It’s done, it happened. I’m thirty years old.
I typed that and stared at it for a bit, feeling a bit sick in the guts and a bit like an impostor. I’m reporting back as promised with revelations and reflections of my latest experiences and some ‘pearls’ of wisdom which I created from overthinking/analysis. I’m going to force these upon you later in the story.
Firstly, I didn’t wake up on my birthday with a strong urge to begin botox treatments. In fact, surprisingly my face remained as it was when I went to bed. The number 30 didn’t appear on my forehead and I couldn’t find any age spots or wrinkles or any of the nightmarish things I’ve heard about on anti-aging product ads. I actually did look for them, closely. What happened was, nothing. I think I turned 29 again because nothing changed. I thought I’d wake up and suddenly look haggard but I woke up and found out that THIRTY sounds older than it is.
I always, always thought thirty meant I’d be a certain way and have done certain things and that would mean I was a ‘real’ adult. I also thought at thirty i’d magically have this sexy womanly thing going on- that most definitely did not happen. I’ve quickly, completely understood that this timeline of ‘accomplishments’ is a load of shit. You know exactly the ones I mean. You see them posted by your bogan (and non-bogan) friends from school’s facebook pages. A sonogram as a pregnancy announcement. A graduation. Another degree obtained. A young couple posing, seemingly proud of themselves in front of a house with a SOLD sign. Cheesy engagement photos. Maternity shots. Wedding pictures. Each announcement twisting that blunt knife of failure a little bit deeper so you really,really feel like a fucking loser. As you manage to type something sincere to congratulate those winners in life, you compare yourself. I know you do. I know you have. Don’t say you haven’t because you have and you’re full of shit.
What else is full of shit are a good number of those posts(not all but a big fat chunk of them). The young couple who appear to have bought the house forgot to mention/thank their parents in the caption for all the financial assistance they received to achieve that goal. They forgot to mention the stress of working their butt holes into the ground to afford those repayments. Inside those white picket fenced houses are people facing struggles most of us know nothing about. We don’t know how many IVF cycles Mary boxface endured before she could post that sonogram of little Jayden (You know at least one person on facebook with a kid called Jayden, don’t lie). We didn’t hear the fights Amanda and Brad had before they went to the beach to shoot their loving engagement photos where Brad looks longingly into the distance wishing he wasn’t there and Amanda gets what she wants, again.
Did you know that big expensive wedding ended in divorce like, six months later? Don’t be jealous. Those big holidays are selfish attempts at feeling fulfilled. That person may just be empty inside because they are so self absorbed. You never know what really goes on. I certainly don’t. Nor do i care. Since I have grown into this old woman of thirty i know some things- This is why I don’t have facebook and it’s why i choose to cull my circle of friends every now and again. I don’t have time for the bullshit. I don’t care. I’m busy struggling, too.
I have experienced, privately feelings of failure, bitter jealously and complete sadness when I saw those younger than me who had tried for far less time put together than I had to achieve their goals. This was infuriating, frustrating and made me grind my teeth like an angry cow chewing it’s cud in a barren paddock. Not really thriving, not really getting anywhere. All I did was get hungrier for the prize and grind, relentlessly while wishing I could spit in the faces of those stupid little twerps. See, I’ve been there, too. We’re all bitter, sometimes.
There are some aspects of life that no amount of inspirational pintrest quotes or positive thinking can change. Some goals cannot be met no matter how hard you try, no matter how you do everything right, no matter how much science you have applied and action you have taken. Some things are out of your control and mine. It’s difficult to accept that. I still have days where I feel really down and think in my little whiny victim voice “Why them and not me? It’s not fair”. Maybe it isn’t but that’s life and life is wonderful, nonetheless.
I work with a beautiful German girl who says,in her accent “It is what it is, Krissy”. I remind myself of it when I get stuck in a sad place. It is what it is and there’s nothing more to it. There are better things to focus on. Like finishing my degree and being there for my family. That there is the trick to dealing with comparisons and age and timelines and expected accomplishments- focusing on what you CAN do and change and make happen. I am guilty,guilty GUILTY of overthinking and allowing something to consume me to the point where others are affected. That’s not a very nice way to be.
I chose to make new goals when I realised that when I preach about entitled brats who believe the world owes them something- well, that applies to myself, too. This world owes me nothing. Things which cannot be controlled may come to me in life as a blessing or they may not. There is no way to know and there is no point spending my life curled up tight in misery, wondering.
