I turn 29 in a few days. This is the traditional age, according to Marian Keyes and Bridget Jones, that I should be starting to panic. Panic about sorting my life out, meeting the man of my dreams (I dream about Gouda chasing me), and having babies. Or failing that just a general existential panic of the impending prospect of old age and eventual death. Yeah chick lit is great.
I have a lot of things worrying me at the moment, that’s just part of my makeup. But in general it’s useless stuff like that weird smell when I open the fridge (I really should do a clean out) or why you have to push a button to open the doors on the Overground and DLR but not the rest of the tube lines. The getting older thing not so much; so far getting older has only been a good thing.
The older I am the more sure I am of me. Of my likes and dislikes, of what is worth putting up with in the name of love or character building, and when I just need to tell people to fuck off. With age I have become less terrified of eyeliner, felt more confident in my career and now actually live in a flat that I love.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not too keen on the wrinkles that are popping up overnight or the fact that a hangover now lasts for a week. But I figure it’s a small price to pay for finally growing out of teenage angst and 20 something social competition.
I’m not saying I have all the answers or that I know what the hell I am meant to be doing in the next year, 5 years, 10 years or 50. Hell right now I am sitting in hotel room confused about what I should be doing in the next five minutes (there is a KitKat on the table next to me…I should open that right?). A birthday isn’t going to magically give me a road-map to life.
Over my lifetime I will constantly be questioning, changing, growing, loving and losing, the fact that I am almost a year away from 30 doesn’t change that at all.
I think what does change my thinking, more than an arbitrary age, is the life milestones that my friends are hitting. It was the same in my early twenties where suddenly a homogeneous group of high schoolers all chose different paths; to go to university, jobs, travel or nothing at all. Your friends making choices, makes you think you should be too. It turns into a constant comparison loop that makes you overturn every stone in your brain and examine it.
And that’s where I find myself again. Friends choosing once again; babies, marriage, divorce, moving to New Zealand, moving to the country, career changes, career brakes, and everyone dying their hair pastel. It’s not age that’s the problem, it’s that nothing stays still for long. I wouldn’t want it to, I love to see everyone evolving into their next Pokemon. Change helps you to clarify the very best version of you.
Sooooo this was a ramble and a half. If I’m honest it’s because the hotel gave me a free bottle of wine and it is sitting next to the KitKat half empty. What I am trying to say is fuck worrying about a specific age, life is about dealing with constant change and finding your place within it. I for one can’t wait to see what the next few years bring for me. I hope its more free wine.