Monday was my 30th birthday.

Almost a week on, my over-riding memories of the day itself are sitting in the library at school, on a child’s chair, holding a home-made birthday cake on my lap.  And later on, being up until nearly midnight, alternating between bed and the bathroom with gut-cramps.  I guess 4 days of rich food finally caught up with me…

In the months leading up to it, “nearly 30!” was mentioned in hushed tones.  Like it was the Voldemort of birthdays and a day to be horribly depressed.

Why, to so many, is 30 so scary?

For me, my 20s were a time of self-discovery.  And if that is the case, I hope that my 30s will be the time to enjoy all the “stuff” I figured out.

As I leave behind my 20s, I’m excited. I don’t mind turning 30, and here’s why:

Like I said above, so much of it was spent trying to find myself, and with that comes a roller-coaster of emotion. During these past 10 years I became an adult. I went away to university – twice – and learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I met a LOT of different people, saw the qualities in them I disliked, and made a conscious effort not to let them into myself.

I made new friends, I lost some old ones.

I realised that the only thing  that doesn’t change in this world is change, and sometimes the hardest part of growing up is letting go of relationships that I thought would last forever.  But the silver lining? Realising that life is all about meaningful connections. And knowing this allows me to keep “quality over quantity” in mind and put time and effort into those who matter, forging strong bonds with just a few people, rather than many.

And one of the best parts?  I realised that it’s all down to me.  I am the maker of my own day.  I’ve stopped trying to people-please, because actually, the people who have stuck around, like me just as I am.  I have stopped trying to be someone else to make myself feel better.  I know what I’m good at, and what I’m rubbish at.  I know what I like to do, and what I don’t like to do.  Life really is too short to do things that don’t make you feel good inside.

So as I look back and think about all of the things I’ve learned, I feel lucky that everything I’m taking away from this decade I get to practice in a new one. My 30s are a time for taking care of myself and being healthy, in whatever way that looks like.  It’s about enjoying the time I have and really savouring every single moment spent with my loved ones.

It’s about being kind.  It’s about looking back at all the really good, and the really bad, stuff that happened in my 20s, and realising that they are what made me who I am now.

And so I welcome in this next decade. I couldn’t be happier to enter this next chapter, a time that I wholeheartedly believe will be the best yet.  I want to celebrate everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I’m going. I want to live this one life of mine and be proud of it.

And with that, I am embarking on a project I am calling 30:30.  It is running from the morning I turned 30, to the eve of my 31st birthday.

There are categories:

1:  Have 30 new experiences.  These can include going to new places, or just doing something I’ve never done before.

2:  Cook 30 recipes.

3:  Learn 30 new songs.

4:  See 30 new films.

There isn’t really anything more to say that that…  But I shall be using this blog to document my progress!