I am entering my thirty second year of life this year. It’s come around pretty quick! When I was 29 I spent a majority of the time worrying about turning 30. I told anyone who asked my age that I was 30, just so I’d have time to get used to it…I know. I felt like leaving my twenties behind was some kind of death knell of not only youth but the essence of my life. I’ve always gone to gigs, had a touch of punk sensibility, had tattoos and piercings, dressed and dated inappropriately. In my late twenties however my mother took these things as signs I was having an early mid life crisis and struggling to accept my age. She was right in one way, I was struggling, but actually the only constant was my ‘alternativeness’.
There was a small period where I tried to not be these things, tried to be the image of me I thought my job and friends and status needed. But that person was not me and that made me very unhappy. Then 30 happened, I embraced it with a grim smile and an 80’s themed birthday party. It was drunken fun and my family made the night superb. Good costumes by all too!
LIFE BEGINS AT 30
It really does. Suddenly I found myself transformed. I was there, I hadn’t died and nothing massive had changed. A calm descended upon me as I finally grew in to myself. My life started to take direction, I moved away from the faltering bad choices of my youth to clear and self assured life decisions.
I decided to move away, a fresh start perhaps but also as work in my area was scarce. First came a relationship, a non toxic, safe and sensible relationship with a really nice guy. Then came the decision to move to his city, as I already have friends here. Finally I found myself in a new job, a few pay grades lower than I’d like but enough, in an entirely new industry. My health both started to improve but also was treated and diagnosed properly so now I am able to move past previous issues. New but good friends have come into my life and strong bonds have been formed, the distance has tested the bonds of older friends but those that remain I know are true and real and the people that deserve space in my life. I got engaged (something I’d previously thought I’d never do and didn’t want!) and am happily planning a wedding for next year. I guess good things come to those who wait! I am careful to remind myself every day how lucky I am. Work wise I have gained confidence again and gone from strength to strength, learning lots and being promoted until I have landed myself an excellent job. I couldn’t be any happier.
These days I find I cut a more confident swathe through a crowd. I know who I am and I don’t care what you think. When I wore ripped tights, safety pins and caked black eye liner I thought I was punk. I thought I got it. I thought I was free. But now I work for the man, technically the government, because I genuinely believe I can make a difference from within. I wear what I want to wear, some times it’s rockabilly or rock chick, sometimes I wear suits, sometimes I wear hoodies and jeans. I listen to music from every genre with an open ear and absorb art from every artform with an open eye. I’m both more selfish and yet inclusive than I have ever been. I do what is best for me and if something is making me sad or uncomfortable or angry I let it go. I realise how short life can be and I don’t want to waste it. But conversely I am more tolerant of others and accepting of their faults and quirks. I listen to every side of the story and look to compromises when there is no right or wrong. I live my life for me and I try to make it a better place for all those who come along for the ride with me.
I genuinely couldn’t care more if I tried and what could be more punk than that?!