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So today on the 1st of October I turned thirty. The big 3-0, so of course I’m over on this website of mine for a little life reflection. I wouldn’t be a blogger without some big thought piece on the day I enter a new decade of my life now would I?
I’m sure those of you who have reached big birthday milestones recently will have felt the same as I have over the last week. Knowing I was turning thirty and feeling thirty were two very separate things. I must have told everyone I met I was turning thirty, my neighbour, the postman, random lady on the street, random lady’s dog but I never really felt like I was turning thirty or thought about what that meant. Have I said the word thirty enough yet?
It wasn’t until yesterday when I was making my third coffee of the day, my brain suddenly said Woah! this is it, this is THE last day you’ll be in your twenties. A little bit of panic set in, thoughts rushing round my head. I’d barely appreciated being twenty-nine at all! I quickly shuffled over to my friend to repeatedly say “I’m twenty-nine, this is the last time you’ll see me in my twenties”. Obviously she looked at me like I’d lost the plot, like she hadn’t been stressing for weeks organising some still secret birthday plans, but I just had to get it out there for me to hear those words myself. I’m no longer in my twenties. Heck, I’m a million miles away from that eighteen year old girl who cried in school on results day in case she didn’t get the grades to get into Medicine (I did btw but that’s a whole different story) and I’m a million miles away from all the hopes and dreams I had over a decade ago.
Every year at university, there’s throngs of young students all eager to start this new stage of life. Apart from having an unnecessary level of energy that isn’t caffeine induced (as all young people that age seem to have) they also seem to have an unwavering belief in what they are going to do with their lives. Mostly this centres around a high flying career, loving family and travelling all over the world. Most of the time, I just crave a good night sleep and no emails when I wake up but it made me think, when did I become such a Debby downer about life?
I used to believe I could have it all at that age. Top surgeon earning mega bucks, whilst also having children and married all before I turned the age I am today. The reality is I have none of those. Is that because I’m actually being realistic or to quote Kate Nash, “Do I eat so many lemons ’cause I’m so bitter?”
The truth is, maybe it’s a bit of both but now I’m older and hopefully wiser, I see the real reason is that my hopes and dreams have changed, become clearer, most importantly I know not to settle and that’s a good thing. Yes I do still want a family and a career I love but making sure it’s with the right person and in a job I enjoy is incredibly important. I can now see how some ill thought out desire to swan around telling people I’m a doctor just to impress, with no real thought as to whether I’d get to spend quality time with my family, is not a win and it’s not what I want. There’s no point in earning lots of money if you have no time to spend it and these realisations only come with getting older. To add to that, I wouldn’t say it’s giving up on what you want, it’s prioritising the things that you need.
It’s a sting to knowing there are people my age achieving the things I’d love to have but (and I do hate this saying) as much as it is a bitter pill to swallow, it’s not my time yet but when I do get there, I know it will be just right and right for me. In the meantime, I’m loving my final year of my PhD (prepare yourself for a panic post next year!), I get to spend my time with fab friends and a wonderful boyfriend. We explore new places together, eat all the food (one of my favourite activities) and binge watch tv (finally watched The Thick of It, Why did I wait so long?!) in our lovely home. Plus sometimes I get nine hours sleep and the occasional nap!