As I sit here scraping the last bits of baked bean juice from tonight’s dinner off my plate, I wonder how I have managed to reach the age of thirty in one piece. I’m still not sure I particularly feel like an adult. I can tick off quite a few of the “adult” boxes: I pay a mortgage; I pay bills; I am married; I have a job; I save money regularly; I have a credit card; I book my own doctor’s appointments. The list goes on. I’m sure anyone looking from the outside would say that I’m doing OK at this whole adulting thing. So I’m not sure why I’m feeling so meh about turning 30.
When I was younger (and I mean, like 12 years old), I thought I had it all planned out. I would go to University, meet my future husband there, get engaged at 24, married at 26 and have two kids before 30. To my tiny self, those ages just sounded so far in the future that it was easy to make up a reality for myself.
But now that I’m here, things haven’t really turned out exactly to 12 year old me’s plan. In fact, I’ve only ticked one of those things off my list – getting married.
But does that really matter? Why do I have to live my life according to the expectations of myself from SEVENTEEN years ago? At 12 I was hopelessly unaware of what being an adult meant. Let’s face it, at 29, I’m still not entirely sure.
It’s interesting to look back and notice that 12 year old me had no idea what I’d be doing for a job, where I would live or how much I would earn. I somehow felt that those problems would work themselves out. In hindsight, I probably should have worried about that more than the family thing…!
And now? Of course I am striving for more at work, but I (hopefully) have many long years ahead of me to nail those things. I put a lot of pressure on myself to constantly achieve (it’s the competitive part of me) but I am learning that I’m not a failure if I don’t get a pay rise or a promotion one year. Some years are for consolidating what you’ve learnt, before you can make your next move. And in the grand scheme of my 50 years of working life, one year is nothing. If I achieve all my goals now, what will I have to look forward to?
If I take a moment to think about it rationally, I am not doing badly at all for a woman my age. I am healthy, I am relatively fit, I eat well. Sure I am not at the weight I wanted to be on my birthday but my weight does not determine my value as a human being. And I am already doing something about it – getting back on the fitness and healthy eating wagon (at least after my birthday week!).
I would also consider myself to be happy. Yes, I take anti-depressants, but as I’ve discussed before, I’m not sure I’ll ever stop. And that’s OK. I live a fulfilling life and I get to do what I want to do most of the time, so I can’t complain. I still lack a little self-confidence and I’m still not quite clear on my personal style, but those things will come with time. And I am self-aware enough to know that those are areas of my life I want to work on. The learning continues.
I have a LOT to be thankful for. I have a beautiful house, a loving husband, three small furry housemates, a supportive family, an incredible group of friends, a job I enjoy, a creative outlet and a make up stash that’s probably bigger than I would care to admit.
Life is good. Turning 30 is GOOD. I just need to remember that as I berate myself for eating beans on toast with cheese on top as the last meal of my twenties.
Age is just a number. I’m doing bloody good and things can only get better.
Tatty bye bye twenties, hello thirties. BRING. IT. ON.