Thirty: The Melancholy Milestone
It’s recently come to my attention, that somewhat unwittingly, and without actual intention, I’ve become a woman. Upon the discovery of such news, I decided to start exclusively drinking red wine. I then purchased a posh white blouse, started crossing my legs more, invested in stain remover, picked out eye cream and toyed with the idea of an extremely conservative bob-cut. Which, a minor wobble and a short time later, then culminated in the purchase of a pair of curious gold lamé hot pants, which incidentally have been brightening up the floor of my wardrobe no end for the past three months.
Yes, I’m turning 30. It’s happening. Today, actually. And short of throwing myself in front of moving traffic, there isn’t a damned thing I can do about it. I can’t decide if I feel old or not. Sometimes someone will madly guess my age at 22 just because I have an angelic little ball face, but deep down – I know I probably do look 30 now; my haggard skin keeps ratting me out and all those £1 vodka red bulls have finally found me. It looks grey and weathered – like it’s been left out in the rain.
So, with no other route available to me, I’ve decided to do the extremely noble thing – of simply accepting it. My name is Jodie, and I am getting old. Not old old, but – ya know – old, for me. The oldest I’ve been, in fact! I’ve always felt like I suited being a twenty-something. It’s going to be much harder to get away with stories of romantic entanglements with millionaires and guys old enough to be my Dad now I’m turning 30. I’m going to have to start telling jokes for an older crowd. And – the worst part – I’m probably going to have to rethink buying absolutely everything I own from the cool, young girl section at H&M, as I am no longer a cool, young girl. God, life is relentless.
On the plus side, I can get served for fags without ID. I can probably start swinging, even. Shopping at Next, making hummus, buying people proper presents on their birthdays and sending their kids a cheeky fiver in the mail; that’s what real adults do. I can stop pretending I like things that I don’t. Stop kidding myself I’m going to become a pop star, or ever actually lose that 10/20 pounds. Yes, thirty is going to be my year of honesty. No more telling myself bullshit, now I’m a proper woman – cellulite, emotional baggage, and all.
When I say I’ve become a woman, it’s not to say that I wasn’t one before. I’ve probably been one for quite some time. But I feel like 30 is the age, at which you can say without a doubt, that you certainly aren’t a child anymore. I’ve always been quite proud of the fact I’ve managed to maintain the same level of responsibility as a 17-year-old, all these years. I spent most of my 20’s priding myself on this one point. What scares me about turning 30 is the sudden realisation that what has been enough for me through these last ten years, will no longer be enough. Am I going to have an episode and go running out to get knocked up by the nearest insurance salesman? Am I gonna find myself musing over beige paint samples at B&Q? Am I suddenly going to find I’m able to not only to sit through but actually enjoy Saturday night TV? Only time will tell.
Interestingly, what I’ve really always wanted in life is a “power bitch” suit. You know, one of those pinstripe pencil-skirt affairs you see women on Ugly Betty wearing with the scary heels, slick bun and impeccable makeup. Of course, I have nowhere to wear it, mind. But I’m thinking I might get one to wear around the house: step 1 of the inevitable 30’s break-down. You never know, maybe someone will die and I’ll get to wear it… Maybe I’ll die and I’ll get to wear it. You’re never too young to start getting ready for the end. I don’t want to accidentally be buried in my gold hot pants simply because I lacked preparation. Although, that might work in my favour at the pearly gates. It can’t hurt to have an ace up your sleeve – or stuffed up the side of a metallic thigh cuff, as it were – or wherever you might keep such a thing in a lurid spandex outfit…
My point being – change is inevitable. One day you wake up and realise you aren’t 25 anymore. One day you will wake up and realise you aren’t 45 anymore, even. And so embracing the changes are pretty much all you can do. That, and start drinking gin alone on the stairs, of course. I’m hoping I can make a success of ageing. Maybe leave behind some of that teenage angst and time-wasting futile pursuits of my youth – like Tinder and jogging. On the plus side, such a pivotal mile-stone gives one the opportunity, of sorts, for somewhat of a character re-birth. Who will 30-year-old Jodie be? Will she conform and wear pencil skirts for pleasure, just like Mum always wanted? Will she join a polygamous cult and run off to the hills to live amongst the woodland creatures? Will she start a riveting career in Telesales and grow up to be just another grey-skinned corporate lemming?
I guess what I’m trying to say is, as sad as it is to close the door to this chapter, the subsequence of that action is opening a door to a whole new one. One that could be defining to the person you eventually become – good or bad. Yes, the future is inevitable. So, you may as well get on board and enjoy the ride.
I’ll remind myself of this next time I’m drinking gin, alone, on the stairs.