Expectations Of Getting Older

Friday, 16 November 2018

In 559 days, I will be turning 30 years old. Some may read that thinking "i didn't realise you were that old" (thank you, love you x), others will read that thinking "you're way past your time love" (probs true) and then the majority of you will probably think "why do you care so much" - and to be honest, i'm not sure. I don't know whether i've just over-watched the Friends episode of Rachel turning 30, or whether it's just the jump to a new decade, but I don't feel like i'm alone when I feel like 30 comes with a lot of expectations.

Although I still have a year and a half until I hit the daunting three-zero, i've noticed how quickly it becomes the topic of conversation as soon as anyone finds out i'm 28. If I had a hundred quid everytime i've heard "Oh, nearly 30!" I may actually be able to afford the deposit for that unattainable mortgage.

Here are the top three things that seem to come alongside the third decade of your life.

HOUSE: Besides a short stint at University and a failed relationship, I didn't move away from home until I was 26. For some that's late, for others it's early, and for most of us it's the only time it's relatively feasible. Moving out is a huge responsibility and takes a lot of planning and budgeting, and when the majority of us cannot financially justify buying a property, renting is our only option. You don't need me to tell you that living in London is hugely expensive, and if you don't want to go into a house share, you're not going to find your own flat for anything less than £1200 a month. A rent deposit alone is something we don't all have in our bank accounts, let alone a mortgage, however you can't help but feel set back when another Facebook friend from school is posting about being home owners. I have to remind myself that everyone's journey is different, and that certainly doesn't mean your journey is wrong. The sad reality is, I don't know if i'll ever be able to afford my own home, but that doesn't invalidate my hard work to keep a roof over my head, even if I only rent the roof!

KIDS: I don't want children. I never really have, and when I met Paige it was one of the things we spoke about very early on because as you get older, I believe it's important to (try to) not get involved with someone that holds wildly different views to you. It isn't fair to attempt to change someone with bold movements like kids and marriage. I don't know anything about kids, i'm not maternal, and the less time I spend around them the better, but I do know that they're a lot of hard work. They completely adapt your lifestyle and change your views, wants, needs, and your personality. Adapting to being a parent is something that will change every aspect of your life, and I am more interested in my career, independence and relationship to want the responsibility of a child. Some may see those traits as selfish, others see it as wise and just being sure of what you want. However, not having a child isn't common - 90% of the girls I grew up with are now mothers and have been for many years. It does stupidly make me feel like less of an adult, and that's only because of the pressures of society and generations.

"I've never been that little girl that dreamed of a big white wedding with a horse and carriage, but I am now that 28 year old woman that does have a wedding board on Pinterest." 

MARRIAGE: Using the term "growing up around divorce" sounds extremely pessimistic, but it is a reality for a lot of us, and a family unit breaking down is never going to be easy for anyone. My parents separated when I was 15, and for a long time after I was sworn off marriage and often used the phrase "I don't need a legal document to prove I love someone." Whilst I still stand by that, i've also experienced what it's like to share your life with someone and understand why people to want to get married. A handful of my friends are now married, and the closer I get to 30, the more wide eyes I get from friends and family about my relationship. I get a lot of it is just "banter", but I can see how daunting and expectational this can come across to someone who is struggling with the prospects of adulting. With a lot of young adults getting engaged after 5 minutes, heading to your thirties in a serious relationship does bring expectations.

At 30 years old, my mother was married, caring for a 5 year old me, and about to get a mortgage with my father. At 30 years old, my best friend will be a mother to a 9 and 4 year old living in a house in the countryside. At 30 years old, I am almost certain i'll still be renting a small flat in London and working a 9-5 job.

It is drilled into our heads from society and experiences that the 20s are the best years of your life, and for those of us that don't feel like we've done anything extraordinary, it can be scary thinking that part of your life is now over, and a lot of us are afraid of the unknown which it can feel like the 30s can bring.

However, you cannot compare your journey to others. Just because Lucy from school is a home-owner with her fiance, dog and a baby on the way, doesn't mean your house share in the city is not an achievement. Turning 30 is a milestone, but it isn't one we should be afraid of; it's one we should embrace and use to reflect on all the things we have achieved, no matter how small.

Are there things that scare you about getting older? Is it a particular age, or a stage of life? Lets chat in the comments!

Image Source: Pexels

Would you like to comment?

Get more nice stuff in your inbox!