Monday, 14 September 2009

Somebody Tell Me When It's Time To Grow Up?.......

I turn 31 tomorrow.

Now this isn’t some blatant attempt at fishing for compliments, or dare I say it, gifts of monetary value? (Though there will be a collection box by the door of the blog for when you leave. Please feel free to contribute wisely)

For most people, turning 30 means you take stock of your life, your aspirations, and your dreams, realize you have achieved none of them, and results in you having a panic attack in the middle of the night that is similar to waking up and finding 3 strange hillbillies in your bedroom, one of them strumming the theme tune to Deliverance on a banjo.

This feeling passed me by completely when I turned 30. I felt OK. It was just another day. Didn’t really mean anything. Got some nice presents. Had a lovely meal at the Ivy. Got pampered. A great day had by all. But now with my 31st approaching with all the grace of a myopic rhino on rollerblades, I do indeed find myself taking stock of my life and asking the age old question, where am I going?

You see, I just don’t feel like a grown up. Even though I quite clearly am at the stage of my life when I should be one. I look around at all my school friends, all of them the same age as me, and they are all married with kids, and I am neither. So am I doing this all wrong? Shouldn't I be doing this now like everybody else seems to be doing? Am I behind on my schedule?

I am in a wonderful relationship with somebody that I know (and hope) I'll be in that situation with one day, but I also know I’m not ready for that just yet. But when will that happen? And how will I know? Does a large alarm bell go off in your head? Big flashing red lights, screaming MARRIAGE! MARRIAGE! Does somebody post a leaflet through your door, simply inscribed, “It’s time”?

I live in a nice little bachelor flat. I geek out on computer games. I go to the football. I mess around with my friends, doing the same sort of things that I used to do when I was 18, but without the added stress of wondering if my voice sounded deep enough to get served in the pub. Now to me, that doesn’t sound like an adult’s way of living. Just an overgrown manchild.

It seems that for many of us, unless you are lucky enough to be on some predetermined path, by the time you reach your late twenties/early thirties, you can often feel a little bit set adrift from everybody else. You look around at them playing happy families, and wonder if there was this great big guide to life that was handed out to everyone at the age of 21, and for some strange reason, yours was lost in the post. You are stuck between leaving your own family from birth, and starting your very own one. So the place that you live in until you do this is not really a home, but just somewhere to lay your head at night. So that means I haven’t had a home since I was 17, which quite frankly freaks me out a little and makes me start hearing the banjo once more.

I know one thing I want to be doing. Well, scratch that, two things, but one I can’t. I applied to join the police force, but sadly failed the hearing test (see but it’s OK. Not the end of the world. The main thing I have always wanted to be is a writer. It's the one thing I know I am good at. Not brilliant, that comes with practice and hard work. But I know enough is there to build on. I just have to put the effort in. Which would be fine if I wasn’t a complete lazy bastard. But as I have previously mentioned, I have a good woman behind me who pushes me with gentle words of encouragement, and sometimes threats of violence involving a bamboo stick and the backs of my legs. It can get very Bridge Over The River Kwai round mine at times.

I always thought I would have things sorted out by the time I was 30. I would know who I am, and where I was going. But it is quite clear to me now, I have no idea what I’m meant to be doing, let alone going. And as for who I am, well, I’m just, me? For better, or for worse.

But am I any different to everybody else? Did my own parents feel this sudden sense of vertigo? Are any of these other people, the ones I view at playing happy families; are they any less scared and confused as I suddenly am? Or is it even worse for them, seeing as they don’t just have themselves to worry about now?

I think each and everyone of us muddles through life in our own unique ways. Some are more assured than others. Some have a destination in mind from the offset, and go about getting there with a determination that is frightening for the rest of us. But for the majority, we just wander round like lost toddlers in a department store, just waiting for someone to take our hand and lead us back home.

Still, I’m sure my cake will be nice.


Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me…….


