There is something fundamentally terrifying about turning 31. You are actually in your 30s! I now have a bookcase with actual books on it and a dining table that I actually use for dinner parties. When did that happen?
Lucy Mangan’s column last week in Stylist about girls of today ‘…our 18 is their 14. Our 14 is their 10…’ made me think about age distortion. A person’s age related behaviour is all over the place compared to how those before us have behaved for the last few hundred years. It is frightening how grown up today’s teenage girls are, think of that episode in SATC season 3 when Samantha is hired by a wealthy 13 year old to plan her Bat Mitvah and you will definitely know what I mean. However, at the other end of the spectrum, thirty somethings are behaving like those in their twenties. My mum was married at 19 and had me at 21. Yet here I am turning 31; I don’t have a mortgage, I love Twilight and spend all of my money on clothes and makeup. Whilst 15 year olds are having bday parties that resemble a VIP nightclub, I on the other hand had a 31 year old sleepover on Saturday night. Teenage girls are in a rush to grow up and we ladies in our thirties (eeeek) are doing everything we can to extend our uni days. While I don’t want to admit that I am of prime yummy mummy age, I have to admit that I have never been more comfortable in my own skin. I am in the fortunate position where I don’t have any grown up responsibilities as such but I do have more expendable income and much more confidence to be who I want to be than I did in my twenties.
There are 2 major things that allow me this luxury of extended youth. The first being the London vacuum of age distortion, where everyone still goes out to bars and does shots well into their forties. In fact the only thing that really slows age defying Londoners down is procreating. This is a geographic anomaly as the rest of the country by the time they turn 30 are married with kids. Apologies for the sweeping statement, it is merely an observation from my Facebook feed of everyone I have ever known from school/college and beyond. This is not meant as a criticism as it is those of us in London that are going against the grain. I love children and hope to have them in the semi distant future. Secondly, I am part of the first generation of ‘women can have it all’. Not only is it not taboo to have a long term partner and not be married with kids, but it is encouraged. I am praised for having a career and am asked how I would like to progress not when do I intend to take maternity leave.
Although I am still shell shocked at the mere idea of being a woman in my thirties, I am enjoying the century of the modern woman where I have the option of behaving like a woman in my twenties for just that little bit longer. Pass me the tequila…