Thirty: The New Awkward Age

And I thought my teenage years were weird.

So I finally passed the threshold. The big 3. The age of reason, the age of unrest. And honestly? It’s completely the same? What?

Maybe I’m too influenced by television, but I was always under the impression that you hit thirty and you’re old, fucking old, no one will love you ’cause you’re old. Supposedly your twenties are for finding yourself. Personally I’ve given that up at 21, I’ve no idea where that bitch got to. Finding myself? How about myself finds me for a change? I feel like I’m always doing the heavy lifting in this relationship! But at thirty, you’re officially an old woman.

But why? In reality, it just means back pain. The rest is exactly the same as it was at 29. The world will piss on your birthday cake and tell you it’s raining.

I never had a clear picture of being thirty. Mostly because I never thought I’d get this far. I’ve procrastinated on my suicide so much, by the time I’ll finally get around to it I’m probably gonna be in my 300s. Anyway, when I was a kid I thought (or feared) I’d be like my mother, married, nice flat, one bratty child. I had some vague idea of working somewhere where I’d wear a suit. I didn’t get the thirties. I had all these questions! Do I do anything different? Do I have to lie about my age? Do I need to go to a hairdresser? I haven’t been there since I was twelve! Do I do different make-up? Do I have to buy a car? Do I have to like wine? Or coffee? Do I have to get a stock portfolio? Then in my twenties I just thought, eh, thirty’s the new twenty, and the twenties suck anyway, no way to go but up!

I don’t mind being thirty, except for the soul-crushing despair at having achieved basically nothing in the first third of my life. But hey, I can still be a great bad example. I can be the woman who parents point out to their highschool aged spawn to say, “Study economics and apply for all unpaid internships or you’ll end up like her!” No, what really bothers me is that people react all weird to this innocent number. Like I’ve just revealed I’m a human-shaped ticking time bomb, about to explode into a frenzy of home decor, pregnancy stories, rosé and The Bachelor. Now kids, remember that time is an illusion, invented by humans to press our lives into neat little segments so we know how long we have to wait for the blissful embrace of death. Other than that, it doesn’t mean anything.

And I’ve always been a late bloomer. So the big 3 actually feels okay. I haven’t had a nervous breakdown all year! Okay, the year’s barely a month old, but that counts! I think I’m even growing into my face. I’ve looked at pictures of me at twenty recently and, as the kids say, the cringe was real. I always had an odd moon-face, all round and pale and weird looking, but somehow my lips were the exact same shape as my face. My lips have changed so much it’s like I’ve had work done, only I’ve always been too poor. It’s like someone broke in while I was sleeping and got me new lips, over a period of ten years, a cosmetic fairy godmother. And I have a jaw line now. I thought I’d never see the day.

So, I’m thirty, I’m unmarried, I’m unchildren-ed, I live in the same tiny apartment, I’m starting a new career. Somewhere in the distance, someone’s going “Aw, poor thing”. No, you guys, this is good!

Certainly doesn’t mean I’m old. As long as I’m not at an age where it is socially acceptable to wear a bathrobe all day, call loud annoying kids half-monkeys, mutter obscenities under my breath, and beat people with my walking cane I won’t consider myself old. I’m in for a looong time, baby!

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