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Men of Reddit who didn’t hit their stride in life until after 30, what’s your story?

Men of Reddit who didn’t hit their stride in life until after 30, what’s your story?

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  1. I started weightlifting, anxiety medication, golfing, therapy, and got rid of the constant negativity in my life. Career wise I started trying my best at a job I completely hated and now I’m working a job making over twice as much. If I haven’t hit my stride yet, I’m getting close.

  2. My dad was and still is a hateful old drunk whose idea of bein a father was “youre 14 years old what more guidance do you need?”. I had to learn to be a man on my own and I didnt really get there until I got into my 30s. All the abuse growin up didnt help either as my self esteem didnt exist.

  3. I did what I was supposed to in my 20’s. Mediocre corporate gig, casual dating and a couple of long term relationships. At 29 I started doing stand up, which pushed me further from the sort of boring day to day into something more satisfying. Then at 31 I got laid off. Ran off to another state with a redhead, drank too much, hopped from mediocre job to another, moved back single to my home state, had another few mediocre jobs, met my partner, took some night and weekend classes, and at 41 I’m happy and in a good career with a company I like.

  4. I fucked around in my 20s partying and travelling and such, only getting serious about life in my late 20s. Stated getting into fitness in my 30s, had kids, and quit the party lifestyle. I went to uni in my 30s and got a 6 figure salary within a year of graduation. The uni years were very poor but I’m making up for it now. I’m still poor, but I have a good salary, so hopefully within 10 years I’ll have good savings.

  5. I hate to sound cliché but my wife gave me the kick I needed.

    I met her at 24, moved in together at 26 and she started to prompt me to pursue things I was otherwise too afraid to.

    32 was a massive turn around for me, I nailed some qualifications and became an engineer. Now I have money like I’ve not had before, enough to actually afford a house which we are buying currently. Once we have the house sorted we are gonna try for children. I’ll be 34 in May.

  6. Fiance broke up with me six months before our wedding after realizing she wasn’t ready to get married yet. I wouldn’t say I was a loser but I wasn’t really striving in my job or working on myself much, so it was easy to blame myself for the break up.

    After that, I went and got braces to fix my teeth. I started seeing a therapist to deal with my depression. I left my job and got another one with a massive pay raise. Most importantly, I started to do things for myself instead of trying to do things people expected of me.

    It’s been four years since then, and I’m definitely in the best place I’ve ever been. I’ve still got things to work on and COVID-19 did throw me off a bit, but I really like the person I’ve turned out to be.

  7. Bit before I was 30 (and the lead up was most of my 20s to be fair) but finally got a “proper” job in the music industry. Sticking it out and basically having to work in pubs in most of my 20s while doing unpaid work in the industry paid off. *Nearly* gave it up but my old dad (god rest him) insisted I keep going. Shame he died just before he got to see me “make it” but he was always convinced it was going to happen. I’d say the whole “I’m sure he’s looking down on me” thing but neither of us believe in god.

  8. Still waiting for liftoff at 32. Going to school to be a counseling psychologist. Single. No kids. No gf. Not that bad honestly. Life isn’t a race so don’t compare yourself to others.

  9. I would’ve been WAY FURTHER ahead now at 33 than in my 20s. I made unfathomable progress from 25-31. But then the girl left. That’ll destroy any guy. Women are our muses in a lot of ways I think

  10. I was never popular with ladies when I was young. I wasn’t ugly but not attractive either. Now that I’m in my 40s I’ve had a decent amount of ladies saying I’m quite handsome. I still don’t see it but I’ll take the compliments.

  11. Still getting there but was in a job I hated, and looking for a way out but was underpaid so still living at home. Was really getting down but carried on trying, and wasn’t the worst as dad didn’t mind as knew it wasn’t like when he was my age but still was frustrating. If I managed to go on a date I would avoid saying were I lived, as felt embarrassed. Went South America for 2 weeks for my 30th ( but 11 months after birthday due to travel dates, southern hemisphere summer and saving money), got back and realised that the people I hung about with just made me feel worse about myself so stepped up my job hunt. People who I had known for 2 weeks I got on really well with, they found me funny but mates at home just insult all the time and drag each other down. Went out on a bike to do something they would meme it and take the piss. Say I was staying in as I was skint as saving, get told hat savings are there to be spent and I have loads of money so should stop being a bore.

