It’s what everyone who is approaching their thirties wonders and what we ask ourselves once we’re in the decade. So what changes in a matter of 12 months? A lot, but the truth is that it doesn’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen unless you want it to.
I spent my 30th birthday hungover and crying into a pint of ice cream, in the middle of my self loathing I found out my – still, technically- married husband had just had a baby the day before. I wasn’t upset over him; I wasn’t upset about their baby; I was upset that I wasn’t where I thought I should be at 30.
I sulked on my couch, asking myself how could I be in this position and where had I gone wrong? The year prior, I was drinking Pina Coladas in Spain, living the dream with a girlfriend, and here I was in my expensive Hawthorn apartment alone. (Disclaimer, I had been out the night before celebrating with friends)
The problem with having expectations for yourself and how life will play out is the exact realisation that the quote “life is what happens when you’re making plans” is a beaming, neon sign for anyone that was like me – stuck in the social stigma that you should have your shit together by 30.
I know women who are still crying into pints of ice cream over what they thought life would look like in their 30s, but we can’t be that generation. We must remember that while quotes and memes are screaming at us that life is meant to be a certain way, it isn’t what is real.
Life does change, and so do you, constantly. So here are a few changes that will happen, and you’ve got to roll with it, huns, because it’s you telling yourself what you want and deserve, not the social expectations.
You grow tired of playing mum to a man, it’s all fun and games when you’re playing house, and your significant other expects you to cook and clean his clothes. But eventually, you start to realise that’s the same stuff you should be receiving from your partner to support you.
You realise some of the dreams you had in your twenties can still be possible, and some aren’t. But the good news is, it might not be what you want anymore. I still want to be a police officer – it’s possible. That dream of being a mum of three and having the picket fence by 28 may have passed through.
Re-evaluating your career is not only acceptable but valid; you’ve got another 40 or so years of work left, make it something you can enjoy even if it takes a few years to get there. You’ll never turn around after the hard graft and say, ‘shit, I wish I’d never tried or taken that leap of faith.’
Being alone is a blessing.
Waking up every weekend hungover gets old; it’s still fun to go out and party, but it’s pretty hard to do your grocery shop and adult with a raging headache and panda eyes.
Some friends aren’t forever, and it’s OK, and you don’t have to call friends or hear from them every day. It’s called having and creating a life, which takes time and space to allow others and yourself to have it.
Kids are not off the table if you want them; that two by thirty thing is looking real one by forty, and it’s nobody’s business to be asking or telling you differently.
Equally, not having kids and spending every dollar on yourself is fucking fantastic too.
Eating healthy and being healthy on the inside is more important than looking good, and size 8 is beautiful, but not everyone is meant to be a size 8.
Drinking water is the best thing. It keeps your skin hydrated, keeps the wine from a 2 am wake up desperate for Nurofen and keeps the body feeling human.
You will feel confident like never before. All those lumps and bumps start to feel loving, and life experienced proof. You don’t get the giggles when you order a new vibrator; you feel annoyed the last one died.
Yes, turning 40 is the next hurdle, but you also know that your twenties went forever, so you’re going to sit back and enjoy your 30s like you deserve to.