Today’s 30-Something

04 Oct

Do you remember Thirtysomething? It was a pretty popular tv show in the late ’80s. Like the title implies, the fictional show (this was before the onslaught of reality tv), took viewers into the lives of 30-somethings as they worked out issues with parenthood, career, marriage, divorce and all those other grown-up conundrums.

I never really watched Thirtysomething because I was a kid and not terribly interested in that kind of stuff. But now thinking back on it and taking a gander at the Wiki entry, it seems that it was very VERY white, basically heterosexual, solidly middle to upper-middle class and suburban. There was/is a market for content geared towards that specific demographic. I’m not hollering “racism” or “classism” 25 years later, but I am wondering what a Thirtysomething type of show would look like that followed say…a group of friends/acquaintences like mine.

I’m 30-something (32 to be exact), black, college-educated, married, entrepreneurial, no kids and I’m a city dweller. Most of my friends could check off at least three of those aforementioned descriptions for themselves. Funny thing is that even though I have all the grown up stuff going on (mortgages, taxes, student loans, career changes, etc), I feel like I still have so much growing up to do. Mind you, I am most certainly a grown woman, but 30-something doesn’t seem as old and wise as it did before I was “of that age.”

The real life 30-somethings in the age of Thirtysomething were working for the same company that hired them out of college, the non-degreed folks had factory jobs, 401ks, perhaps not quite yet completely awful public schools to send their children to and for the most part, they felt they could see a clear road to retirement.

Today is quite different. My cohorts and I can not expect social security, fat 401ks or even an employed tomorrow as jobs are slashed left and right and companies make decisions based on short term revenue.

Perhaps that feeling of “still having some growing up to do” is due in large part to the fact that today’s 30-somethings are forced to be creative thinkers who can successfully adapt to the rapidly changing economic, political and social environment. Even if you’re thinking about quitting your job and doing your own thing, a trip to the bank to ask for a loan is the least of your worries. Where’s your website? Are you tweeting enough? Did you go to the right networking events? Why aren’t your Facebook ads working?

Just food for thought.

Are you 30-something? Are you doing what you thought you would be doing at this age? Do you think this is different that your parent’s 30-something?


Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Creativity


Tags: , ,

4 responses to “Today’s 30-Something

  1. Malicia

    October 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I knew I’d be a free spirit by 30-something. I knew I would evolve and change. I knew I would turn into my mother, my grandmother and still resemble my the kid in me. I didn’t know I would have so much of the world to see and have to work at growing up. A life lesson is daily and simplicity is golden.

  2. Thomas

    October 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Interesting observation.
    (love your blog, btw)
    I watched that show.. I felt sort of like I was looking at myself. It was very white, true.
    But they were saying things out loud that I had going on in my head. Professionally, I was a little behind, as I didn’t go to college until I was 26. I do recall the (sometimes justifiable) criticism that everyone was whining too much. heh. But I have to admit, it was about 30 that I fully realized that it wasn’t all about me. Or at least acknowledged that to myself.

    But I also realize that I never quite felt that security of future. I finished college in 1992, Social Security was continually being raided, not too many companies were supplying pensions anymore, and the changes in the world seemed to accelerate. And continue to.

    But I have been pretty fortunate, I was able to put my kids through college without any debt, althought I just finished paying for my college. But I have concerns about the future. As we continue to fish out the oceans, continue to eat the processed foods that are making us fat and sick, I don’t know what the solutions are. Wel, I know some solutions, but I don’t know how to convince others…

  3. Thomas

    October 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    ….. and my grammar is atrocious, lol.

  4. loveisdope

    October 24, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Thank you Malicia and Thomas for such thoughtful comments! Thomas, that is all types of awesome that you put your kids through college debt-free. They should send you thank you cards everyday! 😉


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