"Bom! Bom! Bom! Ladies and gentlemen, this is the final boarding call for flight OMGIMTURNING30 now departing Gate 29 for destination unknown. We're expecting clear skies over the next ten years with the occasional patch of grey in the upper and lower regions. Please feel free to make use of the overhead compartment to store any excess baggage you might be carrying with you. We hope you enjoy your flight. Sit back, relax and enjoy a far less turbulent ride..."
The day I had been dreading for over a decade was finally upon me and with only four days left of my twenty-something existence, I could feel the pre-30's crisis slowly creeping in. Goodbye one-day hangovers and hello three-day recovery periods. Gravity, grey and saying things like "they just don't make music like they used to" welcome themselves without an invitation. The slow, crippling stumble towards bed pans, dentures and zimmer-frame walkers begins with that tiny groan you develop when you turn 30 and ends with a comfortable casket that your 20-something year old self was not wise enough to save up for.
Some people say that your thirties is just your twenties reloaded, only this time with more financial freedom and better judgement. It's also the year that we apparently hit our sexual prime and I for one could not see any harm in that. Better sex, better credit, wisdom. Tell me again why these "dirty thirties" have such a negative stigma attached them? Was the dramatic thought of physical decay enough to overshadow the glory of the next decade or was it still this feeling of not having achieved anything yet? A rich husband, a family, two kids, a killer career and a fast car? Were we any closer to the white picket fence and fantasy life we dreamed of when we were nine or was it maybe time to let go and change our perception of success?
I turned to one of my bff's from "The Tin" (a.k.a Milnerton) for some perspective. Velma had successfully managed to boycott her own 30th birthday three years ago after she had thrown herself a massive party and then subsequently locked herself away in the bathroom with a giant bottle of tequila. "Age. Ugh! It's fucking bad knowing that you are not in your twenties anymore. You look at the tits and asses of youngsters with their perky cleavage and a dress so short that it's got a name...Koekkie Hol. Because that's all you see. Koekie and hol. It makes me so depressed thinking that I would probably never look like that again without the help of cosmetic surgery."
She lit another one of her slim, Vogue cigarettes and continued, "Skin. Saggy in the face, visual pores, flabby arms and dare I say it, flabby ass. You have to go for a pedi at least once a month to avoid per-historic reptile-looking heels and bok, this befalls you after you turn 30. The most awful thing I swear is the facial hair which happens after 30. I don't go anywhere without my tweezer. It's the single most precious thing I own. And the grey. OMG! Nothing says old like grey hair. I just hope that I don't get grey down there anytime soon because I would spend the rest of my life waxing my poor old wrinkled vagina. That would be horror movie shit. A grey va-jay-jay!"
While Velma dramatically painted an image of nearly every single woman-turning thirty's fear, she also managed to shed some major light on the subject. "Once you get over the "getting older saga", everything starts making sense. You start being more you and stop giving a shit about what people think of you. When you're 20, you have all the confidence in the world and nothing to back it up. When you're 30, you have even more confidence and then some. Life really does kick in after 30. You get a new lease on life, a kick in the head. You start appreciating all that is beautiful in your life. Friends. Family. A simple decadent dessert at your favorite restaurant (which you pay for with your own credit card). The "koekie holle" out there can go and f*** themselves because you are actually still attractive to 20-something year old's only this time with the added bonus of money and sexual expertise."
We all secretly wish we could stay young forever but the truth is we can't, not unless you have a full time plastic surgeon and the strength and determination to avoid carbs for the rest of your life. Your body might be gaining momentum and gravity might be taking its toll but does that really mean your personality should? You're still the same person you were a few hours ago only this time (hopefully) blessed with a little more courage and wisdom. You finally have the means and the confidence to achieve the dreams you thought were lost for good. And who really wants to be twenty again? It was a great trial run but something tells me that the greatest years of all are yet to come.
When it comes to turning thirty, I couldn't help but wonder, why the freak out?