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  • Writer's pictureMarni Little

age is just a number.

Updated: Feb 16, 2018

How do you know you're getting old? Don't worry - your optometrist will tell you.

Nothing says "welcome to your 30's" like having an eye test.

And it was four years ago now that I had one. As a child I had always wanted glasses, the same way I'd wanted asthma and a plaster cast (kids are weird) but despite an eye test at the request of my piano teacher, Mr Brown, it turns out I was not blind, just shithouse at the piano. So IMAGINE MY JOY when I was eventually told I had 40-year-old eyes and needed reading glasses. Now, I must stress I didn't actively strain my eyes to get glasses. Mainly as 7-year-old me didn't realise this was an option. If you enjoy your 20/20 vision, just as I used to, here are some suggestions:

  • don't read in almost-dark because your mum turned the lights off and you're operating on phone light.

  • don't say "I got this" when you clearly don't got this and need glasses.

  • don't stare at torches. Or moons. Or the sun. Just don't stare at bright lights.

  • don't over-roll your eyes, no matter how stupid the person's question is.

Even though I secretly coveted reading glasses so I'd look like a hot snapchat filter, hearing my eyes are 10 years my senior definitely did detrimental things to my ego.

It's all part of the woeful bundle, some five years ago, that became "Shit, I'm 30".

Having already experienced a quarter-life crisis (I hope) at 25, I knew there was little chance of another one of those. In July of 2008 I packed my bags, refused to have a birthday and took off to Paris to forget that you aged past 24. I contribute this to the over-glamorisation of 24-year-olds in television shows. I thought I had reached peak age, people!

Things that *may* happen when you are in your 20's:

  • you get to live in a house with your friends.

  • you have no curfew.

  • you have not much income but it's mainly disposable.

  • you can make plans two minutes before the event. Where are we going tonight? Who cares! Let's get dressed and used Instagram to find out as we go.

  • you have to go on dates and probably deal with Tinder, finding out either your cousin Joe is using you in his profile or your friend's boyfriend is not-so-loyal

  • you go to 700 birthdays and weddings and didn't this person have three engagements parties?

  • you'll start "lifestyle" plans like yoga or gym or F45 and be front row in a month

  • you'll drink multiple nights a week with barely-there hangovers and minimal life regret

30 was a whole different ball game. It brought order and calm to my craze and flippancy. But it also brought change. AND YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE ALL LOVE CHANGE.

Things that *may* change when you reach your 30's:

  • you realise living with your friends is the worst and who drank my wine and where are my favourite jeans and why are there club-friends in my lounge room at 3am and I have work tomorrow shit.

  • you have a curfew, that you set yourself. Because bed is life.

  • you earn more money but somehow have no disposable income and no non-disposible income all you know now is debt and Afterpay.

  • you try so hard to not-make plans that you're actively booked out with "watching Netflix" until November.

  • you probably still have to go on dates and deal with Tinder, sorry.

  • you only have to go to 7 birthdays a year because they are now lunches with at least one baby present or a dinner at 6pm because we are all in bed by 9.

  • you'll start "lifestyle" plans like yoga and pilates and f45 and still wonder why after six months you have a muffin top and why the hell does cheese taste so good and how do people exercise after work - what are they, robots?

  • you'll drink too much ONCE every MONTH and wonder where it all went wrong for three days following while vomiting and crying to yourself in the shower and vowing never to drink again.

Now I know this is broad strokes, and it may differ depending on children, marriage and personal preference. Pairing turning 30 with getting pregnant with Archie firmly transitioned my decades faster than the death of grunge in the 90s.

My mum told me in my 20s that her 30s were the her favourite years. Good friends, a home, children and family. Since then, older friends have told me the 40s, 50s and 60s are just as great and sometimes even better. I guess for this reason, ageing has never really scared me. You learn more every year you're alive and are working towards (hopefully) the best version of yourself possible. I am not wise enough to offer advice to those nearing the 50's and up, but I do recommend you seek them out for advice.

Nothing is as valuable as life experience, so if you haven't lived it yourself, find those that have!

Should you be dreading the big whatever-0 your next birthday is, be it 20 or 60, I have a few things that you can look forward to/enjoy now:

  • friends you can be yourself around - if you have these already in your teens or even 20s you are SO very lucky. Hold them close and never let go even if they want alone time.

  • knowing better. Gosh I bet you're sick of hearing that if you're young but its TRUE - sorry. Knowing better is awesome and "reflecting on past decisions"? Love that shit. Being all old and wise etc. Lording it over people like "oh haha, you'll understand when you're older". You know, stuff kids hate.

  • doing what you want. FOMO be gone! Don't want to go to Cargo at 11pm on a Thursday in winter wearing a Kookai mini? BOOM - enjoy your night of Love Actually and tracksuit pants, my friend.

  • owning your fuckups. THIS. TOOK. ME. SO. LONG. "Oh but it's because..." - no. "I fucked up, I'm so sorry." - yes. People will respect you so much more, and everyone prefers a truthful person with regret over someone unreliable thats full of excuses.

  • being honest. Not too honest you guys. But fairly honest, yes. "I hate your dress, Happy Birthday" - no. "I don't want to come to coffee because I'm broke and have a big week, I still love you tho <3" - yes.

  • being too old to be a Victoria's Secret model. The second you become too old for this, the weight is lifted and you can go about everything else in your life knowing that you can never, ever be a Victoria's Secret model and yes cheat days are okay.

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