Looking back I honestly always thought my life would go either of two ways. 1. I would inevitably end up shunned from society after a rumoured career in adult entertainment. I would live in the middle of nowhere, alone in pyjamas and gumboots, tending to my collection of rescued farm animals because “How could anyone love me?” 2. I would have a successful career in nursing, a standard poodle and a family of my own who would be proud of me. Unlike my own thinking, life is not so black and white. I didn’t wake up and choice number 2 was my life. I didn’t finish school and get a degree, I fucked around and wasted time and learned some hard lessons. One of which was things don’t happen on a time line. Your life and experience is just as valid if it didn’t follow everyone else’s and you are free to take your time and take as many stop offs along your path to achieving goals.
You know what one of my life long goals is? I want a horse. I have thought about it, wished for it and dreamt about it for as long as I can remember. I was that little girl, obsessed. Drawing them, reading about them, getting mad at my father for PROMISING me one which he never had any intention of following through with. I even have a huge horse tattooed on my side from a reoccurring dream I have where I’m riding bareback, fast through a forest. We are moving forward at such a speed that everything is a blur. I feel freedom. It’s pure happiness. That is the goal.
Now, I remember in primary school we lived on a farm in Coomba park, do you know where that is? I was lead to believe by my father (a lying bastard of the worst kind) that I would actually get a horse,I really would! Only to wait and wait and wait and then over hear the little spoilt rich girl a couple of grades below me talk about her new palomino. Bitch!
Sitting there on the school bus that morning, I stared out the window at all the horses in the paddocks, I knew which colour horse was going to be in each one along Coomba road, I had memorised them all. As I spotted them all, grazing, living their best horsey lives I felt anger and I felt sad and confused. I think that was the first time I knew what jealousy was. She didn’t even really want that horse. She just asked for one,once and promptly forgot about it. She didn’t even know how lucky she was. I would have cared for that horse, I would have appreciated it, she didn’t even know how many hands high it was and she didn’t even know the difference between a bridle and a halter! She doesn’t even deserve it! and I hated her for it. Sounds familiar to recent feelings I have had while I saw things others have and I DON’T!
While I’m still sitting here, having stamped my foot and uncrossed my arms- still pouting a bit, face a little less grumpy, I realise that now, I have the emotional intelligence to properly deal with these feelings and nurturing them is a little childish. It’s fine to feel jealous, it’s natural but try to keep that shit in check.
I’m not here to tell you that you can make things happen and you can do this! I know you hate those posts as much as I do like, I saw this idiot fitness dude post a selfie in which he gazed off into the distance with 900 abs on full display and he had written this dumb-shit ‘honest’ caption about how simple it was to look a great as him. GO AWAY. THAT’S NOT GOOD ADVICE YOU TOTAL WANKER.
So in saying that I like to remove my own head from being up my ass when I write to you. I’m not here to make myself look good like idiot fitness guy. I’m reminding you and myself that some things you can’t have. Life says NO, maybe you can have that thing later, maybe not ever. We all have to learn to find ways to cope with that. I’m still here working hard at 30 to become a horse owner, properly. My dream never died. I have other dreams that will never die and I have no control over achieving. I won’t forget about them but I refuse to live life constantly guessing and wishing and being angry at others for having what I so badly want. I will certainly NOT tell you “Just relax and it’ll happen” because that’s insulting and hurtful. (Please don’t ever give anyone that advice, it makes people hate you and themselves).
In an instagram world of fake inspirational quotes posted with vaguely related selfies in great lighting, I’m here to be real with you. I’ll shine an unflattering fluorescent spotlight on this fact that no one posts a picture of: You can’t always make it happen. You can only choose how you work through that. You can realise ” I am being a bitter jealous asshole right now and I hate her dumb face and her dumb voice and I wish she would piss off into oblivion” and then you can reassess how you are going to respond. Don’t be a brat. You’re not 8 and life isn’t promising you a pony. You’re not a failure because you haven’t achieved the things you see on facebook. You’re allowed to hurt if you’re trying hard and things aren’t working out but please don’t get stuck in the sad place forever. I know it’s so difficult to leave because once your heart rate increases from the anger, oh you get so toasty and warm and comfortable. I did.
My advice from overthinking and analysing is this :
We don’t always get what we want, no matter how hard we try.
Find a way to deal with it.
This is the part of life you can focus on controlling. This is a chance to grow, if you choose it to be.
Either way, hold fast to those reins, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. YEEEE-HAWWWWW (Sorry I had to)
Over and out.