I’m almost 30.

Well not quite but I can definitely tell I’m getting older. Things that mattered to me 5 years ago have faded away and the things that matter to me now I probably never thought of then. I like the person I am becoming and I’m glad I’m not the girl I was 10 years ago.

I have always enjoyed getting older. I used to enjoy people’s reactions when I told them my age because I have such a baby face and I’m only 5ft 2ish. Maybe subconsciously that’s one reason why I got tattoos because I wanted to look older. I’ve never been afraid of ageing. In fact I’m quite excited to get grey hair (maybe when the time comes I will think differently). But for me ageing, isn’t about looking older or feeling older; it’s about having more life experience. I’m excited for that. To grow and mature, and expand my horizons. I’m probably coming at this from a naive perspective. But I feel like society has portrayed ageing to be a negative thing. You must use anti-ageing products to look more youthful. You must get rid of greys. But why? Why is ageing seen as a negative? These adverts always focus on the way we look. But we are so much more than that. Life experience should be celebrated. Ageing has developed us into the people we are. Our personalities changed as we age. We like different things than we did 10 years ago.

Growing older is just as much part of our reality as being born, as we age everyday.

It is important to grow and develop as people, otherwise you become stuck.

It shouldn’t be something we are fearful of, we should be grateful we get to age and not be complacent about because reaching ages like 60 or 70 in some parts of the world is considered unlikely!

For me getting older has given me perspective. When I was younger I cared so much about the opinions of others. I would want to look a certain way to fit in with the people around me. I wouldn’t say my true feelings in case I would be judged or laughed at. But leaving school and going to university definitely helped me develop as a person and become accepting of who I was. University helped me figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. And I put that down to the people I surrounded myself with and moving away from home and the reality I had had for the first 19 years of my life. Leaving that life though after 3 years I did fall back into a rut and I did feel lost again. It wasn’t until I gave myself time. Time to accept this reality and understand it wasn’t permanent, but this wasn’t an easy concept to get my head around at first. Moving back home and living with my parents, wasn’t going to be my life forever. Understanding that and feeling content in the moment was important. And ageing was part of that. I was 22 when I graduated and moved back home. 24 when me and my boyfriend moved in together. 25 when I more or less knew myself again. I have matured, which I don’t necessarily think correlates to age but for me it has done. Now I am 26, I have some sort of idea about what I want my life to be like. I don’t like to plan though, I don’t see the point in it. Things happen that you can’t predict, like a global pandemic, which throws your planning out of the window. Ageing has taught me to go with the flow more. When I was a teenager I always said I would be married at 23 because that’s what my grandma and mum had done, and have a baby at 25. When I got to 20 I realised 23 is not that old. Well for me it wasn’t. Some people have their shit together at that age and know exactly what they want, I definitely didn’t. And I am so grateful I didn’t. I’m also so grateful I grew up when I did. Being a 90s kid and a 00s teenager, life was so different to what I imagine it is like now for teenagers. The pressures I felt before social media properly took off, felt pretty immense; never mind the constant pressure of keeping up appearances now with social media being rife amongst young people these days! I hope it makes them stronger as they get into their 20s and figure out reality isn’t some awful Instagram hashtag or some stupid Tik Tok dance.

I am excited for the future, which maybe in March I would have really struggled to see a light at the end of the Covid tunnel. I am excited to watch my niece grow and develop a personality.

I am excited to get to 30. I can hear my mum saying to me ‘don’t wish your life away.’ I’m not but I am ready for whatever my thirties have to throw at me, and for what I throw into my thirties.

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