30. Big 3-0. THIRTY. 3 decades.
If someone was to ask me then, what 30 year old me would be doing now, I would have said that I’d probably be married with kids, possibly a small dog or three, living in the city… or maybe I’ll move to New York or Paris! I’ll have enough money to work for only 6 months a year and travel the rest! That, was my understanding of where I would be at 30. To be honest, I thought of it as a bracket I didn’t want to be ticking my age group off as. I clearly hadn’t heard of inflation and thought money grew on trees.
Circa 2006, I vividly remember having a haircut to rival Rod Stewart and a polka dot neck scarf I would wear so tight, who needed bourjois blusher? Blazers and boob tubes were all the rage and I had one in every colour. My early 20’s, I can honestly say are some of my favourite memories. I spent most of my time with friends, habitually frolicking around local clubs and frequenting bars for the cheapest deal on a long vodka, not thinking twice about walking a mile further to get the best deals on a pitcher of cheeky vimto.
The girls and I thought we knew it all… and some more. Lip gloss, check. Orange palm from OTT tanning, check. Side fringe, check. £10 for the night out and coming home with some change for a chippy, check.
Parading around town dressed up for any occasion was a frequent occurrence. And when I say any, I mean ANY. Sailor for your birthday you say? Greek goddess for a house warming? Why not! Holiday to Portugal – let’s wear matching florescent tutu skirts! (I mean, we did get quite a lot of attention from the locals, for all the wrong reasons!)
My worst faux pas, had to be the time the girls and I casually hired a limo take us to Glasgow and my Moulin Rouge theme was verging nudity, thank god our hi tech cameras then consisted of a £3 job throwaway from Semi-chem!
Tennis player… if you hadn’t guessed already.
I was earning money and BOY was I spending it. Topshop was my weakness. Every weekend, I would run to my best friend’s house and we would raid each other’s wardrobe before we went out on the Saturday night to the local ‘nightclub’ (when I say nightclub, I mean a small sticky floor with mirrored walls – but wow, did we LOVE that place!) We sometimes, on the odd occasion, raided my mums – I still to this day have pictures of us hanging off each other sporting dresses from ‘Wallis’ or ‘M & S’ god forbid anyone was to know (excluding my mum – who often found items of clothing mysteriously reappeared in her room sporting new cigarette burns and red cola cube stains.) I wished away a majority of my earlier birthdays in our old haunt, secretly wishing there was more to life than swaying to Journey while washing it down with tequila rose.
And so on the early 20’s progressed, moving in with one of my best friends. Two, single, independent women, moving to the bright lights of Armadale, a cosy 2 bed house… the world was our oyster! We thought we were adults. We lived off our emergency heating most days and ate cous cous or cereal for dinner. I think I laughed like a mad woman most days while I watched our lives pan out in front of us, the mishaps, the silliness, the hangovers, the uncooked chicken. We once managed to lock ourselves out after a night out in Glasgow. Cue us running through our neighbour’s garden (with CCTV that we were blissfully unaware of!) Me, trying to jump over the 6ft fence and getting stuck while said neighbour runs out with a hammer and a baseball bat to ‘do us in’ with Julie hiding in the bushes somewhere. We bonded with the neighbour after that incident. We laughed we would always live together and that really does feel like yesterday.
From flat adventures to travelling. My mid-twenties were my prime travelling years. I turned 26 as I was heading home from my time away and remember my mum saying it was time for me to get back to reality. So, I moved to rent a flat in Edinburgh and booked a flight with the girls to Ibiza. Ibiza is reality, right?
While we were there, I remember feeling out the loop. Not down with the cool kids. We clearly missed the memo on the bumbags – but for the first time, I really didn’t care. I also remember, myself and the girls talking about how we felt ‘old’. And THAT, my friends, was the first time I genuinely worried about turning 30! Someone did mention we looked too old to be in Amnesia… cue defense mode and writing him off as clearly being on hallucinogenics.
My 29th birthday.
What? Wait a minute… but, I was only 21 like 2 seconds ago? On my birthday last year, I had a shiver when my Dad brought it to my attention… that it was my LAST year in my twenties (like I didn’t know that, thanks!)
From then, it lurked in the back of my mind, just like when Donald Trump was running for President, it was there, but you don’t think it’ll ever really HAPPEN, or anytime soon for that matter. It wasn’t clear just what was round the corner but that number put the fear of death inside me. Saggy skin? Sunken eyes? No bladder control and puffy ankles? Verbal diarrhoea, cat lady and wrinkles?
And before I actually had a clue what was going on, 2 jobs, a flat, a full year later and BAM. I was 30.
I woke up to a FaceTime with my family while in Dubrovnik. Before answering, I caught a glimpse of my slightly pink, 30 year old self staring back at me. But, wait a minute. I looked the same. Infact, some might say my hair looks better now than when I was in my early 20’s. Also, my makeup skills have flourished, the ‘clown’ look is so 2007. My skin has small lines but they are laughter I’ve had over the last 10 years that I would never change. I’m a lot more confident now than I was when I was 20. I have a home, it might not be a house in the city but it’s a flat filled with love. I have a dog… he may only be a door stopper but he’s a dog. Felicity the fern may not be a baby, but she’s a responsibility. Don’t water her for 2 weeks and she may start to cry!
I still feel 20 at heart. The lines on my face may run deeper, but that’s because they have a better story to tell. 30 feels no different to any other birthday (well, I did get treated to a weekend in Croatia, but hey, that could happen every year right?!) I had a kick ass time at Hemma, with my kick ass friends, playing kick ass beer pong and feeling pretty lucky that over those 10 years… I’ve made some pretty amazing friends in the process.
All in all. For any of my friends or bloggers or anyone that are currently worrying about age, how you look, who you’ll become and if you’ll have it all sussed out by 30? Don’t. The best is yet to come and a number does not define us. It’s all relative. It’s knowing yourself and not worrying what the world will think of you. It’s learning that it happens to us all, embrace every second and LIVE it.