Tomorrow is my 30th birthday. At the moment, I feel pretty okay about that. No doubt it’s a big milestone, but I also don’t think 30 is old anymore. I never made a list of things I wanted to do before I’m 30, either, so there’s no sense of a deadline hanging over me. My 20s were huge in terms of personal growth – I feel like I’m coming out of them a totally different person in so many lot of ways. But I still like to celebrate birthdays in the same way so tomorrow will be a quiet day, with a proper celebration happening in May – a trip to Warner Brothers Studio, which I am way overexcited about!
One thing that seems to be remaining with me from my 20s to my 30s is an occasional lack of confidence. So, though I didn’t make a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 30, I would still like to make a 30 before 30 list – things I have accomplished or am proud of in other ways. Some are funny, some random, some serious, but all are important to me. I’ve found this a great way to put my life in perspective, and I hope it might inspire you to do the same. So, without further ado, in no particular order:
- Become an aunt, twice.
- Fallen in love & gotten married.
- On a related note, planned a handmade wedding from another continent. And made a wedding cake. And catered for 40 people.
- Gotten over my fear of public speaking
- Made croissants from scratch.
- Used a recipe that has only a list of ingredients.
- Helped build a house.
- Travelled to another country for a job interview (and not gotten the job).
- Held one of the jobs in my list of all-time dream jobs.
- Arrived in a country without knowing where I was going to live.
- Survived a sexual assault &, a few years later, revisited the area where it happened.
- Marched in at least 3 domestic violence/sexual assault awareness events, 2 in the US and 1 in the UK.
- Grown & donated my hair to Locks of Love at least 3 times.
- Bought a house.
- Spent several months researching & writing my MA dissertation in the Duke Humphrey’s library at the Bodleian.
- Danced next to one of Babbage’s difference engines.
- Maintained deep & meaningful friendships across several countries & 2 continents.
- Learned a second language (German).
- Knitted a lace dress & worn it in public.
- Stayed overnight at a convent (visiting family).
- Sung as part of a small ensemble at a performance of Handel’s Messiah.
- Drawn a picture that is still hanging up in a public place. (A picture of grapes & wine that I was paid $5 and is still on display at my mom’s workplace.)
- Travelled to 8 countries and 11 of the U.S. states.
- Learned to love being by myself.
- Literally had my life saved by a church; I was severely depressed for part of university & there is at least one specific moment I am 99% sure I would’ve attempted suicide if I hadn’t had a friend from church I knew I could call. I consider myself extremely lucky.
- Met Neil Gaiman twice.
- Gone overseas just for a concert (Arcade Fire in Berlin).
- Taken part in a falconry demonstration.
- Taken 2 writing classes with one of the poets I admire most.
Oh, and I’ve had to wear coordinating outfits with my sister:
I guess that’s not as much as some people have done by the time they’re 30, but it’s not too bad, really. There are still a lot of things I’d like to do in the next 10 years – lots more travelling, lots more adventure and maybe even growing our family.