I Kinda Hate My 30s

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I Kinda Hate My 30s

JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty

I often wonder if I’m the only person who feels this way. And, any time I gather up the courage to say it aloud, to say how I’m really feeling — I’m met with blank stares and disbelief. So maybe I really am the only person who feels this way.

I hate my 30s. I hate the monotony. The 9-5++++. The busy schedules. The around-the-clock responsibility. The sheer and utter exhaustion. The caregiver burnout.

And, most of all, I hate the loneliness. My 30s are filled with heart-aching, gut-wrenching loneliness, boredom and lack of stimulation. Yes, I love being a mother. But I need more than that. Lately I’m wondering if maybe I need more than most.

Maybe I watch too many sitcoms featuring groups of happy 20-somethings spending all their time with their friends, but nowadays, hangouts with friends are a rarity. They happen once in a blue moon, when everyone isn’t exhausted, breastfeeding, sick or taking care of sick kids, overworked or on parenting duty.

Here’s the even more bonkers admission: I miss being in my carefree early 20s. Those days were filled with spontaneity, random road trips, always something to look forward to. And, as cliché as it sounds – my wallet was empty, but my heart was full. I had what I thought was a solid group of friends around me, and I was never alone. We did everything together.

Yes, alcohol is my social elixir, and in my 30s there’s no real reason to drink it. So, I’m alone on the couch at 7 p.m. every night in the same damn pink fuzzy robe.

My heart aches from loneliness. From stress and from lack of self-care. From lack of meaningful interaction. From a lack of passion for anything.

I exist in my 30s. That is as far as it goes. I’m alive, but I’m not thriving. Not in the least.

I have so many Facebook photo albums hidden that highlight my 20s, and I’m guilty of looking at them way too often. Feeling sad and alone. Wondering if any of those people even think of me (newsflash: they don’t).

My early 20s were the happiest times of my life, and I can’t help but think it is just going to keep getting worse.

I have anxiety. I’m isolated. I don’t want to make new friends yet desperately need to. I know I come off as clingy and desperate and crazy for wanting any human interaction at the end of the day. Everyone else seems to get along just fine with their robes, their TV shows, and their families filling the space where bars and parties used to be.

But it’s not enough for me, and I can’t figure out why. I can’t understand why I need alcohol to open up. I feel like no one even knows me. I fade into the background. No one notices me.

I want adventure. I want to stop working myself to death. I want spontaneity. I want to be free of anxiety and worry. I want a break that actually feels like a break. I don’t just want a break – I desperately need one.

The people I had in early 20s aren’t in my life anymore. From what I can tell, they’ve all managed to keep a close relationship, but certain circumstances made it so I was cut out, and I’ve felt so lonely ever since. Some of them didn’t treat me all that well, and ironically as soon as I finally stood up for myself, I was left lonelier than ever. It makes me feel as though I would have been better just shrugging it off — just to maintain some sort of companionship.

Does anyone else find their 30s depressing as hell? I realize that now we’re parents and we have responsibilities, but why can’t I seem to get over that period of my life? Most people are happy to put those times behind them, but I can’t stop thinking about them.

And how the hell do you make a friend in your 30s, anyway? Are we destined to only have “mom friends”? Am I nothing more than a mother? Will I ever talk about anything but my child again?

People joke that I spend too much time online, and I do. But no one realizes that online is the only place I have ever felt like I can be myself. Online is the only place anyone will stop to listen to me or consider me. I don’t fade into the background online like I do in real life.

Being an introvert is hard. Being a socially anxious introvert reliant on alcohol (and actually being in society) to open up is even harder.

I’ve written lots about how I’m planning to make friends, but the truth is, I just can’t seem to pull it off. I love my mom friends, but I’m so much more than a mom. I’m smart. I’m sometimes funny. I know deep down I’m someone worthy of knowing. But I can’t force others to see that in me. I’m in desperate need of meaningful conversation. I’m so tired of talking about my child, but that’s all anyone cares about. It’s like my identity is being absorbed entirely.

I miss my 20s. I want them back every day.