February 6, 2020

Life at 30 – the most important things I’ve learnt so far

A while back, I started writing some brief thoughts about various topics I find important to discuss. I would start writing but never felt happy enough with the results to finish. It’s so hard to express everything you feel about a certain subject in a few short sentences.

The eve of my 31st birthday seems the perfect time to just get these words out there. How I feel about these things as a 30 year old. It’s interesting to see how my views have changed in the past few years and I am curious as to how they will evolve in the future.

Vegetarianism

I’ve been vegetarian for over three years now.

Before 2016, I never even thought about giving up meat. It was just something I never considered. Why would I? Of course I heard about all those horrible videos online of the conditions of animals in slaughterhouses, but I never watched them. Why would I want to face reality when I could just carry on enjoying my burgers and steaks? I had a few friends that were vegetarian, but they never preached, questioned my choices or made me feel bad.

Then I started dating Artur. I began to eat less meat around him but still didn’t consider giving up completely.

We traveled to Southeast Asia. I saw cows, pigs, ducks and chickens roaming around me. I liked them. They were my friends. I was finally ready to hear the truth.

I read the book ‘Eating Animals’. It worked. I gave up meat. I no longer saw meat as meat – but for what it really was. A dead animal. Most likely raised to suffer and then be eaten.

I don’t need meat. No-one does.

I feel disappointed in some of the people around me. I consider myself the least intelligent, least compassionate out of the people I am close to, yet all of my family members and many of my friends still eat meat. How is it that I, probably the most selfish, most self absorbed, and ‘late to the party’ have managed to take up vegetarianism and others not? I’ll never understand it and it will always make me sad.

Love

I used to believe in that fairytale young girls are sold. One day you’ll meet your Prince Charming and life will be perfect and complete. Finding your soulmate is the ultimate goal and you’ll never be entirely happy until you find that person.

I never expected I’d end up with someone like Artur. Actually, I probably shouldn’t even use the words ‘end up’ because it implies that he is my future or my ‘end goal’. It’s fine if he’s not. We both acknowledge the fact that feelings, situations, circumstances can change and maybe we won’t be ‘together forever’. We may be happy now, but who knows what the future will hold. If we aren’t together in a year, five, or twenty, it’s not the end of the world. We and our relationship are not failures if things happen to come to an end. It’s just the way life goes.

I didn’t expect I’d be with someone like Artur because my idea of love was that I would be with someone who would see me as perfect and things would just be effortless. I now know what it means to be with someone who makes you a better person. Who doesn’t see everything as rosy but makes you think critically, not only about the world around you but your own actions and behaviours. It can be tough at times, of course, but I’d rather have someone that challenges me rather than let me become complacent.

Career + Capitalism

I’m sure some people think I’m lazy and unambitious. I may have thought the same before.

I realised I don’t care about a career because I don’t want to dedicate my life to something that I’m not passionate about. I want to own my time and decide what I want to do with it, rather than pursue a career for social status or money. I don’t really understand the links between social standing and wealth, because having a lot of money doesn’t necessarily make you a good person. Shouldn’t we value traits in people such as kindness and empathy rather than their ability to earn lots of money?

I don’t understand people who love capitalism. Sorry, but I think they’re dickheads. People that want to just accumulate wealth for themselves, without caring about others and often at the expense of others. I wonder if they would feel the same, had they been born into less favourable circumstances, where they really had no fighting chance from the beginning.

There should be a cap on personal wealth. Why does an individual person need billions (or even millions) of dollars? This extreme capitalist system that we live in is sick and I hope that one day it will collapse.

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