A few weeks ago I turned the grand old age of 30. Did I have a total blowout, waste thousands of kroner on beer and take the next week off work? No. I had a nice relaxing weekend, tried lobster for the first time and turned up to work on Monday with absolutely nothing having changed.
But rewind a few years and I remember my panic upon turning 25, the realisation that I was closer to 30 than my teenage years and that my life was passing me by. That feeling continued through my twenties right up until I was 29. I had a real fear of turning 30!
So what changed?
My life was drifting by in Birmingham, not really heading anywhere. Without realising it, by still living in my university city, I think I was subconsciously holding on to my student life, that feeling of still being “young”. I’m not going to diss Birmingham here, I have a whole heap of great memories to cherish and some great friends who still live there, it would have been the same wherever I lived. But my time there had definitely passed. I needed a change. I needed a challenge.
Moving to Norway on my own has given me a new lease of life. I’ve made new friends, experienced a new culture, finally started to learn a new language and gained skills that I cannot put into words on a CV. Oslo felt like home the moment I arrived and I’m happy to say six months on, it still does. Will that feeling last forever? Probably not. But it’s put a lot of things into perspective for me.
In the week before the big day, I asked some of my closest friends who are already 30 for their advice. Most assumed I was still worrying, but really I just wanted to add some amusement to this blog post 🙂 Here’s what they said:
All my good advice you have now done – and that was leave the UK and have fun! Seriously turning 30 is nothing, stop worrying about it and embrace it. I was remarkably comfortable turning 36 at the weekend despite everyone saying I was getting ‘old’
I got horribly drunk and drugged up at Fire in Vauxhall – with a view of never doing it again. 30 is fine, no different to 20s, just no stress about turning 30 🙂
You are reaching the point that you earn enough to do what you want and wise enough to know how to enjoy that – like moving to Norway – ah you’ve already done that.
I think that last point hits the nail on the head. I don’t consider myself financially secure as I don’t own property or have a massive pension pot (yet), but I am now earning a good wage that puts me in control of the decisions I make. I can live in the city centre of Oslo, I can spend a week chasing the Northern Lights, I can do the Seattle-Portland-Vancouver trip I’ve long dreamed of, I can explore Eastern Europe, I can undertake a masters degree. I can’t do all of these things, but I feel I now have the ability to pick and choose, focusing on what’s really important for me. Five beers on a Friday night after work? I’ll have two, and save the rest for one of those trips 🙂
So please join me and raise a glass to turning 30. I have the rest of my life to look forward to!