A few of you will know I celebrated my thirtieth birthday last week. I’ve had a few days to digest turning the big 3-0 and wanted to share my thoughts on celebrating this milestone birthday. I’ve never been much of a birthday person, yes it’s a good excuse for a celebration (and cake) but I’m not going to get stressed if I don’t have plans. And I didn’t have any plans for my thirtieth which seemed to concern everyone else more than me – I would have been happy to sit at home watching TV but my mum insisted we went out. So, in the end, I went out for a meal with my meal. My lack of interest could have been because my husband was away and the fact that we had a party for his birthday a couple of weeks ago. Before this post turns into me rambling on about why I didn’t have a party lets get back on track and talk about what turning thirty means to me.
In the run up to my birthday, it seems like everyone was asking me how I felt about it expecting me to be freaking out. To be honest I wasn’t really thinking about – it’s just another birthday right. The thing is it’s normal to freak out a little about the big birthdays. A few of my friends have said they panicked before theirs, whereas I was surprisingly calm so I must be the odd one out. Although I didn’t think turning thirty was a big deal, now I’m thirty I can see it is quite a big deal. I’m no longer in my twenties, I’ve moved into a new decade of my life – my thirties (that does feel weird saying I’m in my thirties). I’m now a real adult, people in their thirties are real adults right!
Turning thirty does make you think about what you’ve done with your life. Did I make the most of my twenties? Have I just wasted the last ten years of my life?
At twenty, thirty seems so far away. You think you’ll have it together by the time you’re thirty, you’ll be married with kids, living in a fabulous house, driving your dream car with the perfect career. To be honest with you I have ticked a few things off the list. I got married at 25, bought my first house at 21 (also I’m still not in the fabulous dream house), I own a car (although it’s just a normal car, not a dream car), I’m in a pretty good place in my career, the only thing I don’t have is children. If you’d have asked me at my wedding when I wanted children I would have said before thirty (always had it in my head I would have a baby at 27 for some reason), but as each year passed I still didn’t feel ready to become a mum. I’ve felt pressure (well meaning) to start a family since I got married and can’t see that ever changing until I finally have a baby (and then people will want a second). I suppose turning thirty has got me thinking about it more seriously.
Just to be clear I’m not sitting here saying my life is perfect, it’s just that I have achieved the things you think you will by thirty. Which may explain why I wasn’t freaking out about my birthday. Looking back I achieved a lot in the last ten years, that’s not to say I didn’t make any mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes and bad choices, but as they say, I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I’m wiser today because of them. Although having said that I’m sure there will be as many mistakes and bad choices in my thirties I’m just more confident now.
I do wonder what twenty years old Jen would think of how things turned out. At twenty I couldn’t imagine a time when I didn’t want to go out with my friends every night. I would think I was such a bore spending money on a mortgage instead of nights out. It’s a strange thing looking back and thinking how much you’ve changed, even though part of me still feels like that twenty-year-old girl.
Apparently, 30 is the new 20 anyway!