Aging is like the Game of Thrones finale. Everyone loses their shit over it and then waits another year to lose their shit again…
Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, that’s right gang, today I turn 31.
Last year, my thirtieth year was big, life-changing, humbling, satisfying and empty. It was the happiest and the saddest. It had the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. You see, last year, the year I moved out to a great new flat, my blog started going somewhere and my love and social life was the best it had been in years, was also the year I lost my Mum. It felt wrong and right all at once to celebrate turning 30. Yay, I’ve made it to proper adulthood. The kind of adulthood that you used to watch in ‘Friends’, ‘Sex and The City’ and ‘Will and Grace’ without ever imagining yourself ACTUALLY getting there. But how could I feel ‘yay’ about hitting, what some say, is the prime of a woman’s life without the most import woman in my life being there?
Time almost suspended itself last year. Grief will do that to you. So will being so goddamn busy every day that on one breath in, it’s Monday morning and you’re not exhaling again until Sunday.
Another thing that stops time is happiness. Since turning 30 and up until now, for the most part, I’ve really lived every day. I won a blog award and was nominated for more. I began a course at university on Special Needs Education. Holidays in Florida, where I ticked Wrestlemania off my bucket list. Edinburgh where Fringe got knocked off and Vegas again recently, that continued a tradition. Appearances on TV and Radio, where I discussed my passions confidently were a thing and I was featured in a magazine, newspaper article and an MTV list or two (one, it was one list). From the sound of this paragraph, it appears that this last year has just been me figuratively wanking myself off. But with these highs came lows.
Aging from 30 to 31 came with a decline in my mental health. All of the ‘being strong’ energy I’d saved up so I could convince people I was fine when my Mum had died, had rapidly started to deplete. Y’know, once a year has passed from your parent passing – you can’t really excuse your sadness with, ‘My Mum just died, so…’ and people don’t check in on you as maybe they once did because your Mum didn’t ‘just die recently’. So you are kind of left out there. It’s not raw but it’s not recovered. You don’t have the walls of, ‘be strong or collapse’ around you and surely, you collapse.
But aging gives you something in these times. Along with grey hairs, bald patches from 29 years of too-tight scrunchies and an oddly sprouting chin hair, aging also brings resolve. Aging brings a voice that tells you, ‘you’re not a child any more Vicky. Adults try and handle their shit.’ When you’re used to having someone who was your sounding board. The someone who you could tell every dating development to. That person who cheerleads for you when you can’t do it yourself. Well when that person goes, you’re now, by default, the adult in charge and you have to handle your own shit. So I tried. During a dark period I went to the GP. He asked my age. He asked how I’d been handling this shit before now. I told him, I hadn’t really.
And so some new leaves got turned. With every ring that carves its way into my trunk (not talking about my calves here guys) a new outlook on life sets in. One that says, ‘you’ve been waiting until you’re an adult to have your life together, you’re an adult now SO WHUT.’ One that reminds you that every day from the age of 14 to 29 you told yourself that you hated yourself but it would be fine because by the time you go to 30, real adulthood, you would’ve grown out of your utter self loathing.
I’m by no means saying I have even an ounce of my life together. But as I age, I can see the ways that it can come together and I’m working towards them rather than dreaming about them like the 14 year old I once was.
So what does 31 have in store? I never imagined my 30th year would be such a rollercoaster but if this year I can have twice as much of the good and not even half of the bad, I’ll start to see those vines of life pull together.
And already, this morning after turning 31, I’ve watched old TOWIE purely for the GC, caught up on GBBO, eaten left over Pho and brushed my teeth. You could say I’m coping with aging pretty well.