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Whoa. When we asked you to tell us your problems, however big or small, we absolutely did not expect you to wiretap our phones get inside our heads. Because the stuff you lose sleep over, we can't stop thinking about every single freaking day too. Imagine that.
From the everyday survival questions to the big-picture, what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-when-I-grow-up Issues, we're all just trying to figure life out. So as you read on, just think about this: That girl next to you? She probably knows exactly what you're going through.
Alyssa, 26, Jersey City, NJ: "Am I falling behind? Am I in the personal/career/life position I should be at? How do I know? And if I'm not, how do I get there? These questions haunt me daily!"
Kelly, 30, Atlanta, GA: "My career is taking off and going so well, and I'm about to get married, which is so exciting. But being 30, I fear my body will be ready for kids before I'm actually ready for kids. What if I miss the window? I don't want to be high-risk just because I need extra time to continue working, saving, and planning my future."
Elizabeth, 30, Boston, MA: "My parents are getting older, and I worry about all that comes with it—getting sick and eventually dying. It makes me sad to think they can't do some things as easily they used to. It really makes me cherish the times I spent with them more and more."
Libby, 26, St. Louis, MO: "Growing up, I had my whole life planned out. I would live in New York City after college, go to graduate school, live in a beautiful loft, write for a living, fall in love, travel the world. A lot has changed in the world since I made this plan at 10 years old. I've changed too. I'm having to separate dreams from actual, attainable goals and re-evaluate what's financially/logistically possible and what just isn't. This has made me change parts of my life plan, and I sometimes worry and hope I'm still making my 10-year-old self proud."
Sophia, 29, New York, NY: "I'm worried about how to save more money or save it in a more responsible manner. I also worry about sticking to healthy routines in my daily life, mainly working out and taking care of myself."
Kathryn, 29, New York, NY: "I worry about being able to save up enough money for retirement and beyond. I don't want to have to rely on anyone when I'm older, and God forbid I have any medical issues. I want to have enough to comfortably take care of those expenses. And what if I have daughters someday? When I was younger, I was so stuck in my own head that when my mother told me 'it gets better,' I didn't believe her. I worry that, even under the right conditions at home, their confidence will slip when they're at school. I also worry about my boyfriend, who's graduating from the police academy. With all the hatred in the world today, I worry that he could wake up in the morning and not come home to me at night."
Brooke, 28, Atlanta, GA: "How/when will I be able squeeze in a husband/kids one day when I barely have time now? Also, when should that 'one day' be when I'm already 28?"
Cassie, 26, Boston, MA: "Sometimes just taking care of myself seems super expensive. So I tend to worry about expenses down the line, even if they're far down the line: buying a house, paying for someone else's college education someday. It's scary to wonder: Will I be able to do that?"
Ainsley, 29, New York, NY: "Is the 'rat race' for me? Does it make me less of a modern woman, or worse, a failure if I decide a big city—or a big career—is not where my heart truly lies? Am I looking at each day as something to just get through? Am I truly cultivating joy? When does it stop feeling like I'm test-driving adulthood? I ask a lot of things as I approach 30!"
Christine, 28, San Francisco, CA: "Regarding love: I worry if my standards have been high and if I've been mistaking quiet for boring the past five years. Do I even bother dating someone I don't want to marry? They say until you're happy with yourself, you can't be happy with anyone else. But every day I also strive to be better, so what the heck am I supposed to be focusing on? Have I already met the person I'm supposed to be with? Regarding work: If I don't like my job at this point, am I doomed to do it for the rest of my life anyway since it affords me a certain lifestyle I'm used to?"
Ranya, 33, Glen Ridge, NJ: "How do you find balance? Not perfection, but genuine balance. Work, kids, husband, 'me time.' What is a real way to keep it all going and stay happy as much as possible?"
Jessica, 27, Kennesaw, GA: "I worry about what my neighbors think of me. And if I'm doing everything I can to make sure my son's IQ is maxed out. And also about my nail-polish color fitting with the season."
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Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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