x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Doom and gloom as 30 looms

With two days to go before a major milestone, a bemoaning of the imminent loss of skin elasticity and envy for the husband who passes the landmark with minimal fuss.

I'm turning 30 in two days and I just can't seem to handle it with the type of poise and grace I admire. Instead, I have become a walking cliché: exclaiming at the grey hairs that have been a part of me for years, pointing out wrinkles that give character to my smile, bemoaning the mere five hours I can spend in a killer pair of heels, compared with the eight hours that were my usual cut-off time.

I think the past month may have been difficult for Mr T. I would not want to be the husband of a semi-psychotic woman about to welcome her fourth decade. I've been trying to identify why I've been so ghastly about the approaching birthday, why I'm so adamant I want no acknowledgement of the date, why I'm always so grumpy morning, noon and night.

I think it all lies in expectation, which I'm convinced is a dangerous, dangerous thing. Thirty always seemed so far to me; a perfect age by which to make plans. I had a Thirty Before Thirty list of everything I wanted to accomplish before turning 30.

I managed to finish only around 17 of them, and I wish I had never created the list.

I'd expected to have written the enlightening book that was going to make me rich and famous by now. I was sure that by 30, my lifelong weight issues would have evaporated into thin air and I would finally emerge as the confident woman I have always been itching to be. I thought I would have figured out the answer to the question: where do you see yourself in five years?

Instead, I will continue to struggle with the same challenges that have always been a part of my life, and a part of me. I will look the same on Wednesday morning, as I did on Tuesday night, but that will not make it any easier for me to bid my twenties goodbye.

Mr T has been absolutely no help, leading me to believe that this time of existential crises is more of a woman's thing than a man's. When he turned 30, he handled it with that poise and grace that remains elusive to me. He has entered a decade famous for helping men come into their own, while for me, it's more a time to say farewell to skin elasticity forever.

He has survived a month of mood swings and crying marathons as the date fast approaches, I'll give him that. And I've refrained from making rash announcements that I want the birthday completely ignored; that didn't go down too well last year.

I've vowed to adjust my expectations somewhat, so by the time 40 rolls around, my eyes are not red-rimmed and swollen. Also, I will get started on the list of Forty Before Forty at least six to seven years before the date, instead of the six or seven months I had to get the Thirty list done.

You live, you learn, right?