Identity Capital

Last Friday a video was posted on someone’s status a Ted Talk about how 30 is not the new 20 and I thought… ok… this could either be really interesting or it could make me feel even more panicked about turning 30. Which has sort of decreased since I wrote that. I’m coming to terms, shall we say.

Anyway, you should watch the video because it talks about Identity Capital and I thought it was fascinating. I’ve seen, through Gabe, how in so many ways we are born with a giant junk of who we are already pre programmed. He is a ball of his own personality already and he is only 1 and a half. But then there is this whole other section where we get to grow and evolve. We get to learn and change. We should learn and change, and our 20s is when that is supposed to happen.

You’re supposed to take risks and search for the things you have decided are important for you, change your mind and search for other things. You’re supposed to be setting yourself up, building your identity resume. Who are you? What do you want to be?

So I started to think about my 20s as 10 years of prep work instead of the time to achieve. It wasn’t the time for me to publish a book, it wasn’t the time for me to hit middle management, it’s the time to get all the pre-recs out of the way. Clearly, everyone’s pre-recs are different and this is not to say that everyone’s 20s should or even could look like mine. This is not a list that should be checked off in the name of a successful life, it is just my identity capital, personalized for me.

I finished my education.

I lived in a few places.

I pieced together that resume that includes 3-5 years of X that will hopefully propel me into the next level at some point.

I took risks that could never happen when more financial stability would be a necessity. I took risks that were good and that were bad.

I made mistakes but in a good way, in the way where the difference between what you have and what you want becomes so very clear. I made mistakes in a bad way, where I missed the chance for something I actually did want and had to adjust my path in order to let that go.

I dated with the intent of finding the person I wanted to be with forever.

I found him and kept him.

I had my first baby.

I also fought some demons and won.

All of this is telling me the next decade is going to be pretty great. I won’t have to do any of those things because I already did them. Check, check, check. Now I get to do some other stuff. Finish writing a book, do more career-y things, take different risks.

But, I want to know. What has your identity capital been? What as the last decade done for you? What pre-recs have you completed? Check, Check,and  Check.

**By the way, this is my 1,000th post. I’ve been too busy to pay attention and just now realized it. So, hooray! 1000! That is a lot. Thank you for reading and commenting and being fantastic.***

10 thoughts on “Identity Capital”

  1. Love this. Reminds me of an article I read yesterday (found via Margaret — thanks, Margaret!) called “30 and Bookless.” The author was essentially saying THANK GOD I didn’t end up publishing a book in my 20’s, because it wouldn’t have been the book I want it to be.

    I think the last decade has made me more comfortable with who I am — with my introvert nature, with my Type A personality, with the fact that I’ll never be the person who keeps up on All the Cool Things. I found a partner who supports me and splits the workload. I found a pretty stable career that gives me the financial freedom to work on personal stuff at home. I am not living the life I would have envisioned — writing fiction full time! Short stories and books, oh my! — but these pre-recs make me feel a little freer to now make choices on WANT, versus on NEED.

    On the flip side — there are definitely things in my 20s I wish I WOULD have done, that seem harder to accomplish now that we’re nearing 30. But that’s probably the way it goes no matter what decade you’re in.

    Good post for #1,000 — congrats!

      1. OOF, that was a good read. This:

        “For years I thought my only path to happiness was publication, but this relationship has proved that theory wrong. What if I become a person so content in my home life, I long for nothing else?”

  2. Very timely. I am turning 30 tomorrow and this rings very true! I got some good career advice relared to this a few weeks ago when a potential career path fell through. It was something to the effect of “you’ve got possibly 30 years left in your career, don’t feel like you’ve missed your only opportunity at this point.” And it’s so true, I only have 30 years in my life, having to go through that much time while working, it’s silly to think that there’s only one path or only one big opportunity that might come up. 30 is so young, and when you think of everything that happened in your 20s and only your 20s, it definitely puts the next 30 years into exciting perspective.

  3. As someone in my early 30’s, I’m definitely looking back now at my 20’s and seeing them as my foundation for adulthood.

    I got some education (a bit of a waste, I never really used it)
    I got out of my comfort zone
    I grabbed hold of a good man and didn’t let him go
    I fulfilled one of my biggest dreams and travelled to Europe (then came home pregnant in time for my 30th birthday)

    And there are things I am doing now that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have that foundation. There are risks I can take now that I didn’t have the courage / support for previously.

  4. Yay to 1000 posts!
    Also, yay to your attitude about embracing all you’ve done in your 20s and turning 30. I would say I spent my 20s solidifying who I am.

    I spent 8 of those years in school, and although I see this as a slight bummer, I still had plenty of time for actually learning about life outside of school .
    I moved clear across the country (Maine to Seattle) for surgery residency, to train for a job I now have and love.
    I had a series of really great, but not perfect relationships with men who helped me understand what I actually wanted in a partner/man.
    I met, married (and have now created a family with) my best friend.
    I traveled the world, from Europe to South America with friends from all different parts of this country and made memories that warm my lonely days now.
    I pierced my nose, three separate times.
    I got two tattoos.
    I made peace with my childhood and my family not being quite storybook material.
    My twenties were great, but honestly, my 30s have been glorious.

    Cheers to many more fabulous years to come!

  5. Happy 1000!

    The decade of 30 has been weird for me. It’s totally uncharted and un … dictated? territory? I don’t know. I’ve done nearly nothing on my list of things to do by 30 but yet I think my 20s were hugely productive in getting me to a place I mostly want to be now. There was tons that never showed up on that list that we did instead.

    It was good and it was hideous and at the end of it, I think we’re doing better than I ever imagined we could have. I didn’t know what to expect at this end of that particular road, and honestly there was a little part of me that didn’t think I’d make it this far between the physical pain and the emotional-stress turmoil.

    But somehow it paved the way for the years of the 30s to be .. open. Maybe even welcoming. Definitely potential waiting to be realized.

  6. 1000 posts yay Lauren! Bring it on!

    Let’s see, in my 20s:

    I lived in 4 different countries, travelled to South America for the first time, met the boy I would marry (and married him), studied hard got 2 university degrees (that sadly I haven’t been able to use), learnt to speak French, Catalan, Dutch and a bit of Italian, made many friends and kept old ones, learnt to be independent…

    the start of my 30’s was hard, as I always envisoned having my first baby by 30, and I didn’t get pregnant until I was 33. But now she is here! And the path to her taught me to enjoy life, to see where the important stuff is, and to discover that I can be many different things, that there are so many things to explore and learn and adventures to have!

Leave a Reply