    A year later after many failed applications I applied for a job well above my pay grade in a city 35 miles away and got it. Now a year later I am in such a better space physically and mentally even with everything going on. Dated a lot more as now I feel more at ease with myself and not embarrassed, confident in myself as know I’m good at job and don’t have people pulling me down, and as I’m living alone my eating habits are better as now if I don’t buy it I can’t eat it, whereas too easy at home to eat crap.

    Still a long way to go but compared to how I was last year when I dreaded work, was drinking well too much and taking drugs its a lot better. Not blaming others for how I was with drugs and ale but I have no will power so if it was there I would take it, and I have slipped up a few times even here but still not drinking as much as at home. Not that anything bad happened but just felt like shit after all the time and better things to do than sit in a flat doing all that crap. Just a shame I moved city over a year ago and 2 weeks later we went into lockdown.

  12. Okay. So I’ll apologize in advance. This might be a bit long.

    As a teenager, I was dumb as a box of rocks. I was the kid who aced all of his tests but would get bored in class and make jokes with the cute girl who sat near me, or in some cases, just pass out. I was an athlete, and I was pretty good, but I decided I knew better than my coaches and I didn’t like all the work so I quit right as it started looking like a scholarship to a small program might be on the table. I’d rather cut class and get stoned with my friends anyway. I thought college was just cranking out little office worker drones and had nothing for me, little wanna-be gutter punk I was turning into, so I didn’t care. I’d take the easiest classes possible, sneak out to the yard during auto shop first period to get drunk off the whiskey a friend stole from his dad, then have a buddy drive me to Carl’s Jr between classes for breakfast.

    I eventually got kicked out of my regular school, and ended up in an alternative program where I got one on one time with my teacher one day a week and then had ‘homework’ the rest of the week. That was supposed to take me 30 hours but I’d usually bang it out in about 4. Luckily my gpa skyrocketed to a 4.0 for my junior and senior year. I let my outdated impression of masculinity define my potential career path, do I got a job as an apprentice electrician while I finished high school. I ended up graduating a semester early; quit my job and moved to another state with my fiance and started working in another hands on trade.

    Unsurprisingly, that relationship didn’t work out and in my early 20s I was divorced. Depressed and feeling useless, I drank myself into homelessness. One night I was sitting in my car/house (a 2000 Hyundai Tiburon with all my tools in the back seat and a 4 ft ladder jammed above the folded down passenger seat, with a small cooler and water jug that leaked into my subwoofer in the trunk) and I just started crying. It was the middle of summer in California. I couldn’t afford to leave my car on all night for ac, I was back in my home state working construction as an electrician, so I would go to work and sweat balls all day then sweat balls all night sitting in my car wherever I could find to park where the cops wouldn’t fuck with me. I tried rolling the windows down, but I’d get woken up by noises most nights. Sometimes people would intentionally try to scare me. I think assuming I was just some drunk guy dodging a DUI. A lot of the time I was drunk, so… Fair enough I guess. Other times I would leave the windows up to feel “safe”, but wake up every 45 minutes because I was so hot. It was after 3 months of this I just sat there and cried for a while. I told myself I would never, ever, fuck my career up to the point I became homeless again if I ever managed to find my way out.

    Eventually, I did. With a little help, because I couldn’t have done it without, from a few kind souls I got back into an apartment. I switched jobs and worked as a diesel mechanic for most of the rest of my 20s. I got a second job doing security at a night club. Then a third job as a bartender at a dive bar. I worked 7:30 to 4:30 M-F. I worked 6pm-2AM on Wednesday. 8pm to 3 am Thursday. 7pm-2 or 3am on Friday. Every other Saturday I’d work 7-3am. Sunday I worked 6pm to 2am again. I also worked out 2-3x a week and did muy Thai/BJJ. I lived on caffeine.

    I did that for 3 years. I had money. Like, spare money for the first time in my life. I was 28. I had a girlfriend- and she was into nerdy shit like I was. She did beauty pageants and cosplayed and would argue with me about Deadpool even before the Reynolds movie came out. I had friends. I had a really nice BMW, and my dog got all the best treats and toys. And I started thinking about suicide. Rarely, at first. But eventually it got to where I would fantasize about it every night as I drove to my house or my girlfriends place.

    I became less and less social. The relationship went to shit. I knew I had made myself a promise to never be poor, but I was falling apart from the insane hours.

