the third decade of my life
30 is a milestone or so I’ve always been told. Not by anyone around me but by the world. I have absolutely no desire to move into the three-zero decade, as a woman whose always shrugged uncomfortably on her birthday, I am especially dreading this one. I always feel inexplicably sad when it’s my birthday. I’m never one to make a big fuss. I hate that big birthday fuss. It irritates me. It makes me want to cry. And I do. I always cry on my birthday. But this one is hanging over my head like a deadline, it’s adding an almost impossible pressure to absolutely everything. I find myself frantically planning this summer, determined to make it the best one yet, because next year’s will be lived as 30 year old and not some loony late twenty something year old. I’m yearning to travel as much as I can and I feel this ridiculous urge to meet as many men I can because 30 year old me feels less desireable than 29 year old me. Stupid I know. In fact, this whole post will be me listing all my stupid fears. I wish I could say that this post will have a positive conclusion, an uplifting message to all of you also nearing the end of a decade in your life. But I cannot do that this time because I am honestly freaking out about turning 30. I can barely keep on top of my laundry, I’ve only just about dissolved my fear of eating food in front of men I like and the only reason I pay bills on time is because they are set on auto-debit, otherwise I would very much try to ghost my phone bill in the same way I do dates. I am not an adult. I am nowhere near marriage. I still manage to waste precious time on trash men, it may be less time but wasted time is wasted time, after all. I’m not making the kind of money I was so certain I would be by 30 and nor do I have the passport full of stamps I’m sure I’d have. I still stay out way too late some weekends and really adult traits, such as ironing sheets or booking flights months in advance are actually an impossbility for me . I’m the sort of woman sleeping in a horribly wrinkled bed wondering why I for the hundrendth time, left booking my flights to Paris until the last minute and hideously overpaying. Just the other day I cried because I missed my Mom; she only lives 3 hours away. So no, in no way am I ready for 30. And while I don’t necessarily feel like a failure, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished what I should have either. I’m a mess, I’ve always been a mess, it might be slightly more organized now but I am no way, shape or form organized enough for the big 3-0. And so as a means of catharsis and being incredibly open with you, I’ve decided to list my fears here, I hope they don’t make you anxious but instead, less alone. There isn’t really parameters for us as modern women as we age – the traditional path we as females faithfully took is dissappearing and more so than ever, we are choosing alternative lifstyles without much direction from our elders, which can create a huge amount of insecurity and doubt. And I for one, am full of both. So I will spill those all to you now, below. BUT let me just clarify, I love my life, this isn’t a pity party I’ve invited you to here. I realize how lucky I am in this world -and I am endlessly grateful for all I have but rather than celebrating what I’ve achieved at 30 and how content I am (blah blah blah), I’d rather be real and write quite the opposite; a messy collection of everything that irritates and terrifies me about celebrating 3 decades on this earth. Because, yep, I’m shit scared.
Oh I hate myself for listing this here. But I have to because it’s a huge concern. Sadly, our physical appearance is still a huge currency for us as women, especially when it comes to attracting the opposite sex. Society tells us older women are simply not as sexy. I loathe that and yet this is precisely why I spent a good 20 minutes crying when I first found not one but three very long grey hairs on my head. The first sign of decay. Then there’s the disturbing sprouting of strange facial hair, a noticeably slowing metabolism, my already downward drooping boobs and the lines on my forehead that make me look like I’m perpetually frowning. Gravity is a real force my friends and the longer we are on this earth, the more of an impact it has upon us. And while my self-pride doesn’t come from what I look like, let me just vent very openly here: I cannot for the life of me attract the right kind of man now in my sexual prime, so what on earth will happen to me when I’m older and labelled ‘less desireable’? Will this struggle to find a good boyfriend never end but instead become harder and harder? Dating this year has been at it’s most disastrous and subsquently, my self-confidence has definitely taken a dip – so I am especially feeble right now when I think of aging and dating simultaneously. If men don’t like me now, they certainly won’t 10 years from now? And given the zero success rate I’ve had for the last year and a half, it’s very likely I’ll still be 40 and cruising bumble profiles. Kill me. Please. My god. I also fear for my performance at the gym, which as you know plays a huge factor in my daily life. I feel like I’m really hitting my stride with my strength, finally, and it’s taken years but will that start to fade as I age? Will I never have the physical strength I’m working towards, not due to lack of discipline but due to the fact that my body is SLOWLY IN DECAY. Even writing that lines makes me want to cry. And if that sounds hyperbolic, I told you this post wouldn’t be a positive one. I’ll apologize again for that. If I’ve already bummed you out, don’t read on. Or pause and go search puppies on pinterest and then come back here.
