It is Friday morning. We fly to Auckland this afternoon, and tomorrow (technically) is my 30th birthday.
I’m not really feeling it to be honest.
I feel a bit weird and crappy and podgy, which I know is just because I haven’t really run this week, which I also know is the actual point. Tapering is hard; your body is used to running a lot, it wants to run! This is the point where people panic, overdo it, burn off that nervous energy and turn up tired on race day. I just need some patience. I’ve never been very good at patience!
The weather for the weekend is also not looking great. Rob bought me a tourist-tastic kiwi-covered plastic poncho yesterday. It’s not a good look. Really hope I don’t need it (for sartorial reasons as much as anything else). UGGGGH.
Anyway. Whether I’m feeling it or not, it *is* my birthday tomorrow…! And I’m going to be 30. Which is a big deal. So while I’ve got time on my hands I thought this was a good opportunity to
distract myself reflect a little bit on life thus far.
Unpopular opinion alert: I am really looking forward to my thirties. Really! I am loving getting older and the self-assurance that comes with age. In other words: I know what I do not give a crap about, and I revel in not having to give a crap about it. It is really a rather glorious thing.
It also is never far from my mind that I am – we all are – pretty lucky to get this far. This too shall pass. Make the most of it!
20 things I’ve learnt in my twenties:
- Going clubbing in flip flops is a stupid idea. I love that this was the first thing that sprang to mind!…
- Pints of wine in Live Lounge are not as terrible an idea as you may think. Yeah, sure, you’ll regret them the morning after, but one day it’ll be 10 years later and you’ll think, “Ah, good times!”
- Cheese and red wine are GREAT. It took me years to learn this. I ordered my first cheeseboard instead of dessert on Wednesday. I am determined to make up for lost time.
- Financial independence cannot be overrated. Save money. Get a pension. Yes it’s boring. But knowing there is something there if/when you need it gives comfort at a really deep level.
- Don’t overpluck your eyebrows. Thanks Mum!
- If you are ever in a position where you have to choose between getting and a mortgage or going travelling… go travelling. Travelling is hands down the best thing you will ever do.
- You don’t have to stay in a job if you don’t like it. Yes, some things are a learning experience – but it’s not worth it if all you are learning is that you are miserable. You shouldn’t run away from things just because they’re hard, or different, or scary, but if you know it’s not you, then just leave. Yes your career is important, but it isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the be-all and end-all. Happiness is more important.
- Cherish your friends. Your friends are the best. If they’ve made it this far, fingers crossed they’re in it for the long haul. And if they haven’t, that’s fine too. People come and go and it doesn’t mean they weren’t important to you for the time they were in your life.
- Similarly, don’t waste your time on people who don’t make you feel good. Just. Not. Worth it. Don’t be made to feel like a b*tch for walking away from a friendship that made you feel like sh*t. You wouldn’t stick with a crappy boyfriend (well maybe 20-year-old you would…!) – friendship is just as much of a two-way street. You have limited time and energy and love; spend it on the people who lift you up and make you feel loved.
- Whatsapp groups are the devil. And no substitute for a real conversation and a walk.
- Your happiness is not decided by the size of your thighs. You are never going to fit into Topshop Size 10 jeans and that is absolutely fine. There are plenty of people who do fit those jeans and are f*cking miserable (and probably couldn’t run a 10K). Equally, your life will not magically change once you own that top / dress / bag / pair of shoes. Basically, Topshop makes you feel like crap and should be avoided.
- Salt water really is the cure for everything: tears, sweat or the sea. If you feel like sh*t, go to the beach. Sit on the sand – who cares if it’s cold – and dig your toes in. You’ll feel better.
- Some things are worth the money: M&S tights, Clarks shoes, chiropractors, therapists, binbags.
- Your family are your team. Always have their backs.
- Stop caring about what people might think. Fact is, they’re probably not thinking about you at all.
- You never know what’s going to happen. Generally, this terrifies me. I like to know what’s coming. But I’m trying to think of it as exciting too. For example, there are people in my life now who I may have only known a few years but can’t imagine life without. Think of all the friends you haven’t met yet, all the experiences to come.
- You’re not as annoying as you think you are. I saw a tweet from Matt Haig, one of my favourite writers, the other day which really hit home for me: “of all the things wrong with the world, an excess of your love is not one of them.”
- Find a partner that you like, as well as love. Having fun together is important, in the long run. Remember how lucky you are to have found each other. Play the Sliding Doors game and remember how easily you might not have.
- Do the things on your bucket list now. Don’t save it for “one day”, don’t wait for permission or for “the right moment” – there is no right moment. There never is. You can always write another list.
- Life is too short not to eat cake for your friends <3.
So there we are. Happy birthday to me! I feel a bit better now. Well done for making it this far. Whatever this weekend brings!…