On Being Nearly 30

I’m 30 in September.

At the carefree age of 28, I regarded those people panicking at turning 30 with utter scorn. I would never be one of those people. I don’t care about age! What a bunch of drama queens!

Then I hit 29. And since then everything I have said, done and thought has been accompanied by the voice in my head screaming “YOU ARE NEARLY 30 YOU KNOW”. Every time I look in the mirror that voice chimes up again with, “Hola. This is your 30-year-old face”. I’m pretty sure I’m right on target for a mid-life crisis. We’re already in 2015, THE YEAR of turning 30. It’s getting closer. I can feel it walking behind me like a shadow. It is no wonder I am feeling an overwhelming need to get my shit together this year.

There’s not a lot of time left. I’m not quite sure that de-cluttering my kitchen drawers is quite going to achieve the life transformation I’m after. You know all those old people who once told you that youth is fleeting? Ignored them. All that crap “inspirational/motivational” Dunelm wall art telling you to chase your dreams because you only live once. Ignored that too. When it comes to life in general, I’m a dreamer and a coward. I want big things and I’m too afraid to put myself out there to get them. So far I’ve stumbled through life with the rapidly faltering hope that things would magically sort themselves out at some point. All the good things would come. Somehow. At some point. And now – it seems all of a sudden – I find myself almost at 30 with an almost two-year-old child, wondering what the hell happened to the last fifteen years, realising far too late that that was my youth and that you really can’t get it back. Here, in no particular order, are just some of the things concerning me about being nearly 30…

I don’t seem to magically have become cool/trendy/even vaguely fashionable at any point
In my head I am dressed like a H&M mannequin but in reality I can barely manage to find a pair of socks that match. Is it okay to still be wearing the clothes I wore when I was 22?

Can I still wear this hat when I'm 30?!
Can I still wear this hat when I’m 30?!

10-year-olds can do their make-up better than I can
I kind of thought this particular skill would just… come to me. Maybe overnight at some point in my late twenties. I only managed to get the hang of liquid eye liner last year and realised (thanks to a random birthday present) that actually it’s gold eye shadow that suits people with brown eyes. Gold! Not grey! Why was I wearing grey?! Honestly I don’t even know why I’m wearing eye shadow at all. Do people still wear eye shadow in 2015?

STILL looking for that perfect moisturiser/face wash/spot cream
I should probably be past the stage where I buy a different brand every time I run out in the hope that it will be The One.

I have no idea how to style my hair
I have bought every hair styler Boots has to offer and watched a billion YouTube videos and I still cannot do beachy waves. I now fear I will die never having achieved beachy waves, and no-one is even doing beachy waves any more. I also have no idea what those big rollers are for.

Am I too old to wear dungarees?
Dungarees are the best. They’re the closest you can get to wearing a onesie and still feel okay about actually leaving the house. But should my dungaree-wearing days be numbered? Last weekend I went shopping with my mum and the toddler wearing dungaree shorts with a slouchy top and thick tights. Ahh, blissful comfort. I then added my bright yellow mum coat (waterproof. huge pockets. compulsory) and high-tops because, well, you can’t wear ankle boots with dungaree shorts, can you? (Can you?) Plus a backpack full of toddler paraphernalia. I mean, I looked fine. Yeah, okay, sort of like I was on my way home from school and I’d collected my baby sister from nursery en route, but I can still get away with wearing stuff like that, even with my almost-30-year-old face, right? RIGHT?

Am I too old to have very long hair?
My hair got mermaid long last year without me really noticing. I think I would quite like to have it all cut off to shoulder-length. Seems like a reasonable thing to do in my thirties (oh God, my thirties *weeps*). But then I started wondering, if I hate it being short (which, come on, I am the master of discontent, I inevitably will), will I be too old to grow it back?? We could be talking five years before it gets back to the length it is now. Is it even acceptable to have hair that long when you are 35? If I cut it now, will I have to wait until I am 85 before I can have a long flowing ponytail again?

I am definitely too old to be in a pop band
Remember when the Over 25s category in The X Factor seemed like it was full of uncool old people? Oh wait…

I am also past the age where anyone in a boyband would be interested in dating me
It was a very sad day when I realised this. It might have felt, for a fleeting moment, that my entire life had been for nothing.

This boy is beautiful. He’s also 21-years-old. I am a terrible person.

When will I live in a trendy flat and hang out with my fabulous friends drinking cocktails in nice dresses and being carefree?
What now? Now you are solely responsible for a child? Spoilers: never. Let’s just take a moment to think about the fact that I have reached the age where there are some things I will simply never do. In my whole life. Of which you only get one. That’s not terrifying at all.

Will I ever live by the sea?
I’ve always wanted to live by the sea. I’ve always been a bit cross that I didn’t grow up by the sea, because then I’d already be living there and wouldn’t have to be brave or anything. And I’m starting to consider the very real possibility that I may never live by the sea. Because I’m not brave. And my mum and dad live here, and I have friends, and a job I like. There’s also the small matter of finding myself as a single parent with no money and relying on my mum rather heavily for moral support and babysitting. And schools! The small child will have to go to school at some point! Can you pull your child out of school and plonk them into another one just because you quite fancy going to live by the sea? Do I have to go and live by the sea immediately, before she gets to school age, or can I slip it in there in the summer holidays between primary and secondary school? Will I even like living by the sea?

When will the having all the money thing happen?
When I was younger I remember looking forward to the day when I would have enough money to frivolously buy loads of clothes and stuff, like it was an inevitable thing that would happen. Yeah, that’s not an inevitable thing that happens. Not when you work in the “arts” and you actually really like your little job in the “arts” (and thank God for that because you only have one A Level). Especially not when you work part time in the “arts”. All my cousins are studying serious things like law and medicine at university – how did that happen? All I wanted to do when I was 18 was chase around after boy bands. Still do.

I feel literally the youngest I have ever felt
My actual 29-year-old self is no longer someone the teenager in my head identifies with.

All the celebrities I think of as “my age” are actually not
Seriously, how is Ed Sheeran only 23? I just Googled which celebrities are turning 30 this year and they all look so old.

Thanks, Buzzfeed. Really not helping.
Thanks, Buzzfeed. Really not helping.

All of the mums I assume are much older than me are probably not
How old do I actually look? I have lost all perspective.

Liking boybands is now unacceptable and something best kept to myself
I have become one of those creepy mums. Going to all the nostalgic reunion shows of pop bands from my youth is fine. My interest in One Direction is poorly-concealed and weird.

I don’t even have a list of things I want to do and see before I’m 30, let alone have ticked anything off it
Once upon a time 30 seemed so far away. There was so much time to write that list.

When will everyone I am friends with on Facebook be married already so I can start re-following people without having to see any more bloody wedding photos?

How much longer will my three remaining single friends be single for?
Please don’t leave me.

So who wants to help me plan my 30th birthday party??


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