    I quit all 3 jobs, cashed out my 401k, and moved back to my home town. I worked as an electrician again with my brother. We were rolling piece rate and doing pretty well, but my brother eventually got a great job opportunity with another company. When he left, as the licensed guy, our crew died so I had to go on a different one. An hourly one. I hadn’t cared about my hourly wage before because I was making so much more piece, but now I started arguing with my work because they had promised me multiple raises I never got. Eventually, instead of giving me what *they said* I deserved, they fired me. I’d never been fired before so I took it kinda hard, but my brother met me for brews after and said, “I know it sucks… But doesn’t it also feel kinda good to not have to work for those pieces of shit anymore?’ and he was right.

    I got another job, this time as a plumber. By this point, I was 31.(As a drain tech, to be precise, being trained to be a plumber on the job based on what plumbing jobs I could sell). I actually did pretty well. I liked being in the service side of the trades a lot better than construction. Then… I re-injured my back.

    Bam. Two weeks, can’t work.

    I spent most of it lying in bed watching the Office. It’s a really dumb thing, to take inspiration from the Office. But I was lying there, thinking- yo, what if I got so hurt I couldn’t work… Forever. I literally don’t know how to do anything that isn’t hands on, skilled labor. I kept binging Jim Halpert, and when I got cleared to go back to work, told my boss I was done. He actually was super understanding about it.

    I found an entry level, totally bullshit job in sales. I figured it would be a stepping stone. But I’d get to work in an office- a totally new experience for me. After watching…. The Office.

    While working there, I had set up a LinkedIn. About 6 months in, I got a message from an HR lady. She said my background was perfect for a job opening her company had. I assumed it was a scam of some kind, but I said fuck it, I want to be adventurous. I took the phone interview. It went well, and she described the job in detail, and the comp plan. It sounded too good to be true. This was a real career. The potential to make more money than I ever had before. Hell, the *gauranteed* salary was more than I’d ever made at a single job.

    I did the video interview, and they called me a few days later and said they wanted an in person interview in Chicago at corporate headquarters. Mind you, I was working an entry level gig. I was fuckin broke. I had to beg, borrow, and steal to get to that interview, still half thinking it was bullshit and they were scamming me somehow. Or sending me into a cult. Or harvesting my organs. I don’t know. But I flew go Chicago on a red eye one Tuesday night. Got into the hotel late. Airline lost my luggage. Took what little money I had first thing in the morning to a clothing store to buy something to wear to my interview, because my travel jeans and Chucks and white T shirt didn’t seem appropriate. I could afford slacks and a shirt, but not new dress shoes. So I rocked the Chucks.

    The intern they sent to pick me up from the hotel overslept. So, eventually I had to call them and ask what was up so they wouldn’t think I had overslept. In some real movie fairy tale bullshit, the hotel manager offered to give me a ride. So I walked in an hour late wearing old beat up Chucks along with my business casual. I did an interview with HR, the ‘sales Mentor’, the VP of Sales, and the president of the company. Each step assuming I was fucked.

    Then they offered me the job. I signed a contract. Got a ride from the sleepy intern to the airport and went home.

    That job let me make enough to fix my credit. To save. To invest. To have time to do it while also being able to work out. Chase hobbies. Spend time with friends. My life getting better helped ease my depression and social anxiety (which is a weird issue for someone in sales). And I’m fuckin good at it. Just before the pandemic shut everything down, I had a *work trip* to fuckin Cabo.

    Some of what got me here was me. Some was help from loved ones. Some was luck.

    But I wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t hang in there. If I didn’t keep trying. If I had given up and pulled a hard left into oncoming traffic. If I’d given up when it felt hopeless. When I’d sit in my car and cry all night because I wasn’t strong enough to survive with no sleep and no rest and no shower and no food. I wasn’t. But.. I didn’t quit. It was my fault I’d fucked off in school because I didn’t know what cool shit existed in academia. It was my fault I’d fucked up my marriage and burned my brother. It was my fault I’d destroyed my credit in the first place trying to support two people on $12/hr. It was my fault I was sitting in that car, sweating, exhausted, and hopeless. It wasn’t fair to my friends and family who’d feel the pain if I bounced. The same pain I felt when my buddies Trevor and Miles took their lives, or when Brandon got taken out my a drink driver. I couldn’t do that go them because I’d been selfish, and lazy, and so God damn arrogant.

    So… I took it one day at a time.

    And eventually I found inspiration. From fuckin Jim Halpert of all places.

    But shit, man. It worked.

