I turned 35 last week, and I didn’t even freak out about it.
This is huge for me, because I’ve been known to freak out about almost every birthday.
I freaked out when I was 19, because I realised it was my last year of being a teenager. I freaked out at 20, because I was now in my 20’s (the horror). I freaked out at 25, because I was a “quarter-of-a-century-old”. I freaked out at 27, because I was now in my late 20’s. And I definitely had a major freak-out at 29, when I realised I was going to be 30 the following year.
But there’s something surprisingly calming about getting older and accepting the fact you can’t change it.
Nor would I want to change it. I’ve seen enough young people die or get seriously ill to now know getting older is a gift, and we should celebrate every single year we get.
The day after my 35th birthday, I was talking with my 18-year-old cousin, who was telling me about some dramas she’s currently going through.
“Don’t worry, it gets better,” I reassured her.
And it does. It really, really does.
As much as I freaked out about getting older pretty much throughout my entire 20s, the reality is, I wouldn’t even want to go back to that period of my life. Things are so much better now.
This is what I know now that I wish I’d known back then…
1. Life is not a race.
When I was younger, I had this idea that by the time I was 30, I would be married with a couple of kids.
Needless to say, this did not happen, and as my 30th birthday approached, I felt like I was working towards some sort of invisible deadline.
I hit full-on freak-out mode at 29, when my younger sister got engaged, while I was still single.
This prompted me to give my entire 30th birthday a miss, and instead, I jumped on a plane to Hawaii with one of my best friends, Sarah.