30-Something and Confused: Are Modern Women More on the Fence than Ever?

Confused - Photo: blackgirllonghair.com

Confused – Photo: blackgirllonghair.com

Hello Again…

Middle-age crisis, quarter-life crisis, existential crisis, change of life crisis…Many are the genuine, and at times not so genuine crisis, we face throughout our lives. And in the era of the self-conscious, self-proclaimed, and at times  seriously self-victimized woman, we can now give our crisis names, dress them up in layers of self-pitying, socially conscious and ego-boosting behavior, while still being able to stamp them with a self-righteous, politically correct name that can sound as right as it may be vague and unexplainable…

However, in the midst of all our crisis, some beaten to death in every media portal available, and others carefully dismissed as Life’s unfortunate burden for women to bear, what is not discussed as much is the real agony that many women go through when faced with this one embarrassing, unexplainable, yet excruciatingly painful crisis that seems to be hitting my generation harder than ever:” the 30-something and confused” crisis.

Unlike the quarter-life crisis, or even the change of life crisis, it’s not so much a time when you either start fearing the future or questioning the past. It’s not so much this frightening time of expectancy when your life is taking a turn, and you’re not sure if it’s for the better or the worst. Not exactly… Rather, it seems to be this stand-still point, this fork in the road of your life, when you’ve already put your best (or worst) foot forward, gotten that college degree, exchanged vows with the man of your life (or the boyfriend of your 20’s), experienced the pangs of childbirth and the undescribable joys of motherhood or are about to experience them, gotten your first (or second, or third) real job in the real world, and now are facing one of the toughest questions you’ll ever face: “NOW WHAT?”

Now, what to do with all of this? All of these responsibilities, all these tough choices, all these commitments? What are we to do with all these things we asked for? And at times, even more importantly, what to do with all the “unfinished business”, the crazy dreams we still have, the life’s callings we thought we had, the relationships we did not experience? Now that our schedules are jam-packed, our lives seem to be set in full motion, and there’s just as much time to think as there is to catch up on last week’s (more like last month’s) laundry, what do we do with all that stuff that we’re too grown to talk about but still too young to forget about….

In the era of the modern woman, when traditional values collide with modern ones, when ideals are so big and egos equally inflated, this generation of 30-something women sure is a lot of things, but as I speak to many of us out there living in the “real” world, one thing it sure appears to be is, somewhat CONFUSED….

The examples are numerous, each as compelling as the other. My friend N., a brilliant scientist, newly married and mom of one, is now reconsidering years of studies and lifelong plans, because at the end of the day, what she really wants to do is write and talk to other human beings. My other girlfriend D. is a mommy of 2, a free spirit whose high-profile career as an engineer is threatening to deplete her of the very spirit that makes her such a wonderful woman. As for my girl S, a driven, ambitious and highly successful career woman, she is now facing marriage and the start of career burnout all at the same time. Another one of my girls is battling through a painful divorce, learning to co-parent the cutest and most resilient little girl I’ve ever seen, dreaming to be away from her successful career somewhere on a deserted island…And last Saturday night, both my girls M. and N. complained of their respective hubbies wanting to cuddle on the couch when all THEY wanted was to hit the club…And these women are all on the four corners of the world, from France to America, through Italy and my beloved Senegal…

All of these women are phenomenal, unique, outstanding, and all of them, all of us, have these things in common: “We are thirty-something and somewhat wondering…” On the fence between what could have been, what is, and what will be…And as confused as we are about life, marriage and relationships in general, raising  kids or which anti-aging cream to use on our skin, it’s in this confusion that my best girls and I find our best ideas, share our best moments, laugh our silliest laughs, realizing that we are all a laugh (or tear) away from the next BIG thing (or the next BIG mess)…

And while it’s not talked about as much, it certainly is real…And while some of us have supporting spouses, families and friendship network to help us through the confusion and tough hardship of life’s choices at a budding time of our lives when we’re learning to be parents, spouses, and career people, others bury their search for answers in constant business and excessive, albeit artificial, self-motivation…

And while it won’t make any of us look as confident and smart as we’d like, simply admitting sometimes that we don’t really have the answers may just help us get things a bit clearer, or a good laugh at our own expense…


Love Always,

Miss Awa.

4 comments for “30-Something and Confused: Are Modern Women More on the Fence than Ever?

