On being 30

March 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Recently I went shopping for a dress for my upcoming birthday party.  Whilst in the change room, I overheard two girls in the change room next to me who were trying to decide on which dress they preferred.  On the dress she’d just put on, one girl said, “Yeah, I really like it…  Like, it’s really sophisticated.  But I’m not, like, 30.”

Cue a squeezing sensation in my stomach as a canyon yawned between us and I realised that I was now on the other side.

I can understand why decade birthdays are seen as a big deal for a lot of people.  Think of the difference between a 20-year old you and a 30-year old you.  Or a 40-year old you versus a 50-year you.  Gosh, what a difference ten years makes.

When I was 20, I was mid-way through my sometimes blissful, sometimes poisonous relationship with Rome.  He would have been 38 at the time (this age gap staggers me now).  It was 2005 and  I had just started a new job in the city.  Colleagues soon became family and we drowned in the yuppie lifestyle of cash, drugs and stilettos.  Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights were spent splashing all three of these things around, lavishly.  I had moved in with Rome and practically enjoyed no living expenses and a totally disposable income.  It was a brutally fun, chaotic, painful, mad, mad year.

Sitting here now at 30, I am seven years into an almost always blissful, very rarely pain-in-the-ass relationship with a man who is only 13 years older than me (a slightly more manageable age gap).  I have powered through five roles in eight years at my workplace and have a good solid foundation of experience to show for it.  My family consists of my husband, two step-children, two dogs and three cats, two cars, two motorbikes and a boat.  And whilst our living expenses are probably slightly higher than they should be, we are fortunate enough to enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle.  I do also still enjoy a good stiletto.

30 seems to be the ideal as far as aging goes: old enough to be taken seriously and considered a real adult; young enough to not be old.  To be honest, I still feel like I’m in my early 20’s – and have a few very kind people comment recently on still looking as young.  The upside of being Asian I guess…

I realised (or rather remembered) just the other day that I was only 22 when I first met Adam.  It sounds so young and if it were anyone else I’d probably think that they were far too young to have settled down so soon.  But I’d had my share of serious relationships, very un-serious relationships and all the shit that runs in between.  I’ve always been a bit of an old soul, so whilst perhaps I don’t feel like I’ve aged much in the last ten years, perhaps my digits are just catching up with the rest of me.  Sure, I am wiser and that’s always a great and welcomed thing.  I think of all the things I have learnt and understood, especially about myself, over the last ten years and know in my bones that I’m a better person for it.

It’s been a tough slog at times – I’ve struggled with a lot of demons over the last 10 years, the last 30 years.  But sitting here tonight, writing this at 30, I can say that my family and I have our good health and we share a lot of love and laughter.  I love my job (for the most part), I enjoy a great lifestyle with travel and toys and lots of good food and good wine.  I love my husband more than anything and I know that I am looking forward to the next 10 years, the next 30 years.

Remember:  Be grateful.  Be gracious.

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