So it is coming up to a year since my last blog and I would like to say it’s because I have been far too busy to document the truly fabulous time I have had over the last year. However, in reality, there are only so many entries you can write that cover, girl meets (shit) boy. Girl’s mum thinks she’s a lesbian. Girl goes to watch boy band, before you end up crying into the fur of your cat wondering where it all went so wrong! Nevertheless, 8 days ago I turned 30, the big 3-0, the big 29+1 and I felt I needed to record this momentous occasion.
I would like to say I took turning 30 on the chin with good grace and humour. However, I would be lying, I went into meltdown. I became a nervousseemed so old, so final and the age where I totally expected to have my shit together. My 20 year old self was going to be so disappointed with the outcome. I remember as a 14year old going to my cousins 18th birthday and seeing all of the older girls drinking and dancing and vowing to myself that even though I never wanted to get married or have children, I was not going to go out drinking after the age of 26! It was far too old to be gracing the pubs and clubs in my black trousers and silver disc belt. I was going to be mature and demure and grow old gracefully! Fast forward 16 years and I spent the journey home from my 30th birthday celebrations, throwing up in the back of a taxi into a gold coloured gift bag! Hardly the straight laced, moralistic goody-goody image I had predicted for myself. Balls!
In the weeks leading up to my birthday I asked my mum to locate my birth certificate to check that there hadn’t been a mistake. I had booked tickets to One Direction as a birthday present to myself. I don’t like red wine and olives, something wasn’t adding up. I couldn’t possibly be 30. I demanded a recount. I fully expected to wake up on the day of my birthday like Tom Hanks in Big (not a man but a child in a grown up’s body) People expect more from you at 30. You can’t be flippant, blame mistakes on being in your 20’s, you have to stop looking like you borrowed your mum’s suits and look like you own them! I was not ready for this level of commitment to life. So I panicked, I moaned, I lay awake at night wondering whether there would be a seismic shift in life. Would this be automatic? Would it be a conscious shift? And more importantly would I still be able to attract no hoper 26 year old men with no morals and a fear of commitment? Shit just got real!
In all honesty as my mum and dad burst through my door at 630am on the morning of my birthday I felt no different and wondered what I had made a fuss about! I cursed at them for waking me up, I told them to turn the light off and I moaned that every gift had some reference to being 30. It was just like being 16 again. Brilliant. I had the MOST amazing day, I was centre of attention, I got to control the radio at work and I got loads of presents. What more could a girl want! I went to bed that evening full of cake, hope and excitement. I had this turning 30 malarkey nailed. Then I woke up…Wednesday 4th June, no singing, no banners, nobody rushing to hug me, no cake. I was just an average 30 year old on a morning in June that lived with her parents, and had nothing but a 30 year old balloon and teddy bear to keep warm at night! Now that sucked!
As the dread of 30 began to seep in once again, I sought solace in my friends who had already hit the milestone and asked for guidance. Some were less sympathetic than others, but between them and my 8 days of experience I managed to work out some pretty important things about turning 30 that will help me through my 30th year.
Lesson 1, 30 is hard and everyone knows it
People really make an effort to celebrate your 30th. I had never received so many messages, presents or hugs for any of my birthdays before. Everyone who I wanted to commiserate with turned up for my celebrations (minus a few people who had more than valid excuses) and everyone went out of their way to make sure I enjoyed myself. To those that think my breakdown was unnecessary, I am adamant all these people made the extra effort because they know how shit turning 30 is. Everybody knows it is hard – let’s stop pretending. Lesson: Having a breakdown about turning 30 is totally acceptable, everyone does it
Lesson 2 – It could be worse
People refer to it as your flirty 30’s which is perhaps the most depressing thing I have ever heard. Not only because I have been flirting with boys about my smelly feet since the dawn of time, so, turning 30 isn’t going to change my inappropriate chat. But because 30 sounds old and it makes me think of Paddy off Britain’s got talent flirting with Nico! So so so wrong! Well, that was until my friend said it could be worse – you could be in your nifty fifties –Lesson: There is always someone worse off than yourself.