Kim Ayres said...

It was in the year follwing my 30th birthday that I became self employed.

If truth be told, up until the age of 30 I think I'd been expecting someone to recognise my brilliance and come along and offer me an ideal job with lots of money.

Oddly enough, it didn't happen.

And I think that after turning 30 I realised that if I really wanted my life to change I'd have to do it myself.

During the past decade I have met so many self employed people who started up their own businesses a year or 2 after turning 30 for the same reason. Essentially they realised the only way to have the kind of life they wanted was to stop waiting for other people.

Anyway, just wanted to stop by and say thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my blog :)

hope said...

For better or worse, this song and dance just keeps repeating itself for most of us. :)

I'm 20 years past that mark now...and I wonder how I hit 51 and STILL don't have a clue some days as to what I want to be when I grow up. :) Well, except for the part which screams "WRITER!" which is drowned out by the part pointing out, "Bills to pay".

Let me save you 20 years of yourself. It makes you happier. Smile at those who want you to fit in their own image and keep walking your own path. No matter how hard you try, doing what "they" want will only make you feel as if you missed the boat or turned right when you should've zigged left.


Lopez said...

Okay...I'm really upset.

I had a really long LOOONG comment here. I somehow deleted it and can't figure out how to make it come back.

This comment is not going to be as good as my last just know that you had a better one, it has just flown into cyberspace, never to be seen again. case I don't stop by tomorrow, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Well...I guess it is tomorrow in the UK right happy birthday...on time! 31 will be a great year...and you know this because I said so. and I'm usually right about stuff.

I think that my life manual got lost in 'the post' as I seemed to do everything backwards! Got pregnant during college at 19, got married 2 years later and graduated university after by 23 I was done with everything...had nothing to look forward to and am making up for it now!!! heh heh.

Everyone does their own thing in their own time. Who knows...this may be the year you get engaged! Or knock her up, whatev's. heh heh

I just turned 29 and I am dreading 30 really bad...just like 'everyone else'. I even have a bucket list of 30 things to do before I'm 30...just so that my last year of my 20's was doing stuff I've never done (and a few just not have done as an adult). It's a challenge...but I just know that it's a kickoff to the best decade that you are already in. wahooo!

I'm going to stop here. I bet you wish you never followed my blog...b/c this comment is ridiculously long...but this particular post really touched me here --->x<---

rachel said...

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Dan. said...

Thank you everyone for the kind birthday wishes. Very appreciated.

Kim- Some obviously very sound advice there. At every point in life it does take a monumental boot up the backside to actually go out and start making something for yourself. I am bent over and ready for mine (that sounded a lot better in my head) and no need to thank me for visiting your blog. I can see why you suddenly have new found fame and adoration. It’s a great read.

Hope- I know that I'm not the only one in this little boat, and that everyone feels the same way at some point. Just thirty something blues I guess. Check in on me when I turn 40. That should be a barrel of laughs! But thank you for the kind comment and birthday greeting.

Lopez- I am curious as to what this lost comment would have been? It could have been life changing. You could have had the answers to all my problems all neatly summed up, and now that it's gone, it will be all your fault when I end up desolate in a ditch, drinking Jack Daniels from a shoe.....

You say that you kind of did everything backwards in your life. It doesn't seem to have done you any harm. From what I have seen on your blog, you have a lovely family. And as you say, you now have the time to complete your bucket list. I will be back to your blog to read about your further adventures. Oh, and if you do come across that life manual, you couldn't stick it in the post, could you?

Dan Lu said...

Hi Jus random passby from blogcataog. I am here to wish you a very very happy birthday.!!! That's great, jus continue to do what your heart wan u to do. Age it nothing as long as your heart is still young. All the best and may your Dream come true. :)

Dan. said...

Thank you Dan. That was very kind of you to drop by and say that. And I offer the same sentiment to you as well! Even if it isn't your birthday.

AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

And many mooore!