The other day I glanced at the calendar and happened to notice that on that very day, I was exactly 29 and a half years old.
Thirty? That’s closer to 40 than 20. Which is in turn closer to 50. And 60.
Oh god, I’m almost 60!
I remember the panic I felt inside when I was turning 20 and my teenage years were over… let me just say the feeling of turning 30 is very similar to that, but magnified by about 17 billion.
Turning 30 is scary. Up until now, I’ve floated along quite happily, never really slowing to think of my mortality.
But it’s hard to ignore the truth when the stark reality of age is staring me right in the face every time I look in the mirror.
Fine lines and wrinkles have started to appear on my face, and what’s with these random hairs popping up on my chin? You know, those super long ones that are only visible from a certain angle, and you almost die when you become aware of their existence, hastily rummaging for some tweezers. I can almost see the collagen flying out of my face like tiny ghosts of my youth, howling as they float away. Let’s not even discuss the cellulite that has started to appear on the back of my legs.
I’m noticing my youth disappearing, and it’s kind of depressing.
I contemplate my life goals. Are they on track? Am I where I wanted to be by now? Am I measuring up to the imaginary timeline I created in my head?
Not married yet? FAIL. Not working the dream job yet? FAIL.
I mean there’s still plenty of time but… FAIL. You’re taking too long.
As I stared at that little white box on the calendar that marked my half birthday, my eyes widened and glazed over as I stood frozen in an almost catatonic state, with all these thoughts racing through my mind.
I thought back to a decade ago, when I was feeling this very same way about turning 20. Isn’t that a laugh now? I mean seriously. Hopefully that’s how I’ll feel about this moment when I’m approaching 40. I realise that despite the high anxiety I felt about entering my twenties, they turned out to be some of the best years of my life. They have been pivotal years that changed me right down to my very core. The last decade has pummelled and pulled at me, stretched and strengthened me, and I’m a completely different person than I was at the start.