  1. Gitane
    November 5, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Oui assez perdues parcequ’on n’a plus seulement des rêves/projets mais aussi des résultats de ce qu’on a entamé des rêves/projets précédents..et souvent on s’arrête et..ces resultats ne sont pas vraiment terribles..il semble trop tard pour entamer autre chose et il y a une peur terrible d’échouer à nouveau..donc l’énergie du rêve du second round est bien moins intense…il y a un moment où on ouvre les portes du passé et on se déplace pour faire face à nos choix.
    Je pense à toutes les fourches que j’ai prises en choisissant une route et en laissant une autre. Qui sait, probablement les sentiments seraient les mêmes..Tous ces choix avec tant d’énergie et je me demande si ça en valait vraiment la peine, de tous ces changements, des douleurs causées à d’autre même involontairement…complètement dispersée entre mille choses qui intéressent mais une peur terrible de prendre encore un choix d’une direction claire qui pourrait encore ne pas marcher, et la différence peut être avec les choix à 20 ans est que tu as l’impression de ne plus avoir encore toutes les possibilités..D’abord les choix ont plus de contraintes parcequ’on ne veut pas détruire le peu de château qu’on a réussi à construire, et puis il y a moins de temps pour se gourer à nouveau et devoir recoller d’autres morceaux.
    Mais en même temps middle-âge toi-même So on ne peut pas parler comme si on était en middle age on doit prétendre une réaction de nous même !!!!!!!!!!Et le fait que toi de l’extérieur comme amie ne voit pas cet échec si gros encourage à essayer à nouveau..on doit probablement se détacher un peu de nous même et se rendre compte qu’on est plusieurs à rependre ces risques chaque jour et que c’est juste normal..Merci radio !
    (Et puis 34 ans passé je ne parle aucune langue comme il faut tout est approximatif…trente milles choses approximatives et rien de conclusif sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeuh !)

    • November 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Ahahaha I love you Degs! Tu es tellement honnete dans tout ce que tu dis, ca me fait toujours sourire de te lire :) C’est vrai qu’il y a toujours cette peur de recommencer a zero, de faire des erreurs, et je pense que c’est l’une des raisons qui nous empechent de realiser nos reves. On a tellement peur, il y a tellement de possibilites mais tellement peu de choix “raisonnables” soi-disant, que finalement on ne fait rien. Mais rendez-vous dans 10 ans, et on va les realiser nos reves ma cocotte! I love you radio!

  2. Amina
    November 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    En tout cas, j’adore beaucoup ce que tu as ecrit et je m’y retrouve mot par mot. Je n’ai jamais su ce que je voulais faire..apres 5 ans en Economie,j’ai decide de poursuivre mon reve ie la litterature et les langues. Apres 8 ans..ahem..9 ans, beaucoup de sacrifices et choix difficiles, je ne sais vraiment pas si je veux etre prof ……..donc en attendant je continue mon doctorat en explorant d’autres sentiers.
    Je suis vraiment heureuse de savoir que je ne suis pas la seule!
    A Bloomington aussi je suis entouree de personnes qui ont decide de tout laisser tomber pour suivre leur passion. Ca m’inspire enormement et ca m’effraie en meme temps. Par exemple, le propio d’un de mes cafes preferes est medecin!Une femme au marche apres des longues annees en droit et une carriere a decide de tout laisser tomber pour commencer une ferme…..enfin…merci d’avoir ecrit cet article! Ca me touche beaucoup!

    • November 9, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Amina, I always love love love and look forward to your comments. And yes, you are absolutely right, sooo many people are searching for who they are and for what their Godgiven path is, and meanwhile giving the appearance that all is well while they are waging a terrible war inside! Especially for women, it’s an even tougher battle, because many times we remain silent and brave and we sacrifice so much when all we want is realize our dreams! Tu es loin loin d’etre la seule, j”ai toujours adore comme toi la literature et les langues, et on m”a toujours convaincue que je ne pourrais pas survivre en tant qu’ecrivain et artiste, et me voila des annees plus tard, c’est plus fort que moi, I have to write…We can’t escape who we are, and I command you for exploring all the possible avenues to find the real you! That’s what I’m doing, it’s hard but it’s so worth it! Let’s keep in touch and share what we find along the way :)…Much love Amina!

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