20 July 2012

Turning 30


A couple of months ago, I hit the 30 mark. With all the hoo ha in the paper about Kate Middleton turning 30 this year as well, I thought I would take a look at what it means.

I spent my 20's in a state of ignorant bliss, skipping about the world and making things look pretty. I certainly didn't have a to do list for life and was generally just going with the flow. 

In fact I wasn't particularly daunted about the prospect of reaching three decades of being on the planet. On the whole, I had heard a lot of positive things about turning 30. Such as feeling more at ease and comfortable in your own skin. You know what styles work or don't for you so you look more put together. Hopefully, you are making your way up the career and life is looking pretty settled.

On the other hand, there has also been a lot of social pressure to have achieved certain things too. For example, getting married, having children and owning a property. There has been a lot of press recently about people having children earlier than they would have like so they don't miss the fertility boat. I would be lying if I said these things haven't crossed my mind. But I do wonder if maybe we should ease up on ourselves and each other, and tick things off our own personal list when we are good and ready.

One of the things I have always wanted to do is go to Ibiza. I never got round to going when I was younger so I thought my 30th birthday was a good a reason to finally go. So I went with my husband, brother, his girlfriend, my mum and godmother to Ibiza Town in May this year. There was an age range of 24 to 69, so it just goes to show you are never too old! 

Top left: with my hubby on my birthday, celebrating in Shoreditch. Top right: at the opening party at Ushuaia, Ibiza.
Bottom picture:with my brother, his girlfriend and my mum in Ibiza.

I had a look at a few media sites which took a light hearted look at things to do before you're 30. Here are a few of my favourite that I found on the Stylist online magazine, The Independent and This Is London:

Buy a property

Nope, can't afford it and don't see it happening any time soon sadly. Have you seen the house prices! Last I heard, the average age to buy their first property in London is in their 40's. I'll just wait another ten years then.  

Have a baby
I haven't felt any way near ready to commit to such a huge step yet. The fertility scare mongerings is freaking me out a bit but I would still like to feel more ready.

Co-habit
Yep, have lived with a boyfriend at Uni and then I lived with my now-husband for a number of years. Still live with him in fact! 

Get married
I got married aged 26. When I was younger I was never someone who had planned out their wedding day and picked out their dress. I had actually pictured myself getting married in my early 30's. As it happened, after many years of being together, it felt right to make the next step and commitment. What made me say yes was I could see myself grow old with him. All be it with him being a very cantankerous old computer gamer! Damn, his arthritis is going to be bad!

Be a fashion victim 
So many times. No, I shan't share pictorial evidence. I also felt quite pudgy at times and had 'fat' days, which looking back, I wish I hadn't wasted my time worrying about it. Life's just too short.

Write a book 
They say there is at least one book in each of us. One of the articles said "Your expertise and ideas might be slim but you will never be as marketable again. Flaubert, Kafka, Fitzgerald, Updike and Walcott all pushed out classics before 30, so writing a decent tome is actually possible too." I think I will wait until I have something momentously interesting to share.

Know who your friends are 
Getting married actually helped me to see who really cared and was there for me. Every so often I do a Facebook cull and get rid of a few people on my list. If they are not someone I meet up with, or if they are not voyeuristically interesting, they go. People I can't even remember who they are or where I met them, or if I saw them on the street and I would hide, they go too! It's like virtual spring cleaning.

Make a million
... or at least earn your age. 
Hitting 30k by 30 has a nice ring to it. Not quite there. Shame the recession and credit crunch hit, no pay rise for 3 years running doesn't help meet the target.

Start a business

I started Lovely Designs after designing my own wedding stationery. According to This Is London "Four in 10 London undergraduates run their own businesses. Take the plunge while you still have nothing to lose."

Backpack the world
It's something I haven't done yet and would still like to do at some stage. Maybe I will do it when I retire. In the meantime, I am trying to see a bit of the world, bit by bit.

Skinny dipping
Yep, only the once and I shan't divulge details. It did involve a lot of alcohol and was many moons ago!

Travel alone
I'm a great believer in being independent and having your own interests. I have been on a few trips on my own and without the other half. The most notable trip was going to Mexico City for one month's work experience while I was at Uni. 

Sort out a pension
I keep meaning to sort one out. I understand that it's important but it feels like such a long way away and the information is dull dull dull. Maybe this year?

And these are my favourite tweets from the Stylist article to put things in perspective!
@helenhowe82 - Realise that turning 30 may actually be the beginning...
@tashlee - Fail. Try again. 

Do you have any advice or experience you would like to share on turning 30? Get in touch or make a comment below.

And remember...
... never act your age because you're as young as you feel!