So, today is my 30th birthday. This week i decided not to publish my usual Wonderful Wednesday tommorrow. That's because from Monday to Wednesday of this week i shall be doing some birthday-shaped galavanting around and about Edinburgh in celebration of such a milestone. It would have felt wrong to try and pre-empt those wonderful moments i like to jot down for a Wednesday so instead i thought that today, on my special day, i'd rather like to share something different with you all. I do hope you don't mind too much?
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I find it funny and equal parts AMAZING that i have been on this earth for 30 years. It sounds like such a long time! Turning 30 comes with so, so many preconceptions, and it's so easy to feel as if you are forced to judge where you are in life, what you have achieved and what you haven't done that others have. So today, instead of a list about what i havent done, i wanted to share a list of thirty things i have learnt a long the way, both about me and about life itself. Maybe you'll relate, maybe it'll help you in some part or maybe it'll just be jolly nice for me to look back on in another ten years. Let's see shall we…?
1. Music will always make me cry. And that's ok you know? The very first song that made me cry was Barbers Adagio of Strings by Samuel Barber - before the dance world got its hands on it. It's just a beautiful arrangement of strings and when i was little my mum quite often used to listen to opera and to classical music. One day she had played this song whilst pottering about the house. I remember sitting upstairs in my room and feeling little tears trickle down my cheeks and goosebumps on the back of my neck. I wasn't sad at all and it still brings me to tears when i here it now. As do many other songs, but the list in endless and we must get on.
2. It's okay to not have a life plan. I never have and i'm not unhappy. I follow my heart with pretty much every last thing that i do and so planning to much of anything just isn't how i work. And eventually i have learnt that it's okay to be that way.
3. You don't grow to love seafood. I have always hated it. I imagined that i would grow to see the appeal as i got older, like good wine and…sprouts..? (both of which i love now). It didn't happen. I don't think i'll ever see the appeal of swallowing a mussel. Ever.
4. I'll probably always have a fringe. Over the years my hair has been each and every colour under the rainbow. Yet still my fringe has proven consistent. I once tried to grow it out but even when i had almost managed it, it just didn't feel like me. I worry that i'll end up old and bald but just with a fringe. I don't know why. But it's pretty tough that fringe of mine.
5. I'll never easily be able to talk about my feelings with anyone. I just can't do it. I am the best listener to others, i can give sensible and respectable advice like a pro but i find opening up about me, in a serious way, harder than anything. I always thought that was something that would come with age. It hasn't and it doesn't. Am i lost cause?
6. I'll always over-apologise for most things. I'm not sure when that started but it's just how i am. I bet it annoys most people to the ends of the earth and back but i find it hard putting myself first above anything else. Again i am also not sure when that one started.
7. Making a decision also isn't something i have got better at. But that's okay because it's not a bad thing to just want to think about something a lot before you decide is it? I like to be sure i have covered each and every avenue before i commit to a decision you know?
8. You really don't ever forget riding a bike. I really promise you don't!
9. Time really does get faster as you get older. My mum used to forever ask me where the day had gone and i always remember feeling as if i didn't understand quite what she meant. Now i'm worried that if life goes any faster i might fall over altogether.
10. Having no spacial awareness doesn't go away. I mean you learn to manage it: you wear tights for as long as possible - wish you could wear knee-pads sometimes - and just when you think you have done well for not having a bruise on your elbow, knee or shin; you'll drop something on your foot or walk into a door. Que-sera.
11. Your relationship with brothers and sisters goes full circle. Both my brother and sister are my closest friends now and i can't imagine not having that special bond in my life. We all went through various stages of hating each other but we have now come full circle and both those two are the people i look forward to seeing more than anyone when i can.
12. Cooking does get easier and more enjoyable. But maybe that's just me. I was lucky to grow up in a family that pretty much home-made most things and i think that has certainly rubbed off on me as i have got older. If i can i try my hardest to make food from scratch and properly and i just keep getting better and better at this. This gives me a little bit of hope for the future if we ever do have any tiny Tangles!
13. Multi-tasking becomes ingrained in your being. I am not really sure where i learnt to be able to do so many things at once. Maybe it's my job, maybe not everyone can but i certainly think that this one is definitely something that gets better with age! Whilst i regularly get myself in a tangle of jobs at work and at home, there is certain delight from collapsing of an evening knowing that you juggled that much stuff and still lived to tell the tale.
