They say 30 is the new 20… well, that remains to be seen, but I kind of hope that it isn’t true. As enjoyable as my twenties were I really feel like I’m moving forwards not backwards, and I hope that my thirties continues to bring me a bunch of ‘firsts’ the way my twenties did.
I’m not really that big on birthdays, never have been. For some, turning 30 is an exciting prospect. For others it is an anxiety-inducing milestone. And for some – like me – it’s just another day and don’t really see what the fuss is about.
On your Thirtieth birthday, you suddenly become an old person, right? I remember turning 20 like it was yesterday. I had so much going on and it felt like all the time in the world to do it. A year into my literature degree and contemplating going into publishing or teaching, going on holidays with friends, a part time job and no real life responsibilities… but I don’t think I’d want it all back.
Back then 30 seemed really old; I figured I’d be rich and successful and have my whole life mapped out… in reality, adulting is just as much as a muddle now as it appeared back then!
Fast forward 10 years and so much has changed! I was told that 30 sneaks up on you… I don’t know about you, but I think my twenties lasted forever! I did a lot through my twenties; 2 degrees and 2 graduations, a teaching qualification, I met my husband and got married, had a gorgeous little boy with another baby on the way, we brought our first house and are preparing to move to a bigger one, holidays galore on many continents… I crammed a lot into those 10 short years!
Sure, things have gone a bit south and I’m about 3 stone heavier than I was when I was 20, I can see 2 crows feet starting to come in and I’m pretty sure there’s a few grey hairs mixed in amongst the blonde, but is it really anything worth getting stressed about? I still get ID’d when I buy age restricted products and I pride myself on looking after my skin. But why is it women start feeling old in their mid-twenties, whereas men go on in blissful ignorance well into their balding forties? Do I really care about getting older?
‘How do you feel? What do you want to do to celebrate?’ is all I’m asked. How am I supposed to feel? At the moment I feel pretty good: we’re having our second baby, moving to a bigger and better house, I’m happy and healthy…am I supposed to feel different just because I’m turning 30?
So how will I be celebrating? By doing absolutely nothing special with those I love best of all.
You see, technically my birthday falls on a Sunday and I’m due to go back to school the very next day. I would have just come back off holiday and I’ll also be shy of 8 months pregnant, so can’t really have a drink and let my hair down in style.
With a house move looming I don’t really want to waste money on my birthday (there are more exciting things I want to spend it on!) so Rob and I are going to do something the week before – something low key like dinner and a movie – and my actual birthday weekend I want to go somewhere just the three of us, and well and truly spoil Owen. Because that’s my priority. To me turning thirty is just another birthday; I’ve had 29 of them so far…
The way I see it, I just don’t feel the need to celebrate my birthday; I never have done. The last time I did anything remotely birthday-like was when I turned 18 and went out for a few drinks with some friends. And even then, it was less about my birthday and more about me legally being able to buy alcohol. My mom asks at various milestones if I want to do anything like a party or meal and I politely decline as I’m not that fussed, and she accepts that as she’s the same.
I could go and have a big birthday celebration with everyone I know (my introverted self’s worst nightmare!) or go out and get pissed (assuming I wasn’t pregnant, of course) but I don’t really see the point. That’s what my twenties were for – when I was free, unattached and unassuming. You see, my priorities have changed since then, and all I want is to spend time with my little family in the life we’ve built together. That may seem boring to some but I genuinely don’t care. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed since I turned Twenty; I still don’t care about the opinions of others! I don’t expect everyone to understand my way of thinking, but they should at least RESPECT that.
They say that 30 is the new 20… I’ll get back to you on that one, I’m still 29 for 6 more weeks!