Turning 30

30!!!-4_opt

I turned 30 last week. The big 3-0. As I lay here looking at the slightly deflated ‘30’ balloons still hanging off the walls and the ‘Happy 30th Birthday’ banners starting to droop from the heat, I really can’t believe I have been alive for 30 years. Why is 30 so profound? Was my 20th year this weird for me?

More importantly, how had I made it this long with all my limbs intact?

The day before my birthday, Paul turned to me and said: “It’s your last day in your 20s”. I knew that already but hearing those words out loud really hit me – I will no longer be a woman in her 20s. Mentally I do not feel much older than 21 (if that), and although I have some wrinkles popping up in a few places, overall, having made it through 30 years of quite an ‘interesting’ life, I have fared quite well.  I think my problem is with the number itself and what it represents, rather than my actual age.

30!!!-6_opt

I am not at the same place in life as a lot of my friends. Most of my friends are well into a career they’ve spent a decade working towards, some are married with a house and mortgage and some are now even having babies. Some friends have hit a home run in each area of their lives and some are stronger in one area. However, my life journey has not been so linear – in any arena.

I was once engaged and on the road to the traditional life – to be married with a mortgage and babies by 30 – but at 26, I decided I was not living the life I wanted and threw a mini grenade into the centre of my life. Over the years, travelling took precedent over my career. I travelled S.E. Asia, worked and lived in South Korea, moved to Melbourne and over the years I have lived in more places in England than I care to remember. Even now, as a Financial Contractor, I dart between my temporary home in Leicester, my boyfriend’s home in Reading and my family home in Wales. When I tell people about my life, they comment that I live a nomadic existence. I suppose I do.

At times I worry about the years I may have wasted: in the wrong relationships, in the wrong jobs and at times, in the wrong mind set. I get envious of those around me who have their own homes, happy marriages and babies on the way; but for me, even though I am not where I thought I would be at 30, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I am on my own individual journey and life is unfolding exactly how it was always meant to.

I have lived through so many different experiences, I have met a vast array of people and I am pretty sure I could have died about 4 times over by now – but I am here and I am stronger than I have ever been. I am focused, I know what I want and I no longer feel the need to meet anyone else’s expectations.  This type of self-assurance and confidence can only be attained over years of life experience. Everyone I speak to in their 30s agrees that they are happier than they ever were in their 20s. So, I really am happy to be in my 30s; I think it is just a weird adjustment and maybe some added anxiety about fulfilling my life-long dream of becoming a published writer.

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I have always known I want to be a writer. I have been writing as long as I can remember. I used to design my own magazines and write my own Dear Deirdre letters for the help section. I wrote fairy tales about magical dragons and potions and submitted short stories to publishers. At 7 or 8 years old I went to my mum’s room, instructed her to close her eyes and then played her an instrumental song on a cassette tape while I told her a story of a sad woman who drove off a cliff.  I was a bizarre child, but damn my imagination was incredible.

I wrote children’s stories, romantic stories, and I even wrote dark stories of loss and pain. At the age of 15, I wrote about lost love and a girl who died from aids; I then submitted it for my GSCE essay and received an A*. God knows what my teacher must have thought. My mind was a world full of crazy, but I knew how to express it and my creativity was firing on all pistols.

Then life happened; I found alcohol, boys and reasons to misbehave. I went to uni and became distracted with all the exciting career options opening up to me and the allure of travelling the world, and before I knew it…  I was on a different path.

It wasn’t until April this year that I finally decided enough was enough. I was 30 this year and still felt like I was wandering aimlessly through life. Sitting on a bean bag on the roof top of a hostel in Costa Rica, surrounded by so much beauty and tranquility, I was hit with a bolt of lightning.

What am I doing? I know what I want. I know what I love. I keep dabbling in writing and then worrying I am too old to change my career and then retreating in fear. Suddenly, there I was, 30 in 4 months’ time and realising that no matter my age, I will never be satisfied if I do not live and breathe a career in writing.

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I am not sure if it is the fear surrounding my age that has made me more driven and determined than ever before, or whether I am now just more mentally strong and self-aware than I ever was in my 20s; but this is a profound time in my life right now. I am making things happen. I am going after what I have always wanted and nothing is going to stop me.

I maintain that seeing 30 on a balloon is freaking weird; and I do not know how I will react when I have to fill out my new age on a legal document that would frown upon me lying, but I am proud to be 30. So what if I don’t have a home or any real adult responsibilities; I have a wonderful boyfriend, beautiful friends, a loving family and a desire for life and writing that will never be quenched.

The balloon may say 30, but my heart and mind are ageless.

 

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6 comments

  1. I think you’re absolutely spot on to say that everything in the past has contributed to where you are now. There are highs and lows through out life, but you haven’t shied from those challenges and opportunities. The response to an event will determine an outcome and the result is a great person in her thirties, who is quite clear of the way forward. I’m so pleased that you’ve embraced all the aspects of your life and I am proud to have shared even a small part of that journey. I don’t think either that you should underestimate the joy and inspiration you bring to peoples’ lives. As we look towards the horizon and the next journey, no matter the peaks and troughs, you can look back and get strength from your achievements, which with every inch of your being you should be proud of, as am I.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dad!!! What an incredible comment (and very well written *cough guest blog please cough*)!! I think there’s something in my eye 🙂 🙂 You are such a beautiful human being and you inspire me more than you know! I love you so very much and I am also incredibly proud of you (and your Herculean efforts); always and every day! I couldn’t have made it without you!

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  2. I’m turning 30 next March, and my feelings exactly echoe those you described… Thanks for making me feel it’s alright and I’m not alone in this! I feel I can breath a bit better now 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad my blog can help! I think so many people have anxiety about what they’ve achieved in life so far and social media sends out the message that everyone is living a fantastic life, when that’s not always the case. It’s so important to know there’s other people out there on the same journey! We will enjoy the journey that we’re on!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, but those anxieties are created by comparing ourselves to other people and from the society’s pressure… it’s so bad, we shouldn’t be attention to that at all. Cause when you ask me without thinking of how old I am and where I should be compared to other people, I’m happy about my life so far! No, it’s not the way I thought it will, and I’m certainly not where I imagined myself to be by this age.. but then at the end of the day, I would change for what other people have cause that’s just not me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Totally agreed!!! Play by your own rules!! Some of the most successful people in life went against the grain of societal norms and lived life on their own terms!! It takes one hell of a strong minded person to do that! 💪🏾xx

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