I turn 30 years old tomorrow, so naturally I Googled 'turning 30 significance' to see how I should take it.
The first thing to pop up was Wikipedia's entry for 'Existential Crisis'. Other options included: a gift guide to "help people take their minds off what comes along with that age", the blog of some lady who'd slunk off to India at 30 to find herself, and a self-help book and article called, respectively, Making Choices, Finding Meaning, and Turning 30, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving.
It all seemed a bit glum. Maybe I should be worried? But, about what? I don't feel particularly alarmed about leaving my 20s behind. In fact, I'm sort of relieved and a bit excited. My friends on the other side tell me it's great.
Also, turning 30 means I get to write one of those lists clogging up the internet right now: 'Things I Would Tell People In Their 20s Now That I'm 30'. Seriously, they're everywhere, and the world definitely doesn't need another one.
So, starting with the fluff and getting progressively more earnest, here's mine:
It's perfectly okay to hate yoga
The only time I ever tried it, I didn't get a buzz, I FAINTED. Veterans plaited their own limbs into friendship bracelets to the sounds of Enya while I clawed my way to the bathroom half blind, in search of cold water. Never again.
Carb-free is impossible
Do you know how many things have carbs in them? ALL things! Plus, if by some miracle you do manage to scoff only steak and boiled eggs for longer than a week - and then all of a sudden a piece of bread falls into your mouth - you're screwed. You're basically eating like one of those obese Americans that gets around on a trolley, and has to be airlifted out of bed.
Always take a pillow
You know those times you stay with a friend, and they give you a "pillow"? Yeah.
Clean things with egg on them immediately
Seriously. Otherwise you will have to scrub FOREVER, and the ease of your egg dinner will be diluted by hard labour. Also, don't keep buying those old fashioned bristle scrubbers; sponge-ended ones arrived 50 years ago.
Your is the second person possessive adjective, used to describe something as belonging to you. You're is the contraction of "you are" and is often followed by the present participle (verb form ending in -ing). Please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, spread this news far and wide.
The child/parent dynamic is just that
Yes, you're both adults now, and yes, you're friends too. But - consciously or otherwise - interaction with your parents will still follow certain (read: frustrating) paradigms. So if you still find yourself fishing for sympathy from your mother, or scrabbling for praise from your father - whatever. Don't fight it. It's too late.
The internet = cheap therapy
Did disaster occur? Don't worry; someone out there has dealt with the very same disaster, except TEN times worse. Best of all, they've written about it in excruciating-yet-strangely-comforting detail on the internet. I don't know why they did that, but it's good news for you. Go hit up Google with your puffy eyes, and gain some perspective.
Be you. It's attractive
You can be exactly who you already are, and boys will still like you. Insta-adoption of all his personal hobbies isn't attractive, it's ZZZ. Also, asking for what you want and need from a relationship doesn't make you any less hot. It makes you a grown up.
Don't ask, don't get
Annoyingly, other people don't sit around thinking of ways to make your life better. That's up to you. Which is really hard if (like me) the mere idea of self-promotion makes you want to curl up like a little prawn and do a silent scream. Bite the bullet; it gets easier with time.
It's not personal
People can be c-words. Unnecessarily and jaw-droppingly so. BUT, and this can save you much angst, it's actually rarely about you. Most of the time it's about their own underlying anxieties, insecurities, and weird-ass childhoods. In other words: people, quite frequently, be CRAZY. Leave them to it.
Mean what you say
And say what you mean. It makes life simpler.
Never fall for a man's potential
That guy right in front of you - the way he treats people, the way he lives his life - that is who he IS. Put simply, he's not who he could be, otherwise he would be. Like author Maya Angelou said, "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them."
Be nice to other women
Treat other ladies as you would like to be treated by other ladies. Competition, deception, jealousy and cattiness are toxic. And that thing where one lady looks another lady up and down? Let's not do that either.
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