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Why living outside the "social ideal" may be the best place to be after all.

Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child

A lot of people have a certain idea of what “life” is supposed to be.  And for a lot of those people, working on building a new career does not fall in the 30-40 years old category.  For most people, that is what one does after school in one’s 20s. When you’re turning 30 and heading for 40, your mother is probably asking you when you will settle down and start a family. Between 40 and 50, you’re supposed to be standing in drop-off queues at schools and attending soccer matches. For some moms, this is when you give up your career and dedicate your life to those who need you more than overbearing bosses and chatty co-workers. This is the “social ideal,” The way things are deemed to be.

But what happens if your life contradicts the social norms? If you do the opposite of what is socially accepted as normal? When you settle down and have a family in your 20s?  When you wake up one morning, and you’re thirty-something and you decide to conjure up a whole new career?  Or you have found your true passion and it took you turning 30 to figure it out?

A general picture of a –quote unquote- thirty something year old woman is usually pictured as a woman who has her life in order. She’s married with primary school aged children, living in a mortgaged house and spends her days carpooling, taking the dogs for walks and meeting other like-minded moms for coffee during school hours. Not accurate at ALL, but idealistic nonetheless.

But when you’re a thirty-something year old female student and your day consists of all of the above, and then some, because you decided to register for a bachelor’s degree in your thirties, life might not always feel as perfect as it’s perceived. People will ask you how you do it?  Sometimes you will say, “If you want it bad enough, it wouldn’t matter how you get there.” Other times, you will say, “You just carry on through the drama.” But the real answer to that is “I don’t effing know 😊 how the eff I even woke up this morning.”  The one thing I do know is that if you decided to do this thing, only you can finish it.


You might be a full-time student or working an entry-level job. Or you might be a stay-a-home mom and studying online. Either way, your plan must be clear.  It does not have to be consistent because, you know, kids get sick sometimes. As long as there is a plan.

Lots of women start new careers in their 30s and succeed. Julia Child, Vera Wang, J.K. Rowling, Martha Stewart,  Sara Blakely, Joy Behar, Anna Mary Robertson Moses are among the few and the list goes on.

The key to coping as a student in your thirties when you are also other things i.e. working, mother, wife etc., is having a backup plan for a backup plan. If your A-team fails you, have a B-team and a C-team and a D-team on stand-by.  Eat good food, exercise regularly, take good supplements and keep the end goal firmly in mind.  If you have that down, you’re good to go.

For good measure and lots of motivation, I reiterate Julia Child’s quote: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” 

Looking for other vinas to help you on your life journey? They’re waiting for you here!


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