Sunday, 19 January 2014

Thirty before 30.

I turn 30 this year. I am not afraid.


Being an August baby, I've always been keen to catch up with my peers in the age stakes. I remember how agonising it was, waiting to turn sixteen, seventeen and eighteen, simply to finally be legally allowed to do all the things you'd been doing for years anyway. It seems strange now, to have been in such a hurry to have the next number in the sequence proverbially stamped on your forehead. I can honestly say that 30 is no exception; I'm sprinting for the finishing line. Whilst I acknowledge the significance some may place upon the end of their twenties, I cannot share their trepidation in the face of the big 3-0. For me, this birthday milestone is all about celebrating the passing of my twenties (interspersed as they were with bad boys, poor financial management and regrettable sartorial choices) and embracing my thirties (making good choices, making money, making babies - not yet, Mum & Dad!).

To me, thirty equates three very important things: experience, acceptance, confidence.

Whilst I am still surprised some mornings to find that I am no longer a teenager, appalled that I have to wash my own clothes (I have yet to master the art of getting stains out like my mum can), I do feel I have some life experience under my belt. In my twenties, I have experienced highs and lows, gains and losses, success and failure. I have seen a little of the world, and learned of the beauty to be found in it. I have met incredible, inspiring people. I have loved and been loved. I have made mistakes and made amends. I have learned and I have grown. But my education didn't end in my twenties, with a mortar board on my head and a blank scroll of paper in my hand. Turning thirty doesn't spell the end of this learning curve we call life. All these things continue in your thirties; the journey isn't over... My fourth decade in the world brings with it innumerable fresh challenges: a new job with greater responsibility and, hopefully, in the next few years, motherhood. With a few lessons in hand and my own make-shift manual in my back pocket, I can't wait to experience all that this new chapter in my life has to offer.

Albert Einstein. Source.

I have spent the last couple of years of my twenties trying my very best to do two things: to accept the parts of me I cannot change and to work daily to change the things I cannot accept. This has, at times, been exhausting, but, as Benjamin Franklin said of his pursuit of moral perfection, “on the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been had I not attempted it.”.

Benjamin Franklin. Source.

Lastly, I feel that in approaching 30, I now have the confidence to be whomever I choose, without fear of failure, judgement or retribution, and I am growing in confidence speaking up against the things I disagree with. I have always appeared confident socially, being something of an extrovert and a confident communicator, but beneath the surface it has been an entirely different story. I spent a large part of my twenties doing everything in an attempt to conform, to please or to impress others, at the expense of developing my own identity. I enter my thirties with a degree of self-confidence I could never have imagined at 19, and I am proud of that.


So, in celebration of my twenties and in preparation for my thirties, I drew up a list over Christmas of thirty things to do before turning 30 in August. I will post a monthly update to let you know how I'm getting on...

The little things:

30 Create a piece of art to hang on the wall.
29 Bake a rainbow cake.
28 Make macaroons. Done!
27 Grow something from a seed.
26 Have a beauty counter make over.
25 Play and complete a computer game.
24 Have a nail art manicure.
23 Eat a new food.
22 Make an item of jewellery/clothing,
21 Complete the thirty day plank challenge. (In progress.)

The not so little things:

20 Sing another great choral work.
19 Host a murder mystery party.
18 Read at least five of the books I've been meaning to read for the last ten years.
17 Volunteer.
16 Raise £500 for charity.
15 Say yes to everything for a whole week. 
14 Try my hand at clay pigeon shooting.
13 Follow at least one new recipe from every one of my cookery books.
12 Write and illustrate my own children's story.
11 Lose 10 lbs. (In progress.)

The bigger things:

10 Go to a big music gig
9 Visit the London tourist attractions I've never been to.
8 See the Comedy Store Players
7 See a Premier League match at the Emirates
6 Eat at Le Gavroche (/alternative Michelin Two Star restaurant!)
5 Attend a Cherry Blossom party.
4 Buy a proper camera.
3 Gamble in a Vegas casino.
2 Change my hair colour.
1 Blog twice a week, every week.

So, No. 1 was originally 'Get a puppy!', but having discussed it in all seriousness with the husband, we're going to have to wait until next year at least for that one <sad face>. So, starting from today, it will be my mission to blog twice a week every week - the challenge is on!


So, here's to making the most of my final few months as a wild and wonderful twenty-something! If you have any alternatives to suggest for my list, I would love to hear them!

pp x

1 comment:

  1. I love that write and illustrate is in the middle group! That would take me all year. These sound great, though, Jess! I am inspired. Loving the blog :). Xxx