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Why can’t you stay 29 – hell, you still feel like you’re 22

When I was about 22, I wrote a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I was 30. Some were big things, involving lots of time and hard work (see ‘write a play’), others were small and very achievable (see ‘watch It’s a Wonderful Life‘).

My priorities have changed over time, and some of the things on the list aren’t really of interest to me any more. For instance I have absolutely no idea why I felt ‘Go to Blackpool Pleasure Beach’ warranted a spot on list. Not losing any sleep over that one.

I’m pleased that I’ve managed about 10 of them, but there are a few that I’m sad to have not done (yet!)- sleep under the stars, learn an instrument to a good standard, run a marathon.

Why am I thinking about this now? Because I turn 30 tomorrow. And I’ve inevitably been thinking about my life so far, and where I want it to go.

I haven’t reached any of the traditional milestones of adulthood – I’m unmarried, childless (how hideous both of those terms are) and haven’t even had the decency to get myself on the property ladder. None of that stuff particularly bothers me though, as they haven’t been goals of mine in my 20s, and some of them may not ever be. I’m much more concerned about not having learnt to do a walkover, or spent a winter holiday in a snowy cabin somewhere.

So there’s definitely many, many things left on my ‘bucket list’. But one of the joys of being 30 and not 22 is having gained some perspective- I’m sure I thought the list was just a fun way to focus on things I wanted to do, but I don’t doubt that a part of 22 year old me wrote some of those things on the list because she assumed that life, or age, or maturity (what even is that?!) would mean that I wouldn’t be able to do some of these things after the age of 30. And I’m so happy to know that she was wrong. Yes, time is short, but it’s never too late. I can start now!

Yes I’ve got a few grey hairs (which I pluck out because I’m not that okay with ageing just yet) and barely get ID’d anymore, but I’ve also got a life I enjoy, disposable income and couldn’t give a shit if you care that I haven’t shaved my legs.

I’m also aware that I’ll read this in 10 years time and think ‘Shut up 30 year old Penny, you know nothing! Just you wait until you’re 40..’ That’s okay though. Life would be pretty dull if I’d already hit peak wisdom.

So for now I’ll reflect on the last 30 years, grateful for the adventures so far, even the bad ones, and look excitedly forward to the next chapter. I only hope that 30-something me doesn’t run out of clean pants quite as often.

And to play us out, the not-so-little orphan Annie:

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10 thoughts on “Why can’t you stay 29 – hell, you still feel like you’re 22”

  1. This is a great post, I love your sense of humor! You have a lifetime to get things done. I am 46 and still have a bucket list! Hopefully I get to all of them but if not it was worth a try! LOL!

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    1. Thanks Michele! I feel like the pursuit of the goals is almost the adventure in and of itself- if I don’t make them all, I’ll have fun getting there

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  2. I think we all have a list of things we want to get done. At least I did, but they were all big things and I didn’t get them done by age 30. Now, I’m close to 35 and I’ve accomplished some of my goals, but sometimes I’m hard on myself because I’m not where I originally wanted to be. I’m a single mom and never wanted or expected that for my life. I always wanted a stable family. I wanted my career all figured out, but now I’m going down a totally different career path. So, we’re always changing and growing. I try to remember that we all are exactly where we should be in life.

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  3. Your 40 year old self will definitely be proud of you. and 35 is the new 25 so basically, you’re still 20. =) Don’t worry about your bucket list. I’m sure the ones on your list will be the one coming to look for you. =)

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  4. Loved this post! The good thing is that you have a bucket list of things you want to do. A lot of people do not have that. They just live day by day. Besides, the 30s are the new 20s. Congrats on your birthday and I wish you well on your endeavors and working on that bucket list!

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