50 Painfully-Accurate Memes That Anyone Above 30 Might Relate To, Shared By This Instagram Page
There’s just something about turning 30 that shakes us awake. Suddenly, we realize that this is the point we expected to have it all figured out. To leave our carefree youthful days behind and merrily cross over the bridge into adulthood. But many will agree there’s little joy in the mammoth 30th birthday. It often looms over our heads and reminds us that we simply haven’t done enough with our lives, making us question whether we’re running out of time.
But wait! The 30s aren’t that bad. This period is all about exploring life and getting closer to understanding who we really are. And with so many highs and lows during this decade, there’s plenty to laugh at as well. So let us introduce you to the 'Coping With Not Being 29' Instagram account, the perfect outlet for frustrated millennials to catch a break and chuckle at their misery. "Somewhere between adulting and setting the cat on fire," the creator writes, and by the looks of it, they’re not far off.
We have scoured their feed and gathered some hilarious memes and extremely relatable jokes that sum up what life in our 30s is all about. So continue scrolling and upvote the posts you thought were spot on! If you’re in the mood for even more painfully accurate content, take a look at our earlier posts about 'Millennial Heaven' and '30 And Tired.'
We managed to get in touch with the creator of @30somethingaf, Sarah Sanders, who was kind enough to have a little chat with us. Sarah told Bored Panda that she started this account as a bit of a joke. "Memes and gifs were just getting started and I found myself looking at them thinking of other captions I would use that were funnier to me. I've always been interested in comedy and if I could go back in time, I would have pursued a career in writing for stand-up, sketch comedy or satirical sitcoms," she said.
The founder of the account described her community as her peers. "They are people learning to 'adult'. Some are family-focused, some are career-driven, some still have the Peter Pan syndrome, and others are just plain lost in the growth they are expected to experience." Sarah opened up about undergoing these phases herself, so managing the page has become like second nature to her. "If I can relate to it, chances are my audience will too."
The account has reached huge success. As of this writing, it has amassed over 429k lost souls looking for ways to catch a breath between all the responsibilities weighing on their shoulders. The feed consists of posts about various aspects of our everyday life, which makes the memes and jokes all the more relatable. "Everybody's journey is different as we hit our 30s," the creator noted. "Which is part of what makes it so fun to write about."
"We may have different lifestyles, incomes, backgrounds or areas of focus but we seem to share similar fears and goals. Success may be defined as a family with 4 kids to one person or a C-suite career to another but the common element is success," Sarah said, adding that while these are very diverse problems, everyone in their 30s has a shared feeling of failure. "I focus on the similarities, not the differences, and making those situations funny gives us all a little relief to know it's OK not to be perfect as we reach the time in our lives when society expects us to have [everything] together."
"Being in your 30s is the first time that people start to understand what they want, not just what others want of them," Sarah told us. "Whether it's material items, travel, children, investing or even more extreme partying, doors are opened that we didn't have in our 20s. We also have way more autonomy than we did in our 20s, which is good and bad. With more responsibility comes more freedom, but the opposite is also true."
"I think people in their 30s are a lot smarter than we get credit for. We graduated college during the Great Recession and are still succeeding. We are the oldest portion of the Millennial generation, which often gets a bad rap. While we do fall victim to the urge for instant gratification, we are also the leaders of our generation that have set an achievable and commendable standard," she stressed that while being in your 30s may seem like stepping one foot in the grave, it is also the time to stand up and create a better future for the next generations.
Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and creator of MentalDrive, told Bored Panda that while we think in terms of "mid-life crises," one period of change that often catches so many people off guard is exactly the transition from their 20s to 30s.
"The 30s decade is so challenging and is such an important developmental, psychological and social transition milestone," he explained. "It is that age where you feel young but come to the realization that you can't go back to being young and carefree without the responsibilities of adulthood."
"You are too old to be doing nothing," Klapow noted. Especially when you consider the pressure from society who wants to know where you are going — whether professionally or personally — and indicate that you need to become a responsible adult, he added. "But for so many, the feeling is one of youth being torn away. Adulthood is signaling you everywhere and you are forced to make a decision to either transition or to continue to age while trying to live the life of someone who hasn't reached adulthood. The result is frustration, rebellion, getting 'stuck', and/or impulsive decision making."
What makes most millennials anxious is that this transition means they can no longer hide behind a veil of still being young. "We are clearly not 'old', but we are at the point of no return back to youth," Klapow explained the paradox of life in your 30s. "The challenge is that, at 30, we very well may not have decided exactly what career, which relationship, what perspective on life to call our own. We may feel confused, contemplative and in many cases, frightened that things are now serious. We are expected to pull our weight in society but in our heart of hearts, we still feel like a 19 or 20-year-old trying to navigate life."
The clinical psychologist explained that one of the greatest challenges people face is the Imposter Syndrome. "We act as if we are adults. We talk like we are responsible and thoughtful and know where we are going, but we may feel deep down like we really don’t know what we are doing."
When you’re confused about your path in life, it’s easy to fill your mind with negative thoughts and convince yourself you’re failing at life. But Klapow wants you to remember that the 30s are a time of change. "It’s critical to remind yourself that the struggle you may feel, the fight inside to return back to younger, easier, simpler days, is the transition process. There is a natural desire to flip the switch and either be in adulthood or be back in childhood. Remind yourself that this is about the navigation of your life."
There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself permission to feel young, to act young, to engage in activities you may have in your 20s, he argued. "The difference is these are now reprieves and experiences vs daily living."
If you’re having trouble coping with these feelings, the clinical psychologist suggested talking to other 30-year-olds about where they are at. "It’s important to gain perspective on the feelings, and hearing others who are in the same place will give you a sense of community and validation."
"Finally, remind yourself that there are societal expectations, but they are only expectations. You get to live your life and carve your own path. You will have certain responsibilities in adulthood, but your career, your relationships, your choices about living are still your own. Transitions by definition happen over time. Give yourself the permission to take that time to figure this all out," Klapow concluded. If you’re having any thoughts you want to share, the clinical psychologist is happy to field questions from you, dear readers, so don’t be shy and reach out!