Lesson 3 – If your 20 to 29 no-one wants to hear it
I had a couple of younger friends who thought it was hilarious to make jokes about death and being a cougar! Turns out when you turn 30 not so funny I started to panic! Lesson: Laugh it off and cut them out until they realise the seriousness of their claims
Lesson 4 – Hangovers get worse
I thought I had hit the pinnacle of hangover hell when I made the transition from 24 to 25. Hell no! Once you turn 30 you enter a whole world of pain that takes days to get over! I am on day 4 since my birthday night out and I still feel rough! I wish I had paid more attention to my 14 year old self and never left the house from 26 onwards. – Lesson: Be Drink aware
Lesson 5 – Never ever fly on a hangover
Largely connected to lesson 4, I learnt this the hard way on Sunday. Having got out of bed at 4pm – 1 hour before my pick up to the airport on Sunday I was not fully equipped to deal with the level of eloquence required to travel. My god taxi drivers can talk and getting through security is a ball ache. Especially when they ask you to take most of your clothes off whilst they search you (alcohol sweats mixed with a fear of projectile vomiting is not a good look) Oh and of course there was the 80 question survey followed by the plane crèche. I mean seriously they could not have got any more children on that flight. I thoroughly enjoyed the chorus of screaming children as it dominoed down the plane #saidnooneever Lesson: Hangovers get worse, never fly on one!
Lesson 6 – Biological clock and maternal instincts
Turns out it’s not just a ploy by men to get out of relationships, women do develop maternal instincts! I swear mine kicked in 4 days after 30 which has scared the living day lights out of me! I suddenly think babies are cute and want to hold them. I’ll keep you posted on how to shirk the maternal instincts as soon as I know how. I am not nor will I ever be comfortable with this new phase. – Lesson: Accept you might start to think babies are appealing (I was just sick in my mouth)
Lesson 7, 8 and 9
When you turn 30 you stop stressing over the little stuff. Things that were once a big deal are no longer of a concern and you stop wasting your time on insignificant people. (mainly because you start to realise you are running out of time. JOKES) People do treat you differently and are more open to listening to your opinions. This is the thing I feared the most about turning 30, having to know what I am talking about. However, it turns out you become less concerned with what people think and become more comfortable in your own skin – so even if you don’t know what you’re talking about you are better at pretending you do. Awesome Lesson: Don’t sweat the small stuff, and the big stuff will sort itself out
Lesson 8 – It’s ok to like boy bands
Ok, so actually it’s not but I am putting this in to make myself feel better. Deal with it
Lesson 9 – it’s ok to fancy people younger than you
See lesson 8
Lesson 10 – perhaps the most important lesson of all
NO ONE HAS their shit together! So don’t panic about it. So what if you don’t have the husband, the 2.4 children, the dream house and the perfect job by 30. All this stuff is a myth. Just because that’s what society (Disney) told you 30 would be like! Its 2014, get over it. Plus anyone that does have that life doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing either. It is ok to feel like a duck out of water sometimes, to not have any idea what you are doing or what you want to do with your life! Live for YOUR moment not for the moment society shoe horns you in! People might look like they know what they are doing but no one knows the right or wrong way. Lesson: we are all just winging it.
So although I am not overly comfortable with turning 30, in fact you could say I am still in shock. I have learnt 10 very important lessons in the last 8 days. Some, more important than others but lessons all the same. I have come to the conclusion at 30 that the little stuff doesn’t matter anymore. It is ok to freak out that you are getting old because it happens to everyone. You don’t suddenly wake up one morning and feel 30 (although it is taking me longer to get out of bed in the morning) you can be 30 and still feel 22. More importantly you should not compare yourself to other people. It is your story and everybody’s journey is different. It’s not about what you know or who you know or what you possess at 30. In fact collecting memories is actually more important than collecting material items – which is pretty lucky considering I only own a spoon and a knife. Wow… my 20 year old self would be so impressed. 30 made me so wise!