year. I'm terrified of getting back into debt and have grown so frugal with my money that I'm afraid to do anything for myself anymore. I love Broadway but haven't seen a show in over a year. I used to go on great vacations, now I don't even want to spend the money for a weekend away somewhere. My partner manages our finances and always says we can afford this or that, but I'm just afraid.

I think I'm just in a rut. While it's not my dream job, my job isn't completely miserable. I have a great partner. Wonderful family. I live in NYC (which is also my hometown). I just feel so lost, like I don't recognize the person I've become. I feel very disconnected with the person I was at 20. For those who are soon turning 30 or who are already over 30--how do/did you feel?

I feel like I'm mourning

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 1410/31/2013

((hugs OP))

How much in student loans do you owe? Seems like student loans are a big issue for A LOT of folks.

Maybe start small with spending a bit of money and doing something fun.

You have many things RIGHT in your life - don't let this derail you.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 110/30/2013

Frankly, OP, I don't give a damn.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 210/30/2013

Trust me, if you had to do physical labor, you would be wishing for your office. Please don't give it up!

I'm not sure why you feel like this at 30...40 I could understand. It does sound like you need a little adventure. Get an exciting hobby!

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 310/30/2013

[quote] most peoples childhood dreams DON'T come true.

& some do. Some of us live the dream. Earn millions of dollars doing a fun job. Have houses all over the world.

Check out my website. I let people right in on my privileged life. You can even pretend you know me if you like.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 410/30/2013

I changed jobs every six years.

It worked just fine for me.

Think about it. ;-)

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 510/30/2013

Google Saturn Return, OP.

And no, you're not alone. But imagine how you'd feel without a nice secure government job - like the other 95% of people your age.

Here's what I'd do in your situation. Think about what else you'd like to do, and use the bit of extra time and money you have to get there. Tell your partner you are going to use vacation time even if he doesn't want to spend money to travel.

If you don't want to work in an office, what do you need to learn to be positioned to get out of this work into something you do want to do when the economy picks up or the time is right? You are young and you have a few years, but don't waste them being depressed about a situation that is temporary and somewhat enviable. Think of this time as a gift, because it is.

I'm 44 and in a lot more debt and have a few more worries than you, but I have a very wealthy friend who owes me a trip anywhere in the world because of a bet we made decades ago. And she's ready to honor it when I say the word. I'm thinking of talking her into going to South or Central America to take an intensive Spanish course with me, because neither of us have that skill, it's not that expensive, and it seems like an experience we'd both have a lot of fun with.

Think in that vein with your vacation time. What can you learn that you can use to get to your dreams? What is the industry of your dreams, anyway?

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 610/30/2013

[quote] I feel very disconnected with the person I was at 20. For those who are soon turning 30 or who are already over 30--how do/did you feel?

I love it. God, if I was the same person at 30 that I was at 20 I don't know what I'd do. not that I disliked myself, but can you imagine never changing? Stop worrying about what you're not and be happy with who you are.

The 30s are your best years OP.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 710/30/2013

I think 40s can be better, especially for guys. Women get interesting medical stuff that isn't much fun, so OP is very young to be worrying that he's wasting his life. I didn't start feeling like I'd wasted my life until at least 42.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 810/30/2013

This is normal to feel this way around 30, from my experience. It will pass. Don't make any sudden moves or crazy changes. You're not alone, our generation seems to be having our midlife crises at an accelerated rate. Use this time to start thinking about where you'd like to be and how you might get there. Good luck.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 910/31/2013

Most of what I have read so from others far rings true to me, OP. I got the OH SHIT moment thing too, but really, that just passed. I took propecia to make sure I didn't lose my hair and now I have a job that I love. I have WAY more student debt than you do, but I did it so I would get the job I wanted and I am very happy with the results. Most of my students are your age now (and I am only like 3 or 4 years older than they). One thing that you will notice is that metabolism changes--not bad, but different. I don't think there is anything bad about ones 30s, unless you are absolutely looks-obsessed and will not be happy with different people finding you attractive than before.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 1010/31/2013

oh and counseling couldn't hurt

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 1110/31/2013

Thanks everyone. R1, about 32k. I'll be on an "income based" plan, because after 10 years of payments the federal government will cover the rest (one of the perks of being a federal employee). I'm grateful for that, but do feel sort of stuck. The sad thing is, I never even graduated.

R6, I totally googled the shit out of Saturn Return, and turns out I'm in it now. Wow! Very interesting.

I always wanted to make a real career in theatre (not onstage). I did that for years until I fell into this. The job security is great, I guess I can't believe how my sense of adventure seems to be gone!

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 1210/31/2013

OP, it's no big deal to turn thirty, it just feels huge.

And if you think you'll freak turning forty, you won't, it really feels like nothing.

Fifty--you probably won't even celebrate. It's that meaningless.

Enjoy your life. Exercise that wonderful youthful body of yours. Learn new languages, or learn to play an instrument. Your brain is still pliable to learn, that's how great your life is right now.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 1310/31/2013

Just be prepared when your parents become ill and elderly and you have to care for them. Then come back here to complain and whine.

My parents did not prepare for their old age, they both worked, yet didn't save much. They spent most of their extra money on travel, not once thinking about their future.

They have too much in pension and SS money to be eligible for government subsidies to get help with an assisted living facility. If they were to pay out of pocket, all their money will be gone in less than a year.

I have no help with them. Thankfully, they are still healthy enough to remain in their home, yet I can't do it all. I've had to adapt my job in order to help them. I do all their shopping and help with cleaning. In turn, my career is suffering. Relatives have moved and close friends are also dealing with their own family issues, they're of no help.

I'm so tired of hearing people with secure jobs and healthcare, two things which are like having The Holy Grail these days, still complain how 'depressed' they are! Just the other day, a friend who makes $450 a day was complaining. This person works in a creative field which was exactly what they studied in school.

When you have real problems, then you can complain.

I know a ton of 'depressed' people, my theory is, if they had more to do in their life, they wouldn't have time to be so depressed. I'm not talking about real clinical depression, I'm talking about people who spend too much time thinking about things!

Get a hobby, volunteer to help others, do something other than think about 'what would have been' or whatever is bothering you. If it's bothering you so much, see a therapist. Just stop whining.

by Lord Lord Lord, that woman is me. reply 1410/31/2013
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