Everyone assured me that turning thirty would be OK. I wasn’t so sure. I was pretty certain that as soon as thirty arrived, I would suddenly wrinkle-up, develop a back problem and life would end.
For me, turning thirty signified being a grown up. You were no longer at the age where you could have a late night and wake up at the crack of dawn ready to start the day. If you did fancy going out and getting drunk and causing havoc you were labelled an alcoholic rather than a cheeky young ‘un. By this point, people expect you to have found your footing in life – you were expected to know what you wanted to do and where you wanted to go in life.
What don’t I like about turning thirty?
I tried to fool my thirtieth birthday. I didn’t have a party, everything was very low-key. A bit like any other birthday really. To start off with, I thought I’d gotten away with it. Then a couple of months later, the ‘wrinkle-God’ swooped down with a vengeance. I woke up one day and realized I had EYE WRINKLES. It was a pretty shit realization, actually.
Being called a lady. Or a woman.
Have you had that horrifying moment when you’re on the tube or a bus and a mum says to her kid, ‘Larry, come here, you’re disturbing that nice lady’, whilst giving you an apologetic smile. Personally, I don’t want to be known as a lady, nor a woman for that fact. Call me girl if you have to, or even chipmunk.
The terms lady and woman just remind me of middle-age.
Not being ‘cool’
Gosh, this was a shit realization. If my twelve-year-old nephew no longer thinks my jokes are worthy of a laugh, then I’m in trouble. In fact, he went even further and pointedly walked three paces behind my half-sister and I whenever we went anywhere public. *sigh*
Not being looked at in that way
Girls, you know what I mean by this. Guys barely register you’re there, and their eyes swoop over you, immediately going to the hot young thing next to you. The days of a cheeky wink or a knowing look are, sadly, gone. And leers from drunken old people that you work with are not something to be proud of.
The pressures of turning thirty
Relationships / marriage / babies
To all my friends getting married or having babies, please bugger orf. You’re making me look bad and my parents are starting to ask questions. Yes, I would love to get hitched and have babies but lay off with the pressure!
(I actually have a horrible feeling that some people get married or have babies because they feel they ‘should’. Does anyone agree?)
Parental Role Reversals
It was a hard enough realization to accept when you discover your parents don’t know the answer to everything. And when you get older, suddenly it’s you looking after them, rather than the other way around. To be honest, it sucks, but what are you going to do about it, other than ‘man up’ and add it to your list of things to deal with?
What do I love about being thirty?
I now regard sleep, good food and spending time with family and friends (and my secondhand cat) as big priorities in my life. Gone are the days when I aimed to snog five boys in a night (never quite hit that target), or stay up until the sun came out. And I am so happy about this.
Taking less shit
Life’s too short to deal with all the crap people can throw you. I’m slowly getting rid of people who don’t add anything to my life, not letting rude people bother me and not going out if I don’t want to. The result is more time for myself, the people I love and the things I like doing. I’m even learning how to say no.
Yes, there are wrinkles and squishy stomachs, but I know a bit more about who I am. Life seems more straightforward for it – I have tried and tested different ways of ‘being’ and I now care less about things not worth bothering about and more about the stuff that means a lot to me.
My main learning? Be nice to people, even if they’re complete shits, but don’t get taken for granted.
Yes, turning thirty means I now look more ‘grown up’ and have to deal with more serious matters, but I haven’t given up my ‘kid side’. And hopefully never will. Bring on forty!