Crashing Into 30: Chapter 1
"And so it is, just like you said it would be. Life goes easy on me, most of the time."
I woke up early today. Really fucking early.
I wasn’t sure what had stirred me, but I was acutely aware that for the last 24 hours my brain had been spinning with thoughts. I suspect my sleeping brain had grown tired of manufacturing thinly veiled metaphors for me to dream about, in an attempt to teach me life lessons. Life lessons that I would inevitably disregard when I awoke. Even my own brain has given up on me.
I am 29 and a half. I’ve always suspected that ‘half years’ only really count at the beginning and end of your life, so I imagine it’s a pretty good sign that I’ve started accounting for them again recently. At the grand age of 29 and a half, I have started to contemplate what it means to turn 30.
Obviously in the grand scheme of things, I know it doesn’t mean anything…
I’m a speck of dust in a giant cosmos, an insignificant bundle of atoms that has not had, nor will ever have, any significant impact on the universe and its inhabitants, and who’s every breath is a meaningless shout into an infinite void, clamouring to be heard, to be seen, to be known, before inevitably, imminently, returning to dust.
But to me, turning 30 is a pretty big deal, and as you can probably tell, I’m feeling pretty positive about it.
So, having woken up early this morning, I proceeded to sigh loudly a number of times in the hope that my partner would wake up, gently pull me into a hug, asking what was bothering me, before deciding that morning sex was in order to soothe my troubled soul.
After 10 minutes of audible, dramatic ‘tossing and turning,’ I realised that my partner was a) awake and annoyed, and b) not interested in dealing with my shit at 6 AM. I therefore gave up on Plan A, pulled on my Panda Onesie, like any self-respecting adult, and wandered downstairs.
When I got to the kitchen and looked outside, I realised that I had managed to catch the sunrise, which made me slightly less annoyed about not getting laid and was actually quite beautiful on this particular day, so I opened the patio doors and went outside to enjoy this rare treat. The sky was dusty pink, laced with streaks of yellow and orange, and as I leaned against a tree, watching the sun poke its face into that beautiful sky, I thought to myself that life could be a lot worse, and that maybe turning 30 was going to be okay after all.
I thought of the lyrics from one of my favourite songs, "The Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice, and how perfectly it summed up the feeling of growing up I was experiencing: “And so it is, just like you said it would be. Life goes easy on me, most of the time.”
It was at this moment that a loud giggle broke into my serene contemplation, and I saw my neighbour’s daughter leaning out of her bedroom window watching me. It was also at this moment that I realised that I was singing aloud.
In case any of the aspects of this moment got lost on you, to be clear: I, a grown woman, was leaning against a tree at sunrise, dressed in a full body Panda costume, tunelessly murdering a 2010 pop classic whilst staring in a melancholic fashion at the sky.
I get why she laughed. It was a reasonable reaction to the situation that presented itself to her. Thankfully, my reaction was equally reasonable: I calmly laughed it off, looked slightly embarrassed and went inside. I did not burst into tears, pull up my onesie hood so as to complete the full Panda disguise, and shout “Just wait until you turn 30, you won’t be seven forever, everyone dies you know!” before running indoors.
Because that would have been a terrible way to treat a 7-year-old, and not very adult at all.
Luckily, that’s not what I did.