14. Whilst my taste for nice wine has definitely developed as i have got older, my ability to pick them hasn't. If i am buying for myself, there are about three wines that i know i like and i tend to just stick to those. If i am ever forced into choosing something else the choice will largely depend on the name and label. Not because i know what i am looking for, usually just because the name sounds exotic or the labelling is pretty.
15. Make-up most definitely improves as you get older and i think this is something that really just comes with realising that orange is not the colour your face should be. Or that it is generally better to vaguely resemble yourself still once said make up has been applied.
16. Not reading books always isn't a bad thing. When i was younger i read non-stop. I could devour books in hours. Now i really have to be in the mood. The past few years i have spent time trying to force myself to read because i have spoken to people who are reading this or that and felt i was missing out. I have come to realise that i shall read when i am in the mood and if i am not in the mood then its pointless even trying. Reading for me used to be a necessity, now it feels much more of a treat and a luxury as it's something i have to devote my whole and entire attention too and that rarely happens.
17. Relationships are so much more simple than you could have ever imagined. I am not sure at what age i had this epiphany, heaven knows i can't help wishing i had got the memo sooner. But with relationships i think you almost have to learn the hard way. As the saying goes, you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. I think when you do, all those complications cease to exist.
18. Your skin really does react to what you eat and how you treat it. Unless you are part of the minuscule part of the population who's doesn't. And drinking water does help too.
19. Sleep is the fixer of everything in the whole world. Well okay a cup of tea and then sleep. I definitely need my sleep alot more than i ever used to. Who remembers the days of being out galavanting with friends and dancing to silly songs until the early hours and still being able to make that 9am lecture?! Safe to say, now that would kill me. If i don't sleep enough and i don't sort it out i almost reach a point where i just shut down. A complete switch off where i just have to go to sleep or i feel as if the world might end!
20. Looking after your teeth is also important. I learnt the hard and expensive way. Now i am ultra protective of them. I just can't help wishing i hadn't been so precious and had got a brace many moons ago and then i'd have straight teeth too. Woe is me!
22. Seeing your mum and dad never gets old. Or, more to the point, no matter how close or how faraway they are they will always, always have a miraculous and magical power to say the exact right thing at the exact right moment to make you feel better. Whether you are three or thirty.
23. Being cool or popular isn't worth the bother. Being you is much better. It just takes a long time to figure this one out and it's one of those things you really do have to figure out alone.
24. As Baz Lurhman once said: 'Friends come and go. But with a precious few you should hold on.' Wise words. You can't be friends with everyone. The ones that are special and that mean as much to you as you do to them will be there no matter what. No matter how faraway they are.
25. Aubergines taste like old teabags whether you are ten, twenty or thirty. While your taste for fruit and vegetables does mature as you grow up - ie: you stop wanting to live on solely syrup sandwiches (i know, don't ask) - aubergines are an exception to this rule. I am sure there are more…
26. There will alway be one part of your body - at least - that you dislike. That's just life. But as you get older there is a certain acceptance that comes along with your body. Well there is/was for me. I know i am not going to look a certain way, or be a certain shape because quite frankly if every single person looked the same then that would be pretty dull. I feel the happiest in my skin now than i have ever been. I know my best bits and i make the most of those.
27. As you get older you learn the meaning of true love. Not the rose-y pose-y film kind of love. That's okay sometimes but we are talking real love. Knowing what you are feeling without uttering a word. Being there and saying the right words at the right moment without any encouragement. Or just being there full stop. Time makes you realise how even that is special in itself.
28. Confidence gets better through time too. You learn how to just 'be'. You don't have to be the loudest in the room to be confident. But a confidence in your own ability is something that really can only come by just living life, and dealing with each and every thing that it throws at you in the best way that you can.
29. Learning the hard way is often the best way. This applies to so so many parts of life. Sometimes, at least for me, the best way to learn is to just jump right in. What's the very worst that can happen?
30. The worst thing you can ever do is compare yourself to others. It's also the hardest thing to not do. If you learn how, i'd appreciate any hints and tips! You're you. You don't need to be a part of someone else as well because you are already pretty fabulous just as you are. I promise.
Have a wonderful week dear and lovely faces. I shall be back with a birthday update with you towards the end of the week!