How to stop worrying and love your 30s

Hello, and thanks to all at Umm…Now What? (and you the reader!) for letting me guest post over here today. Let me introduce myself, i’m WeeH from over at Wee-Travellings.

Before we start, I better give you a bit of background. Just so you know where i’m coming from. I was going to write a flighty, happy, ‘30 things to do before you are 30′ type post filled with ideas about jumping out of airplanes or finding the man/woman of your dreams. I was going to write with poise, grace and err, dignity about how wonderful the next stage in your life is going to be. I was going to explain how I lightly stepped over the age barrier without a grey hair, care in the world or student loan payments still to make.

Unfortunately life isn’t like that.

I can’t deny it; I spent my 30th birthday feeling as deflated as a wet designer paper shopping bag. I decided that my birthday presents should be botox, microdermabrasions (whatever they are) and a tummy tuck. I couldn’t see my next ten years as being any more than a slow decline into middle age. I wallowed, I moaned, I even had a wee cry to myself.

Then my best friend turned up with a space hopper. Yes, a space hopper. It’s a kid’s toy that you bounce around on. At first I just laughed, reluctant to make a fool out of myself. But then I got tempted, no one would judge me - would they? So I climbed on. And? Well, the ‘I’m 30 now I better wear sling backs’ heals flew off, I couldn’t help but giggle, my neighbour banged on the ceiling and I realised I was only 10 seconds older than the last time I looked and definitely wasn’t destined for the OAP home quite yet.

So, I got over myself. And right now, being in my thirties is the least of my problems (yep that student loan again). But hopefully, I can provide some words of wisdom which will help you to stop worrying and love your 30s too. However long you have to prepare for them.

1) Backpack (Problem is everyone hates backpackers) ok, yes, this might be top of every ‘100 before you are 100 list’, but IMO Backpacking isn’t travelling - it’s finding other gap year students to shag (abroad) get drunk with (abroad) and do stupid things like skydiving (abroad). Travel should be about finding places where you belong, getting some distance and not boring everyone silly when you get back. Maybe you’ll travel across the world and find that place the place that fits you best is actually your home. But at least you will appreciate it.

2) Find yourself (Yes that old backpacker adage is true. Who’d have thought?) Away from the childhood bullies who called you Wall-e (ok, he’s a cute cartoon, I was a flat-chested 15 year old), the acne, greasy hair and Roland Rat glasses* you can make yourself into whoever you want to be. Do you want to be religious or political? Do you want to be a career girl or a mum? Do you want to be a glamour girl or a book worm? (Or a PHD with fake DDs?) Honestly, out here no one cares what you do with your life (they are too busy living theirs) so find ‘you’ and find where ‘you’ fit in.

3) Exorcise ghosts (stop blaming other people for the way your life has turned out). Don’t blame the bully for your lack of confidence (laugh at her for getting fat), don’t blame your ex boyfriend for dumping you (laugh at the ex-eternal bachelor wishing his life away with 3 kids). Remember, it’s only you that can make decisions from here on in. You don’t have to rely on other people’s opinions anymore. Your 20s might be all about defining yourself, but your 30s about trusting that person.  

4) Get out of your sweat pants (and by this I mean your comfort zone). I’m not talking about bungee jumping or parachuting, or even the gym. But more about not being scared when faced with a sommelier in a restaurant (who cares, spend what you can afford), a car mechanic (they are out to baffle you, so accept it), at work (don’t confuse your career with your life) or doing a speech. Have a sense of fear, but relish the fact you are doing these things yourself.  

5) If your teenage years were all about getting enough brains to get out of your parents clutches, your twenties are about not fecking up enough to have to move back. You might not think you have aged, and nor will your parents, but they certainly will have, indeed you might think deafness is the worst problem you’ll face. Or possibly explaining that ‘face book thingy’ over and over again. Actually, it will be trying to retain that hard won independence in your mother’s house. It’s a battle you’ll never win. Don’t move back - she’ll have you eating sprouts again in no time.

And finally, celebrate the big 3-0 in style. Don’t worry that it’s your end of the 20s, enjoy the fact you have a whole new ten years ahead of you and remember, no repellent, no special lotion, elixir, cream or serum in existence will ward off old age - so learn to love that body now and look confident, happy and most of all amazing at your birthday party!


*ok, this is just my experience. Yes I did have Roland Rat glasses.


19 Responses to “How to stop worrying and love your 30s”

  1. Paula says:

    i’ll have to bear this post in mind come next October . . .

  2. Princess Pointful says:

    Roland Rat is admittedly cuter than I thought :).
    I adore this post– so much wisdom and honesty!!

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