Last month I celebrated turning 31.
Thirty. One. The number still rolls around my mouth a little oddly; requiring new muscle memory; the purse of the lips, different diction.
Thirty one. A definitive stride into my thirties. When I stop to think about it- a rare occurrence in the very busy month since my birthday- I actually feel great about it. Other than some intensely irritating ongoing running injuries that make me feel like my bones are disintegrating, I like myself more and more as I get older. I feel more confident in who I am, and crucially more confident in saying ‘no’. I feel clearer about how to get where I want to get, and what that place should be; whats most important. I also feel less anxious. I give less of a fuck about my appearance, in fact how I am generally perceived by others, something that has crippled me in the past (this has been a looong journey for me. See some thoughts on this here, here, here) I still wobble about all of the above, but to far lesser extent; and when I look back over my shoulder, I am reminded of how much I have changed, and how much I am looking forward to containing to grow and change; to find more things to decide to give no fuck’s about. When I think back to the freneticness and self doubt of my early twenties….there isn’t a sum of money/chocolate imaginable that would make me go back.
So when I say “celebrate”, I really mean it. On my actual Birthday, over a month ago now, we spent the day bumbling about in Camber Sands then Dungeness on an unseasonably mild and bright Autumn day. I contemplated peeling my tights off and going for a paddle, but was ultimately too busy having a marvellous time scurrying about with my camera. Both Camber and Dungeness are so utterly beautiful, in entirely different ways. I was in my element attempting to capture the barren landscape of Dungeness, its decrepit fishing huts dotted like warts, somehow beautiful, on the horizon.
I liked this on ageing from The Pool.
Following our Autumny beach day, I had birthday dinner party in the evening, cooked by Dave, with some of my favourite local women. I cant express the value of these dinner parties. We’ve been having one a month because it feels so good to eat delicious nutritious food and talk and talk and TALK, way too late into the night. We also went away for the weekend to The Welsh House- a trip that will stay with me forever. So yes. I felt CELEBRATED. And I’m feeling good about getting older.
How do you feel about it?