You might think differently than I do about this, but something big is happening in the next six months. No, I’m not pregnant, nor am I getting married or buying a house or moving away to a land far, far away. It’s nothing life-changing in any way, shape or form and sure it’s small, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a stepping stone in this great adventure we call life, nonetheless. Next February (February 25, 2014, to be exact), I turn 30.
I know what you’re thinking: that’s it? That’s the ‘big thing’ that’s happening to Jocelyn? Is that really all she’s got going for herself?
(… yikes, way to make it personal!)
Ever since I turned 29 just over 6 months ago, I’ve literally been counting down the last days of my twenties, trying to figure out what I’ve done during this decade of my life and getting comfortable enough to being 100 per cent okay with the fact that I’m not where I thought I’d be at ten years ago. At times it’s been difficult because for a couple of months after my 29th birthday I clung to the idea of my 20’s, like after I turn 30 I’ll no longer be youthful: I’ll be a washed up old hag and I won’t be allowed to do anything fun anymore. I’ll be repulsive to men because when they ask how old I am and I say “30” they’ll turn a blind eye at me and lose all interest and I’ll be forever alone with my two cats, watching Wheel of Fortune and eating digestive cookies, drinking tea and knitting. It all sounds completely ridiculous and I see it even more now, as I write this at 1:30 am on a Wednesday morning. But, at 19 and evidently in my late twenties, I pictured someone at 30 as someone who really had their shit together. Like, really, you know? Owning a house and a car; having a career; being married; having a couple of kids; not having fun anymore; the sort of thing you think ‘real adults’ are supposed to do.
Not entirely true.
As someone who is less than six months away from turning 30, I can certainly tell you that I most definitely do not have my ‘shit together’ in the terms as mentioned above. Sure, I’ve been working in my profession for almost 6 years and I’ve made some life-altering changes that I’m proud of, but none of them involve the stereotypes a 19 year old, or whatever, thinks applies to someone who is 30 or older. Hell, they’re stereotypes I’ve learnt to let go of this year alone. It’s amazing how much perspective someone can gain in a few short months.
When you’re 19, and even throughout your twenties, you think you know what you want for the rest of your life — at least for awhile, anyway, and then you realise that maybe no, no you don’t. Sometimes you do things you might regret and are harder to get out of later; some things you can’t get out of later and some things you can. It all depends on what you think you want at the time; there’s no right or wrong answer, but sometimes you find your answer a little later on and that’s okay — that’s part of ‘growing up,’ so I’m told.
As mentioned earlier, ever since I turned 29, I’ve been trying to process what my twenties have been like and I’m sure a lot of people who have entered their thirties, forties, maybe even older, will say similar things: it’s been the shits. Not all of it, mind you, because things change and shape you as you grow older, but when you’re 20, 21, 22 and so on and so forth you don’t even know who you are, let alone what you want to eat for breakfast when you wake up in the morning. (Sidenote: I still don’t know what I want to eat for breakfast when I wake up in the morning but I’m almost certain it usually includes wanting bacon.) You’re this insecure blob of a person blended in with a crowd of people just like you and it’s easy to get lost.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying, nor am I expecting to know all of the answers when I turn 30 or that I won’t make mistakes, suddenly let go of all of those insecurities, or even know what I want for breakfast on February 25, 2014. All I’m trying to get at is these things get easier. I’ve become more confident with who I am that only comes with getting older; things I was insecure about in my early twenties have faded over the years; I’ve stopped caring what others think about what I say or do because I’m not afraid of being who I am; I’ve gotten comfortable in the close friendships I’ve made and it’s a damn good feeling knowing who’s got my back and vice versa. I wouldn’t trade any of this for the price of being younger because I don’t want to start over, I want to keep going.
I’ve realised that I can be 30 and still do things I’ve enjoyed in my twenties — none of that has to stop just because there’s a new set of digits in my age or an age group I’ve been bumped up into. Anyone who tries telling me so is wrong.
I know that age is just a number, and I know you’ll try telling me so. I know that turning 30 isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be because “30 is the new 20” and so on and so forth, but you only turn 30 once and it’s a milestone that should be celebrated.
I can’t wait.