The identity crisis affecting thirty-somethings is nothing more than the search for a life that is consistent with their own values.
The choices of reason that we make in our twenties (during our studies) are only there to postpone the inescapable moment of the quest for authenticity that will correspond to what we call the choices of the heart.
The desire to ensure material security is a characteristic of each of us, and it is only when this need is satisfied that we seek to give more meaning to our lives. Thus, financial security is one of the foundations of all the other desires one can think of, whether they be self-esteem or personal fulfillment.
The concern is that we are making choices that will impact our entire lives at an age when we are often seeking independence. To do this, we are ready to make moral concessions that may take the form of working for a society whose values we do not really share. The embarrassment being that one cannot indefinitely compromise one’s desire for personal fulfilment when one’s primary needs are met. This explains the waves of career changes even though we live in a time when jobs can be scarce.
The search for meaning and authenticity is stronger than anything for those who have a full belly or who are freed from the fear of tomorrow.
As our personal journey unfolds, we realise the impact of our school education on our choices. In adulthood, our lives are disconnected from academic indoctrination, we end up thinking for ourselves which leads to great changes.
The quest for authenticity involves refusing to wear the mask of conformity. To be authentic, we must develop a form of courage, confidence in who we are and be prepared to lose the relationships we have built up until then. Indeed, many of the relationships we maintain are superficial and they are not built on a sufficiently fragile foundation. The right to an authentic life will more often than not shatter all those ties that we thought were solid.
Life becomes simpler when we stop trying to please others and seek only to please ourselves.