Next week, the husband turns 29.
I’m rather pleased by this fact as it means that this is our last year of co-existing in different decades
Although I am also fully aware that this means he is no longer at his ‘peak’ if you believe the theory that men peak in their 20’s, whereas women peak in their 40’s. So, by the sounds of it, he’s got the best to come, and I’m downhill from here on in.
For any fans of the New Girl series, when I say that I hear Schmidt whenever I read this number, you will know exactly what I mean. And, if you don’t, this will mean nothing whatsoever to you, so I think we should both forget that I mentioned this. But as I say 29 A LOT during this piece, I just wanted to share this entirely pointless and in no way relevant piece of information with you.
For me personally, my year of being 29 was just shit. I can’t even sugar-coat it. Worst year of my life. To be honest, this was 94% unrelated to being 29, so for anyone not yet there, this isn’t a portent of doom, I promise. But there was that 6% that was aggravated by the issue of my age. And it’s not just me. For some, this is most definitely a weird year. I guess, because it’s a milestone year. And we all know how great they are.
“By the time I’m 30 I want to have achieved…..”
The worst statement ever. Usually said when you’re 18 or 21 (other milestone years), when 30 seems like a million years away, and you kind of forget what you have said as life starts happening.
Until you turn 29. When all of a sudden all of those throw-away imaginings become SIGNIFICANT.
And you find yourself belonging to one of three camps:
– Camp A: You’re well on your way to being where you thought you would be, or maybe you’re already there and smashing it out of the ballpark #smugmofo
– Camp B: You are so far moved on from everything you had said you wanted to achieve that you thank your lucky stars none of your imaginings HAD come true. It would be hell if you were stuck with THAT ex-boyfriend in a ‘cute’ farmhouse in the middle of nowhere with five children, three dogs, and a car you hate. And also your life.
Camp C: Holy crap, you are nowhere even close to what you thought you might have achieved by the time you were THIS old. What the hell have you even done with your life? If you’re in a relationship, is this a total waste of your time/is this the person you actually feel like you have a future with/do you even like him? If you’re not in a relationship, you’re going to die alone/you’ll never meet anyone/absolutely every single person you know is married or getting married. You thought you’d own your own house and you don’t, you abject failure of a person. Did you say you would have kids by now? Ha! And now you’ll be an old mum, you don’t even know if you can have children, you don’t even know if you want children with the person you’re with/you’re not with anyone to even have a child with.
Needless to say, I was firmly in Camp C the day I turned 29.
And then I turned 30. And a sense of calm started to set in. And all of the bollocks that you stressed yourself out with for the last 365 days turns out to be exactly that – bollocks.
So, to honour this grand coming of age for my husband (who, by the way is firmly in Camp A, the bastard), here is my list of 29 things that I dearly wish I could have told myself the day I turned 29:
1. The biggest cliché in the book, but truly what you are stressing about now won’t even matter, not even a little bit, in two months time. And certainly not in three years time.
2. Pretzels are the best thing ever. Not those little ones from Marks and Spencer, or the sour cream flavoured ones you get free on a plane. I mean those big, soft warm ones that you can get in places like Brent Cross or Westfield. Don’t keep telling yourself you’ll get one ‘if you ever go to America’ – get one now.
3. Go and see your grandparents more. Much more.
4. Go with your gut. If somethings feels wrong, it’s wrong. You’ve known yourself for 29 years; trust your instincts.
5. People that kept letting you down in your 20’s aren’t going to stop in your 30’s – they’re not going to change
6. You, however, will. In your 30’s, you don’t have time for that that kind of shit. Dust them off and save yourself a few years of drama.
7. Learn how to do your own eyebrows. Trust me. You never know when you may find yourself in a situation where you live in a strange country and really, really, really struggle to find someone who actually knows how to shape eyebrows.
8. Stop trying to buy a house
9. If life throws shit at you, and you think you will never get through it, you will. And do. And guess what? You’re fine.
