This time next week I will be staring thirty in the face.
I turn thirty years old next Wednesday. Up until recently, I was “going under” (to use my northern husband’s expression) about this fact. I was going under about not being in my twenties any more. I was going under about being old. I was going under about not having achieved things that I thought I should achieve by the age of thirty.
But, most of all, I was going under about the idea of thirty itself.
When you’re thirty you can no longer pretend an air of youth by saying “I’m in my twenties”. Thirty sounds grown-up. Sensible. Not me.
The thing is, I still like shopping in Topshop. I still like to blare loud dance music out of my stereo when I’m in the car on my own. I still get excited about nights out dancing. I still read Heat Magazine. These are all things I have always associated with being firmly in the “twenties camp”.
But then I was walking down the road yesterday and I realised that, just because I am turning thirty, it doesn’t mean I have to stop doing these things. There is no rule that says you have to exclusively wear Boden when you turn thirty. I don’t have to ditch my hi-tops for sensible courts.
The truth is, when this realisation hit me I was actually musing on what I was going to cook for tea that night. I walked in the door and pinned a picture drawn by my three year old onto the fridge. I wandered through the living room, clearing up a dirty mug and a Peppa Pig toy, before plonking myself at my desk and getting on with some work. Those five minutes wouldn’t have happened ten years ago.
My life is full, rich. I am content, confident in what I like and who I am. When I was twenty I still wasn’t sure about any of these things, really. I knew I liked retro Take That and shots of Sambuca, but I had yet to discover the joy of a freezing cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I loved lie-ins and the Hollyoaks omnibus, but I didn’t yet know the simple pleasure of a steaming hot cup of Earl Grey in a sunny garden before the rest of the house was awake.
As I’ve gone through my twenties I’ve discovered new things and new places, new people and new loves (not just Earl Grey and Sauvignon Blanc). You know what? I think thirty will be OK.