Here we are then, twenty nine.
I have to say, there is something deeply satisfying about coming to the end of a chapter and knowing you have enough time to prepare yourself and tie up the loose ends before the new one begins.
And that’s exactly how twenty nine feels. I am ready to take my time breathing in the last moments of my twenties, before starting afresh as a ‘thirty-something’. Which, let’s face it, sounds rather adult.
Now, my twenties have been somewhat of a tumultuous rollercoaster. I’ve had the lowest of lows and the highest of highs and I cannot even begin to articulate just how much my life has changed within that space.
Ten years ago I was so incredibly lost and sad. I so desperately needed warmth and kindness and guidance and, fuck it – love. I felt so lonely that it felt like it was eating my insides, despite the fact I made it my mission to constantly be surrounded by people.
I had just started university, just come out of my first proper relationship and it felt like moving away without my support network was threatening to topple me once and for all.
I was, I guess, at some kind of life rock bottom.
And over the past ten years, thanks to an excellent set of decisions (to go along with all the shit ones), I’ve made myself a life that makes me content. A life that makes me feel safe and secure and happy. And a life that I look forward to waking up to.
But I find birthdays an emotional time. And not because boo hoo another year older, why I so old and why I not achieved what I want wah wah wah.
But because every time I reach another year older it absolutely blows my mind.
It’s not that I didn’t think I would exist for this long, it’s more that I was scared of wishing too hard of a happy ending for fear it would never come.
Whilst I always knew deep down that I was capable of big things because I am determined if nothing else, I started to convince myself that I wasn’t much more than my mistakes.
That monumental fuck up after monumental fuck up would define me and that I wouldn’t grow any older without the weight of them clinging to me and dragging me down.
But it’s not true. Because for the most part, the little whispering voices in your head are wrong.
I am so much more.
I am pretty fucking brilliant and I am capable and I am strong, and yeah I’ll say it again, I am happy.
They say time is the greatest healer, and I always assumed that had to be from some sort of life stress or trauma like a death or break-up.
But actually, I find the older you get and the longer you live, the more you become better at healing yourself.
I am happier than ever but is that because my life circumstances are better or is that because with age and time comes an ability to see things in a warmer light?
I am quite proud of myself, and I know that’s something not necessarily very cool to admit.
I am obviously proud of myself for the big things like earning my own money and having a family and going on nice holidays, but I am more proud of myself for the person I am becoming.
I guess what’s weird is that Twitter is full of people going ‘HA I THOUGHT THAT BY (insert their age here) I WOULD HAVE ACHIEVED X, Y AND Z AND LOL LOOK AT ME STILL LIVING AT HOME EATING POT NOODLES’. And y’know what? I don’t feel like that.
My cousin text me yesterday (Hi Emily if you’re reading this, sorry I never reply to anything you send and yet somehow still make time to write about your texts for the internet) and said ‘Feel very in awe of how much you have achieved before you’re even 30!’.
I am still clearly very shit at replying to texts, and I am still messy and cba to pick up my socks off the floor and yes I could do with being a bit more cultured, but I think I am more of a decent human than ever before.
And so I am proud of myself for not only getting this far in one piece, but for opening my eyes to what it means to be kind and supportive to others and for dedicating more of myself to others’ happiness rather than just my own.
And I really hope that continues. You can make other peoples’ worlds a better place without draining yourself of all resources. There is balance. And with that balance comes this dazzling feeling that you are using your existence for more than just your own selfish needs.
So, without sounding like a pompous dickhead, I am excited to continue growing and learning and experiencing.
I am also excited for more massaman curries and bottles of red wine and games of Mario Party and family selfies on the Instax. For more blog posts that feel like they have helped unearth a little hit more of me, for exciting work emails, and meetings that make my heart feel like it’s cheering. For more parenting firsts and den building and early morning trips to the park with coffee and trainers.
I am excited for another year of being here.