Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I believe I have previously said that I'm not all that bothered about turning thirty. Well, turns out that I am. It's only a bit over a week away now and I'm feeling a bit panicky. Or maybe not panicky, but you know that feeling you get when you know you were supposed to do something and you realise you've forgotten to do it? I'm just not quite sure what it is that I was supposed to have achieved by this landmark.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy with the way things are in my life. I have a wonderful man, Mr S, who inexplicably is still around despite the fact that I can be a downright bitch to live with at times. I'm sure that goes some way of explaining why he works such long hours. We've been together over eight years which is quite an achievement for me.

As for things, material stuff. Well, I know a lot of people seem to think owning a house is something you should do by the time you're thirty but if I'm completely honest I'm not sure I'm ready to handle a mortgage right now. We've toyed with the idea of moving abroad, too, so I'm guessing the less baggage the better. Although looking around me and thinking I need to pack all of these things up into boxes very soon fills me with dread. Six years of accumulative stuff. We might need ten trips in the van just to shift my shoes.

I've landed a job which, despite all my moaning and whinging, I actually like. I like the people I work with, I like the type of work I do and it's more or less what I studied in college so I think I deserve a pat on the back for that. A friend back in Finland has changed careers three times already from travel agent to translator to banker and still hasn't found what it is exactly what they want to do.

So why am I panicking? Well I am and I'm not. I suppose it's just the feeling of oldness. Or maturity. I've always been taken for an older person than I actually am, which came in handy when you were 16 trying to get into a nightclub. But now I'm thinking to myself, am I going to look like I'm 40 when I'm only 30? I did get asked for an ID in Tesco not that long ago and it made me smile. Firstly, because the girl at the till was barely 18 herself. Secondly, because I only had my driving license, issued in Finland, with me, I had the pleasure of having to point out to the now very confused girl where to find my date of birth on it. I'm not sure why she decided to ask for my ID; I had a trolley full of food (about €80 worth) and two bottles of wine. How many 17-year old people do you know who spend that amount of money on food?

In a way I'm glad to be older, but unfortunately I fear I may be expected to act like an adult now. I do that at work, to a certain extent, but spending time with people good bit younger than myself dictates that I can't be wearing my mature hat out to the pub. St. Stephen's night outing in Westport proved that given the right amount of alcohol I'm no better than a teenager. I'm pretty sure I'm barred from Cosy Joe's.

But I'm starting to think that not even adults act like adults. You remember when you were small, you're parents knew everything? Right up until you hit puberty when they knew nothing. And after you came out of you horrifically angst-y, self-absorbed, moody puberty tunnel and saw the light of impending adulthood, you started to realise they might be onto something after all. But let's go back to when you're about four or five. Your parents knew everything. They knew how to cook food. They knew how to fix things. They knew how to grow things in the garden. They know how to drive a car, answer the phone, use a computer and they knew when it was time to defrost the freezer. Imagine someone coming up to you and whispering in your ear "They don't really know, they're making it up as they go along". Imagine looking up to your parents and realising they're just plodding along, just as you are now when you're older without a clear cut idea in your head as to what you should be doing.

Anyhoo, I seem to be rambling a bit. I'm looking forward to being thirty as much as I'm dreading it. Don't expect me to be any more mature than I'm now, I still laugh at farts and toilet jokes. A woman I work with, I'm sure I've mentioned her before, is over 40 and doesn't look or act it. I intend to go that way. I'll be okay as long as I don't wake up on my birthday and have this staring back at me.

For those interested, it's a painting by Quentin Matsys called A Grotesque Old Woman (or The Ugly Duchess).

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