Being 30 and turning 31

This time last year people were constantly asking me how I felt about turning 30.  I told them I was excited – that it felt like a new change, a move into adulthood and a leap towards something more secure and slow.  I already had the house, the mortgage, the dog, would be getting married at the age of 30, and felt a strong sense of anticipation at leaving my 20s behind and taking on new hopes, dreams and challenges.


Sometime around a month into being 30 I started to think more and more about what being 30, and moving into this new realm of ‘adulthood’ meant to me.  I started to think about the things I believed I ‘should’ want – the house in the countryside, the 2.4 children, the part-time job, the homemade jam bubbling away in the kitchen, the dog walks whilst pushing a pushchair, the weekends at the playpark, the craft projects, the fresh flowers on the kitchen table, the cashmere sweater, the stack of Ideal Home on the coffee table…

We got married and it was an amazing, wonderful, perfect day.  And now all anyone can ask me is, “So when are you going to start trying for babies?” People have started to assume that I’ll be winding my career down now to concentrate on having a family.  They tell me I need a four-door car, not a two-door.  They nudge and whisper when I say I don’t want a drink or I feel a little peaky in the morning.

I tried to ride the wave – buy the cookbooks, imagine myself with a child on my hip, have the dinner on the table, put in a request to cut my hours at work, find hobbies that fit in with the lifestyle I thought I should have….

Then I started to think about what I ‘do’ want.  What makes me feel alive, what gets my blood pumping.  Hmm. A mish-mash of maybes and kindas and ‘do I really?’  But the ones I know? They’re a different list to the ‘shoulds’. The blogging, the socialising, the pub beer gardens, the holidays in the sun, the travelling, the movie nights with friends, the occasional blogging event, the trips to London, the yoga and running, the backpacking around countries I haven’t explored yet, the throwing dinner parties, the scribbles in notebooks, the swimming in the sea, the city lights, the 4pm white wine spritzer…

img credit: elle luna @

I don’t feel drawn to having children, not now at least.  I am not very good at sewing, or making jam. I am messy, and my home magazines stay on the coffee table gathering dust.  I take pleasure in walking the dog and being out with friends and their little people, but I do not yearn for the laughter of children in my own home.  I get a massive kick out of a good day at work, and I want to push myself to be great at work – I am not ready to go part time, or to compromise on my career.  I don’t like sweaters or sensible clothes, I like ripped jeans and tattoos.  I like writing a blog post that other people tweet me and tell me they can relate to.  Bossing a meeting at work. Working out I have enough savings to buy a new Kate Spade bag.  Having the nice watch and the slim work trousers and the heels that I can just about walk in, and striding into the office feeling like I could take on the world.  

img credit: as above

What do I want more than anything now, as I enter the last few weeks of being 30? A good haircut, some more thigh tattoos, more time for scribbling in my notebook, a personal best on a 5k run, a day in my joggers watching Netflix, a night out where I come home as the sun is coming up, a cocktail on a roof terrace, a really awesome yoga class, a shopping trip to New York, a good book, an afternoon nap, a long drive at night with an awesome playlist, a blogger meetup, a picnic in the park, a glass of champagne, a flatter stomach…  Not things I imagined I would want at 30 (or feel as if I should want).

But now I am almost 31.  Officially in my early 30s.  A year ago if you’d asked me what age I want to be – what age I’d ideally like to be, what age I feel, I would have said 30.  Standing on the precipice of all of that security and comfort and sureness. Now I’d disagree.  I feel old enough that I’ve started figuring out who I am – old enough that I feel calm, and confident and able to ask for what I want. But not old enough to embrace the things that others tell you that you ‘should’ be doing in your 30s. Maybe I’ll never feel ready for those things, and maybe I will.  Maybe I’ll always love my independence and yearn for that spontaneity and freedom.  Maybe every year I’ll take more steps away from ‘should’ and towards ‘must’ {for what I mean by this, check out The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna}.  The one thing I do know? Life is an adventure.  Life is a journey.

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How do you feel about getting older?  Do you feel as if every year you get closer to who you really are, and what you really want? (It’s tough, right?)

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