10. Stop thinking your taste in music will ‘grow up’. It won’t. Accept that you are just a dance music junkie and move on – it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will still be enjoying Dada Life and Daft Punk when you are 99.
11. Stop starving yourself and doing hours on the running machine to try and be skinny – you will still eat that large bag of pic’n’mix at work tomorrow. Stop wasting time. If you have to do anything, search for The Body Coach 90daysss plan now – it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. And you get to eat lots.
12. Because also, being skinny will stop being important. It really will. Admit it – you love food. And you want boobs and a bum. And also, you love food.
13. There will always be someone who feels it is appropriate to behave like a 13 year old schoolgirl in work. Remember; bullies never prosper, and karma will always be a bigger bitch than they are.
14. You will realise that game-playing is so 20’s. And you will wonder how you were ever such a little idiot.
15. Nothing. Not anything. Not one single thing is more important than YOU when you are pregnant. Be selfish. Forget everything else. Push all the bullshit aside. Your priority is keeping that baby as safe as possible, for as long as possible. Do not leave your bed after 24 weeks. Not once. Not even for the toilet. Get a she-wee. Banish anyone causing drama. Until that baby appears, you need to be living on a cloud of marshmallow and pink fluffiness with copious episodes of Friends and whatever you happen to be craving that day. Oh. And make sure you have lots of bagels, bacon and bananas in the cupboard. In that combination.
16. Just on that, that time when you are tired and crying all the time, keep getting hungry, and your boobs hurt? You’re not just dealing with marathon training. You’re pregnant. Go and have a scan and then you might actually get a first tri-mester. Or maybe don’t have the scan. I’ve heard the first is the worst.
17. You will amaze yourself at what you can move on from. Literally. What you start learning to give not one single fuck about will be the most liberating lesson you will ever learn
18. Don’t be hurt when friendships move on. Be grateful for the fun you had, the lessons learnt, and move on with a smile. You can outgrow people, and people will outgrow you. That’s okay.
19. You will get your Christian Louboutin’s. So stop buying shit shoes that you will wear only once.
20. You have five dresses in your wardrobe that you have STILL NEVER WORN! Face it, you are never going to wear them. Sell them now whilst they are still in fashion. You end up selling them on eBay for £3 each.
21. You still hate lasagne. Nothing is going to change that. Stop trying to like it.
22. Referring back to point one. Stop stressing. Because despite the last 21 points, you still will be. You move to America for god sake. How on earth could you ever have planned that?
23. Chill the fuck out about work. When you have a baby, EVERYTHING changes. You will change. Being in the office until 7pm most nights means jack come a couple of years from now. Go home. Kiss your boyfriend. Go on a date. See your friends.
24. Your friends are still the most amazing bunch of girls you know. But you know that already. They don’t change, not even when you’re thousands of miles away from them.
25. You will start being drawn to Gap. Stop making references to them being ‘mum’ clothes. You will have to majorly backtrack and start saying things like ‘The designs must have changed’. They haven’t. They still do chinos and checked shirts.
26. Referring back to point one… again. All these things you’re stressing about? When you do achieve them *whisper* nothing changes. You’re still exactly the same person. You don’t even feel smug. Because that’s for people in their 20’s. And you’re in your 30’s now. And getting stuff done is just how you roll.
27. Good news – after years of hangovers getting progressively worse, you will discover that a pint of water plus an Alka Seltzer before you go to sleep and again when you wake up in the morning is the miracle-cure of all miracle-cures. Start it now. You’re welcome
28. You are not too old to have your heart broken greater than you ever thought possible.
29. And no matter how in love you are now, it is nothing compared to how in love you can and will be.
Bonus tip; In 6 months you will buy a ticket to Australia. Don’t. It will be the biggest waste of £800 as you never end up flying. I won’t say why. But suffice to say she’s now two years old.
In a nutshell…. it gets better. I promise. And your 30’s are freaking awesome.