I have less two weeks before I wake up at the slightly more daunting age of 31. These planets sure do roll around fast. Turning 30 didn’t bother me at all, I leapt into it with a big smug smile on my face, a bottle of organic prosecco, a handsome man by my side and a bonfire surrounded by my friends (one of which was almost naked, playing the guitar and covered in vomit - I miss you J).
31 feels a little more ominous for some reason. I have that threatening impression I should be more by now, I should have more, I should do more. I’m creeping up towards 40 with none of the things in order that my 20 year old self naively thought I would have in order. Instead of flying into an inauspicious panic, I sat down with a cup of tea and some deep belly breathing to write down all the things I’ve learnt in the last year.
I occasionally worry that my overt honesty will have me ostracised completely, but in the mean time let me impart my wisdom on you here:
Money and a high flying career do not equate to happiness. Too many case studies to mention here, but I know the recent death of Anthony Bourdain resonated with a lot of us.
A big house definitely does not bring more happiness. Unless maybe you can afford a cleaner to hoover all the stairs.
I may never have a steady income or be in a position to own a big house or a pension fund. And I guess that's ok.
You do not need to peel sweet potatoes. Or kiwis in fact.
Social media can steal hours of your life if you don’t practice control. Don’t become a slave.
If you don’t want to wear a bra, just don’t wear a bra.
New clothes will not bring happiness. If shit is good in your mind, you will feel like a goddess, even in that old grey marl tracksuit.
You will never regret jumping in the ocean (side note: as long as its safe, do not jump on top of a shark, impossibly shallow reef or into a strong rip)
People love to talk about periods. Smash that taboo. If you still feel uncomfortable talking about periods in public, shark week is my preferred synonym.
Whilst we are smashing taboos, masturbating is really quite good fun too. Don't believe me? Try it.
A hot bath with some epsom salts is the cure to almost everything. 2nd degree burns excluded.
You can absolutely not tell if you fancy someone from a couple of photos and a 250 word bio. Online dating has failed me, my inner romantic lives on.
Should is a bad word. It's also incredibly hard to eliminate it from your vocabulary.
It is possible to love people with draconian views very different to your own, even if said people annoy the shit out of you. If anyone works out how to express this love, please let me know.
London is significantly hotter than Ireland.
No matter how happy you are alone, there will always be little moments where you crave someone else arms around you.
If you don’t water your plants, they will die. Watering aforementioned dead plants will not bring them back to life.
I’m not allergic to latex after all.
Integrity feels good. So do cuddles.
Societal pressures feel bad.
It’s ok not to be ok. It’s not ok to stay that way.
Having 2 or 3 solid friends is essential, and sometimes they will need you just as much as you need them. Never let them go, and never forget to reply to their audio note on whatsapp.
Empowered women (and humans) really do empower other women. Remember this always.
Collaboration is always better than competition.
I prefer a lager to an IPA. I don’t really know what all the IPA fuss is about.
If you accidentally leave your GHD tongs turned on, they will automatically turn off after 30 minutes and will not burn the entire house down along with all its uninsured contents.
Spending money to improve mental and physical well-being needs to always remain a priority.
The only man thats going to ‘save’ me is perhaps my therapist, and he is just a reflection of myself.