Thoughts on Turning 30

I’m a couple of weeks away from entering my fourth decade, and although I’m supposed to be terrified, my overwhelming emotion is confusion. I’m perplexed. How can I possibly be turning 30?!

My twenties now feel like a total whirlwind of graduating, graduating again, a big career change, falling in love with running, falling in love with writing (again), falling in love with my boyfriend, falling over and breaking my ankle, acting like a complete twat, embarrassing myself, struggling deeply with my mental health, living through a global pandemic, buying my own little home, grieving, laughing, feeling immense gratitude, eating unhealthy amounts of peanut butter.

Amidst the confusion, I’m slowly beginning to feel a sense of clarity. Women are meant to be afraid of ageing, and society relies on us hating our reflection in the mirror. I don’t hate my reflection in the mirror, but I don’t love it either.

I don’t feel pressured to have children, but I do feel pressured to have children. I don’t feel pressured to tick metaphorical boxes, but I do feel pressured to tick metaphorical boxes. I’m just as full of contradictions and mayhem as I was a decade ago, but I’m also more confident, I’ve stopped caring so much and I’ve finally started to feel comfortable in my own skin. These are all horrible cliches, and I stand by them wholeheartedly.

The other day I reviewed my 30 before 30 list and was slightly horrified by the eight outstanding items. Then I remembered that I wrote this list of arbitrary achievements when I was in my early 20’s. ‘Arbitrary’ is a little unfair; I’m proud of running marathons and I’m even more proud of changing a lightbulb (see no. 10 on my list). Yet I’m saddened that I felt compelled to complete all these achievements prior to turning 30.

Why?! Nothing is suddenly less possible because I’m going from one decade to the next. On the contrary, I can now (kind of) handle finances like nobody’s business, thus making the outstanding eight items more possible.

Ultimately, I’m okay with the big 3-0. I’m living and breathing. I’m doing what I’m doing. I no longer feel the need to frantically tick off boxes, as if 30 is the milestone by which all success and happiness should be measured. I accept myself.

2 Comments

  1. Hurrah! I’ve definitely loved the way age has helped me care less about the unimportant things. At 47, I have my core sets of beliefs but they definitely come surrounded by their own hypocrisies and insecurities, as women it seems society constantly gives us mixed messages. I’ll just keep exploring! Happy 3rd decade Mel, love Julia xx

    Liked by 1 person

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