- 30 isn’t the magic number where you will have all your sh*t sorted
- Equally, 30 (for me at least) has meant having much of my mental sh*t, more sorted.
- Old habits die hard – I love cake, cake loves my thighs.
- Remembering to do weekly food delivery online will feel like a big achievement.
- You will still spend a lot of time of your phone. Except you aren’t on social media, you’re Googling can you reheat tofu, how do you wash a jumper, when do I need to put my bins out.
- Hobbies, you have more of them than you think.
- You don’t feel as old as you did when you had a birthday in your early to mid-20s
- You may have made a 30 before 30 list and probably ticked off maybe 10? Hats off to you if you’ve ticked off more than that. I am not bothered by my lack of ‘achievement’ on this bucket list, I have grown a lot since turning 20.
- You will question am I too old for this shop, should I focus all my attention on more age appropriate shops? No, is the answer. You go get the crop top and giraffe pants from New Look if you want to.
- People will ask you if you are going to have children. The more dick-ish people will say your clock is ticking. Although its still not appropriate to tell them to f*ck off, you can smile and politely remind them its not a particularly nice question to ask someone. It’s okay to want children and it’s okay to not want them. It’s also okay to not be sure.
- Asking for help is really important. Go on. Do it. Even if it’s asking your husband to do the bins for the millionth time. Help me my brain is jumbled, help me my hormones hate me, help me please I cannot even.
- You will still find the actions of other people very confusing. Why oh why are you such a div.
- Friendships take effort. It’s okay to grow apart from someone you were once friends with. Don’t force it. But make time for them, it’s all about balance. Give and take. If there is more take than give all the time, re-evaluate.
- While we are on that topic – surround yourself with people who cheer you on. You are old enough to pick who you want to have around you.
- There are 24 hours in a day and you should be sleeping for at least 8 of them. The rest of the time is for work (boooo), for you, for your family. Use your time how you need to use it.
- You will appreciate your family more than you did 10 years ago. Perhaps that’s lockdown talking. But I do miss my family.
- You will realise that when you were younger you were an absolute dick. I am sorry, I am much nicer now, I promise.
- You will know who you are, don’t apologise for that, but don’t use it as an excuse to act like a tw*t. I do not like being in loud environments with lots of people for any extended period of time. My heart races, I feel sick and that feeling of being overwhelmed doesn’t get any less, I am not the social butterfly I aspired to be 10 years ago and that is fine.
- It’s okay to not to want to travel. It feels like everybody else wants to see the world, they want to live out of a backpack for 12 months. Cool, you do you, I am sure you will learn a lot about yourself that way. But for me – I love home, I love feeling comfortable, snuggled on the sofa with the fire on, my dogs, my husband, and a book. I don’t need to be on a beach in Indonesia, Cornish beaches and ice cream make my heart full.
- You will 100% be a better cook than you were at 20. You can even make bread.
- Feeling unaccomplished? Wash your bedding, hang it outside. If that doesn’t make you feel like you’re more sorted I don’t know what will.
- You may have less direction than you did 10 years ago. But that’s okay; life isn’t one straight path. You will work it out.
- Never underestimate kindness. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others. Say Please and Thank you. Those things are free.
- You will be confused by it. You will realise when you wore something at 15 and your parents said ‘I wore something like that 20 years ago, fashion goes in circles’. They were right.
- Your parents may have been right about a lot of things. Blue cheese and figs. Fruit cake. Mustard on sausages. Maybe even that one your boyfriends could possibly one day be your husband.
- Anybody younger than you will look about 10, and you will feel the need to comment on it.
- Toilet humour is always funny. Do not stifle a laugh because you want to look cool. Laughing is one of the best medicines, along with doughnuts (not if you’re diabetic though)
- Knowledge is so important. Read everything, keep understanding. Really listen. Listen to people’s experiences, stories and thoughts. Make your world better, it will ripple outwards.
- Be grateful for what you have. Don’t rush through to get what you want – this is a marathon not a sprint. Accept where you are right now and be grateful for it. Promise yourself you will achieve more, do better, grow, remember to get the dog food out before you get into bed.
- Learn from your mistakes. Learn from other people’s mistakes too. Don’t repeat them. You can’t control others but you can control yourself; how you feel and your actions.
For the first birthday in a long time I am at peace with getting older. I feel settled.
I don’t look back on my 20s with particular fondness. It had real highs; I graduated, I met Aaron, we bought and sold houses, we moved to Cornwall, we got the pups, we got married. But it had some real lows. For so long I didn’t know who the hell I was, what I stood for or what direction I was going in. I surrounded myself with people and things that I thought I wanted but weren’t good for me. Found myself in toxic situations and clumsily fumbled my way to 29.
But 2020 has been different. In a lot of ways.
I grew a lot. I accepted what I couldn’t change and made plans to change what I could. I let myself breathe, thanks to lockdown.
I looked back, not to berate myself for not achieving the things I wanted at 18, but to learn. To understand why I am the way I am. To learn from the mistakes. To honestly think about the low points and tap myself on the back for getting up time and time again. I made a promise to myself that I would do everything in my power to be better, do better. For myself, for Aaron and the pups, for my family & friends.
Although 20s you don’t have that rosy glow, I know going into the big scary 30s aren’t going to be that scary. I am going to embrace this stage of my life with open arms and ride the waves of whatever it brings; mostly because I can’t control much of it.
So in the words of my favourite Dolly Parton ‘Find out who you are and do it on purpose’