Carolien Dircken

“In November, I turned 29. I think, at 29, my life is great. I earn money by writing, something I like most in the world. I’m in a loving relationship, saved some money, traveled to places I wanted to see, do have supportive parents and a sister, who will soon have her first baby, and gathered a lot of nice friends around me. That’s why I didn’t understand turning 30 can be such a hassle for many Western-European people. Why is 30 the age at which most people think they need to be sure about what they want in life? Last month though, a recruiter called me about a job in China. Although I didn’t get the job, the preparations suddenly made me realize: turning 30 is harder than I thought.

Moving to China seemed an option when I was 25, freshly graduated. And will be, probably, when I’m 50. But now, friends and family members are starting to have children. My parents are still healthy, so I love spending time with them. My own business is doing great. I bought a house in a wonderful city. My boyfriend found himself a job. Do I want to move to the other side of the world, I asked myself. I couldn’t decide. Now, the decision has been made fór me, so I don’t have to move, but still I’m thinking: what do I want in life? Shouldn’t I be a better journalist? What did I want to become when I was younger? And why didn’t I reach all of those goals? On the other hand, I started to think about having children and I try to figure out how I would combine that with a career.
One phone call made me realize: there’s a lot to decide. It’s part of the turning-30 job. And I wonder how it will turn out for me.”

Carolien Dircken
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