Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Turning 30

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on October 31, 2011

Nina is about to turn 30. She is happily married with two small kids and she enjoys her job as an engineer, but turning thirty is “stressing me out,” she reports. “What about turning thirty stresses you out?” I ask, wondering what thirty means to her. “I feel like I am losing my looks. I used to get a lot of attention and I notice that it is fading away. I used to flirt with men, innocently, of course, but now that is getting harder and harder. Mostly, I feel like I am entering into a new phase of life and I am not ready for that.” Nina reports, not in an unhappy way, but in a scared way. “You sound anxious, but also a little excited that this next phase might bring some surprises.” I say, pointing out the feeling in the room that the road ahead may deviate from her past road, but that could be good and bad. “I just don’t know what to expect,” Nina says in a youthful and somewhat calmer tone. “That’s the fun part,” I say, highlighting the adventure of life, but still recognizing and acknowledging her fear of the unknown. In the end, we laugh with each other. “Birthdays can be hard,” I say. “You got that right,” she quickly responds.


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2 Responses to “Turning 30”

  1. Melanie said

    What is it about 30? 75 days from now (yes I am counting), I will be 30. I actually set 30 as my “termination” date when I was 28.5 years old. I have been using turning 30 as an excuse to end my pyschoanalysis since July (6 month mark) because I am way too “old” to be doing something so selfish — something all about me– when I should be saving money for a house or my future hypothetical children. And yes, maybe 30 isn’t too old for psychoanalysis — from what I’ve read, etc, I am quite young for the the type of therapy I have engaged in for quite some time. So I wish Nina a very happy 30th! And maybe she and I will both learn that 30 is just the new “20.”

  2. Hi Melanie,
    I think our brains are wired in such a way that numbers that end in zero have special meaning to us. Marketers know that a house that is priced at $499,000.00 will be more likely to see than a house that is priced at $500,000.00. As such, the turning over of the first number, in your case from two to three, signifies a change of “class”. As you say, turning into a new decade seems to free ourselves to make decisions that we would not otherwise feel free to make. For example, many people give themselves plastic surgery when they turn 50, but they would not do it at 49. In your case, you have allowed yourself to consider termination. From my point of view, your decision to terminate should be based on your mental state and not on your chronological age. Good luck with how you navigate those waters. Thanks for your comments.

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