Turning (nearly) 30 in London VS turning (nearly) 30 travelling

Hello friends, how’s it going this bleak and bleary Monday evening?

Yeah, that’s how I’m starting this post, because I don’t feel all sunshine and rainbows today. Why? Because it got dark as I was literally walking home, and I do not like to see it (or to not see it in this case, because damn was it dark). I always do terribly in the winter. Worse than terribly. In fact, if you see me out? I’m going to recommend you ignore me, because I’m going to look at you like you’re a bad smell under my nose for even daring to be cheerful during this gets-dark-at-1pm hellhole we’re living in.

Ok. I digress and exaggerate slightly, so let’s move on.

The people that know me well on here – my mother – will know that I am 28 years old. I am the baby in my school year, born in July and I don’t need to worry about becoming 30 for a teeny while yet. However, as I wait for that day to occur, all my best buddies are turning 29 like, now, which reminds me that soon I shall be 29 – admittedly during the days where there is sun so at least I can be joyful for that – but after that, they’ll turn 30, and then I’LL turn 30, and then we’ll ALL BE 30 AND I CAN’T HACK IT.

*Disclaimer: I’m not saying 30 is old. But I am saying, it does freak me out.

There’s something about nearing the age of 30 that when I was travelling, seemed to be pretty much the coolest thing ever. That funky age where you’re technically mature, and you make pretty cool, well-informed decisions, and you’ve got all the knowledge in the world because of the ten years of life experience you’ve got over the people around you, but you’re also like a big kid, and love to party and eat all the street food and it’s kinda up to you whether you want to buy a house, and have a family of four, or travel the world and see all the cool cultures before settling down. 

Why is it then, that to me, when I’m living my life in London, 30 seems like the age I must have my whole life absolutely planned out to a ‘t’, and if I’m not doing what everyone else is doing around me, then I’ve failed from the get-go? Like, if we look at these two situations, there’s absolutely NO difference in them, apart from the country or side of the world I’d be in whilst pondering my age, but somehow, living in London, makes me panic about getting older and compare myself to everyone and anything – and it is NOT on.

Maybe it’s social media.

Comparison is the thief of joy

Theodore Roosevelt

In a world where everyone must tell everybody their life story from the size of their wedding bouquet to this post that I’ll definitely be sharing on my Insta, it can be easy to compare yourself because you’re not doing what everybody else seems to be doing. Perhaps when I was travelling, my feed was full of those similar to me, older than me, younger than me, all on their little journey to the next city, to visit the next local food market or find the next hike. It was a space I was a part of. Now, even those people are not doing what I’m doing anymore. Their lives are incredibly different; that chapter we connected on together in another part of the world, worlds apart from what we’re both doing now. In having people all do the same thing, and by that I mean, buy houses, get married and have babies, it seems like it should be the next step for me and it takes me a supreme effort to remind myself that actually, I’m only 28. I don’t need to be planning my life the way others may be, just to fit in, when it’s not the right time for me to do that.

Maybe it’s therapy.

Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with

Carrie Bradshaw 

It’s taken me an extremely long time to even recognise the toxic traits I seek in others, and the types of people that don’t make me feel good. In doing so, I’m taking time out from dating unless I feel like they’re really worth it. Ultimately, I don’t want to toot my own shofar (jewish in-joke, look it up), but I’m a queen. I may not always see myself as that, or feel like that, but I know I am, and I’m not going to just go for any ol’ human who rocks up because I feel lonely. Been there, done that, got the entire t-shirt line and I’m bored with it. I ultimately think in recognising my faults, my insecurities and my desires for a strong, stress-free relationship in the future, I have to get used to the fact that I may not find what I’m looking for, for a while…or maybe they’re already in my life and haven’t let me know yet, who knows. Either way, I guess I have to stop seeing what other people have as a reflection of what I don’t and be proud of myself for not going back to old habits just to feel like I’ve got someone. It doesn’t matter if I’m turning 29 next year, and 30 the next. It doesn’t matter if the entire universe and its dog gets married and I’m busy watching the episode of Friends where Ross says Rachel’s name at the altar for the upteenth time. It doesn’t matter if everybody has tribes of children by the time I’m 30 and I turn up at the sperm bank to see they’ve shut early on a Friday. None of it matters, as long as I have faith in myself that I’d rather be with the right person, than any person for the sake of it. On that note, if anyone knows of a funny, mental health-advocating, kind soul who’s available, you can slip them into my DMs, but otherwise, I’ll pass.

Maybe it’s just because you’re different

Following the crowd is cool if you want to go where the crowd is going. Never fear being the odd one out in order to achieve your own goals

Rolsey

I don’t mean different as in ‘hey I’ve got two extra toes, you good with that?’ different. I don’t mean different as in some self-aggrandising, I’m just ‘cooler and more different’ than you. I just mean, maybe I’m just different to the people I feel are around me – and that’s totally fine! I’m not stupid, I know there’s a lot of people who have got exciting plans for their 30th birthday. I know there’s people who want to change careers, move countries, adventure more, worry less and do things alone, without feeling a need to settle. I guess I just found more of those people when I was on the road, and not sitting in my flat in London. The conversation now is more static; repetitive. Less adventure, more stability – that’s fine, but I don’t think that’s what I am now. I’ve never wanted to stop the adventures, whether it’s by myself or with a family. Truth be told, maybe I just don’t fit in this North-West London bubble. I don’t think I ever have. But that’s okay. It damn well shouldn’t make me feel different in a bad way, but in a good way. I don’t need to do everything the same, I can have my own life and it can still be good enough just because it’s not following the same path.

To summarise, because I’ve come to the end of my ramble and I’d like to drink my hot chocolate, I’d like to end my post with a quote from knowledgeable housemate Amy. Just because we’re going to be turning 29, 30, 50, 100 in years to come, doesn’t mean your life isn’t going the way you think it should be. Everyone’s path is different, everyone’s lives are different and quite frankly, a whole new adventure could be around the corner for you, whatever that looks like and at whatever age. NO MORE COMPARISONS HUNNIES. Over and out.

‘I’m turning 30 and you know what? I’m allowed to start my life again at this age’

Amy H

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