2. social life
In my early twenties living in Paris, I had a solid group of friends. It was the closest and only time I’ve truly had a crew, a squad, or whatever else the cool kids are calling it these days. It was exhilirating. The parties were electric and even just a brunch, when we’d group together in clusters at those small cafe tables in Paris, it felt like an event. But with time we all dispersed, and now we are all living in different cities – life moves on and we all grow up. On one hand, I’m so proud of my friends and the steps we’ve all made in life. On the other hand, I yearn for those days where my social life spanned large and was always, overflowing. Since moving to Barcelona, I matured a little, I craved a quieter life ;I never found a group of friends, which given my life now suits me perfectly. However, social gatherings with the few friends I do have here are few and far between. Some have boyfriends, others have family responsibilities and sometimes, I really do feel like the immature one because I’ll go out alone or with someone I met a week ago. Last summer, I went out both weekend nights every weekend, never with my friends because grown ups not on vacation are pretty busy, but with new people. And I’d always have new stories to report back. I lived for the unpredictability of it but at times, I did feel ashamed that I didn’t stay home instead. This constant pull between living new stories and being a grown up is a real conflict in my life, and now, more so than ever as I edge towards 30. As we get older, we get busier, we have less freedom and more responsibilities, we are also more tired and less open to spontaneity. I feel this in my own life and while often, I do feel guilty for acting so young, mostly it terrifies me. How many magic, strange nights out do I have left in my life? I don’t want to be that 40 year old running around town with people she just met and yet staying at home to make my 6 am morning yoga class terrifies me just as much. I hate yoga by the way. And should you ever see me announcing a love for it, I have officially become ‘old’. And finally, there’s all these strange social things I have on my bucket list, most of which I still haven’t done and most of which I fear I’ll be ‘too old’ to do once I have the opportunity to do them – such as running around naked at Burning Man, spotaneously heading to the airport and booking a flight anywhere, camping at a festival (I hate camping but I must do it once at a festival) and so on and so forth – the list is ambitious and almost endless and yet time, is indeed limited.
In the last 18 months, I’ve slowly established myself as a photographer, which wasn’t an easy feat given my work as an influencer. On one hand, I had plenty of contacts but I was seen for my ‘selling product’ powers rather than my photography skills. I’m so grateful to have the work I do have, and yet I am no where near busy enough with photography to make it my full time job yet. So I’m still very much an influencer – I’ll never stop blogging but ideally I’d like to continue with Frassy in the future without the need to twist a profit from it. Part of me fears that will never happen. Part of me fears I’ll be facetuning the fine lines from my face at 55 to share my outfit of the day on instagram. And while I follow plenty of older women on instagram and I think they are epic, I’ve been doing this for a decade and I don’t want it to be all I do. Already I feel old online. I see influencers just a few years younger than me with their disney t-shirts, glitter eyes, cupcakes, sugary cocktails and I roll my eyes like a dissapproving French grandmother. Instagram after all feels like high school and I don’t want to participating professionally as I get older. I want to be writing my books. I want to be flopping my saggy boobs out into the sun on a deserted beach. I want to go to poetry retreats and learn how to watercolour. And yet I need money and I haven’t found anything that will give me as much money as blogging, so here I am. I’m not unhappy about it but like I said, I want to honour my creativity in many ways and yet blogging keeps me very busy. I’m already struggling managing this website alongside my commercial photography projects, so I do worry that this is all there will be. My income hasn’t increased but remains at a plateau, and it’s been this way for 3 years. It can be difficult being freelance, there’s no promotions to work towards, just the hope that more work will come or that your PDF pitches will be opened by the brands you boldly cold-contacted. And while I do have a savings account, I am in no way preparing for retirement. I read a blog post a few weeks ago about retirement planning and I almost had a heart attack. WHAT. THE. HELL. I can’t even manage a boyfriend let alone money for my future life as a senior citizen. So recently that’s a concern too. It’s not a fun one. And I guesss I should stop spending so much on takeout acai bowls because fuck, one day I might be too old to work and will need money. Be right back, going to stress vomit right now.
This is the hardest one for me to write. The older I get, the older my parents get. Our lives run parallel after all. I cannot fathom a world without my parents. They are both my biggest, best friends ; I talk to both of them for at least an hour everyday. A world without them is a world I’m not sure I could manage. I’m a strong minded woman but I know when they pass, this will be when I will have the biggest breakdown of my life. I’ll collapse. I cry all the time even just considering this and I’m certainly close to tears writing this right now. My amazing mother turns 60 this year, a few months before I celebrate 30 – we are exactly 30 years apart and neither of us want to get any older. We complain together about it all the time. Both of us in disbelief that she will be 60 and I’ll be 30. I don’t want any of us to get older. I want my parents to be around as my parents in this world forever. I want to call my Mom when I’m sad and I want my Dad to call me princess for as long as I live. And I don’t care how immature that sounds because my parents are my pillars, they are everything. And they are precisely why I refuse to fulfill my dream of living in Asia or Asutralia, because I want to be able to see them as often and as spontaneously as I like. Right now they are a 3 hour train away and that is an immense solace to me. On the other side of this spectrum, is raising my own family. I am so divided about this as a life goal. I’d love to have children but finding a man to create those kids with feels as likely as winning the lottery. Last year, I decided it wasn’t for me,but if I’m honest, I think that decision was something I declared in hopes of relieving the anxiety and pressure that comes with dating when a family is the end goal. If kids were what I wanted, I couldn’t for example, enjoy 2 really fun months with a 30 year old surfer who still lives at home, it would feel like a waste of time. So instead, I vowed no kids and had more fun with a few more immature men. This year I decided to date with intention and try to find someone looking for a partner and again, I’m faced with the same dilemma: it’s close to impossible. So I’m shrugging undecided over here. I panic every so often, fearing I’m running out of time and my biological clock will stop ticking and it will be too late. I guess the silver lining here is that recently I started researching In Vitro and so I do calm myself with that idea. If the time comes and there is no man, I can always do it all alone. I mean it’s shockingly expensive but I could sell all my Chanel or get a loan. But then again, I fear that this ‘back up in vitro plan’ will just see dating me more men who ultimately never want to get serious with me. So, I don’t know. HOLY HELL I HAVE NO IDEA. Aren’t we supposed to have some sort of idea when we reach 3 DECADES ON THIS EARTH? I had hoped so. But I don’t. Not one clue, at all. Except I’d rather not deal with turning 30. Is there a waiting room for that age? If so, I’ll take a seat in there. Thanks.