  13. Parents divorced, struggled with depression from age 15. Dropped out from college right after barely finishing highschool. Started working construction jobs and retail. Got into fight fith my drunkard father which ended with him saying to me ‘You are not my son anymore’ which still hurts after 15 years. Day to day heavy drinking and blaming my father for all my inadequacies. Getting into huge debt and loosing job after job. Beign lying manipulative piesce of shit of a guy. Cutting off from my life anyone who ever cared for me. 30 yo barely making any money, debt growing, with no one in my life, getting stupid drunk every day and living with my father in basically drunk den. At that point I realized that it is either suicide or turning my life around.
    Stopped drinking, started new job and moved out of my fathers flat. It was hard. Most of the money i made i had to pay up cause i was in debt. I was struggling with getting out of bed everyday. I had no one to talk to. Finally thanks to online dating i met my future wife. I knew that i have to step up if i want her to be with me. I still was lying pos and worked in low pay deadend job but somehow she fell in love with me. Next 3 years were hard on her because i didnt tell her about my debt which came out to light pretty fast after i moved in with her. I was sure that she will dump my ass but she didn’t. She believed in me. So i stepped up. I reevaluated my life with help of J Peterson, went to specialis who helped me with pathological lying and drinking, learned myself to code ,found first IT job and paid off my debt at age 33. Now I am 37, last year doubled my salary and also married. Learning more than ever before, trying to help my father and reconnecting with him, still struggling with making things right with people i hurt when i was going for the bottom but I’ll get there.

  14. I had a hell of a lot working against me in my younger years:

    * Unstable home life driven by an unstable, alcoholic father
    * I skipped a grade in elementary school, making me a year (or more) younger than everyone else. That was a backbreaker once I hit middle school – everyone hit puberty and I stayed a child, opening a gap in physical/social/emotional maturity that I was never able to close until college
    * Switched schools every two years until high school (a combination of moves and oddball quirks in school catchment zones)
    * Depression, anxiety, and all the other fun stuff that comes with a shitty home life and nowhere else to go but home

    I was spat out of high school with a D-average, no goals, no direction, no ambition, no guidance, and no clue. Went to community college for business because that’s what you do, hated it, and flunked out. Twice.

    Eventually I realized that I wasn’t going to get anywhere without more education, but I knew that college wasn’t for me, so I did a victory lap in high school to up my marks and get into university at 22. Struggled, was put on academic probation, but I figured it out.

    Four years after graduation, at age 30, I thought I hit paydirt. I got a cushy job – but the work was unfulfilling, office morale was so low you could scrape it off your shoe, all while simultaneously not giving me the skills I needed to move up the ladder. Gave up after five years and quit to go to start a master’s degree at 35. After a rough few months after I graduated, I benefitted from some *unbelievably* good luck, and have landed in a job that I enjoy, plays to my strengths, and has a hell of a lot of opportunity for growth.

  15. Didnt really have a clear idea for what I wanted to be. Did firefighting, EMT, almost joined the marines. Ended up going for a bachelor’s in business management after dropping from mechanical engineering. Graduated with that at age 28. Didnt do anything with it, kept working a shit job. By accident I ended up going for an MSW and becoming a clinical spcial worker specializing in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (like wtf?) Never saw myself here. Now I’m preparing to start a private practice at age 32.

  16. I was severely depressed and suffered from severe anxiety since I was 3 years old. Recently started an antidepressant/anti anxiety med and been living my absolute best life. Everything is perfect.

  17. I’m don’t think anyone hits their stride at all until their 30’s. Sure your twenties are fun and care free, but that’s not what I would call hitting my stride. Yeah I got layed a lot back then and now it’s just the one gal, but I don’t want for anything these days. Oh my golf clubs are getting old, click, click, click, $1,600 later I’ve got a brand new set. I didn’t have to check my bank account to do that. I’ve been feeling a little burned out lately, let’s go to Vegas for the weekend. I’ve got a debit card linked to my trading account. I could sell a couple of positions and buy a new car with cash, but I don’t because those positions return 18% a year and the APR on a car loan is 2.4%. And I’m just a rinky dink contractor. You don’t get your feet under you until your 30’s.

  18. I was abused in school and consider (and always considered) survival the only valuable target left. This has left me unemployed and indebted, but generally positive.

    I think “hitting the stride” basically means abusing other people, and this is what I do not want to do.

  19. I’m a natural introvert and can only take so much human contact. I got a job as a school janitor and work swing shift that was supposed to be temporary but it pays my bills, I only have to deal with humans sparingly, and I get tons of alone time. It’s been 7 years and I’m happier than ever. The last year with all the isolation has been life changing. I’m down 60lbs, eating healthy, meditating, and sleeping well.


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