• Damian Kerlin

This is 30

Before you start, I think it’s only fair to say, this isn’t one of those nauseating thirty things I’ve learned now I’m thirty blogs. Half the mistakes I’ve made I can’t even remember making and whether or not I’ve learned from them is debatable. So, I’d rather not be held accountable by putting that into writing.


At the start of September, I celebrated my 30th birthday. I finally answered the “how old are you” question with “I’m 30”. This is the beginning of the next new decade of my life. Turning thirty is one of those things that everyone has an opinion about. Sixteen-year-olds equate it to something akin to the apocalypse — an instant death of youth, soft supple skin, and free-range irresponsibility. Twenty-somethings see it only as the dreaded next step, and they work tirelessly to achieve everything they told themselves they would before that third decade hits.


I’m a deeply nostalgic person, almost comically so, and I genuinely believed my twenties would never end. As my 30th birthday approached I couldn’t help but struggle to extinguish the sinking feeling that I had not so much blossomed into my third decade as been catapulted into it by the laws of nature and time.


A few days before my birthday The Cranberries ‘Dream’ came on the radio and I was catapulted back to 2006 to my best friend James’ bedroom, where we drank cider by the flagon discussing what dream qualities would make up our dream boyfriend, all while sharing a cigarette hanging out of his bedroom window. We didn’t have a care in the world and we looked to our future with wonder, hungry for experiences. A time when our biggest priority was carefully curating our top friends list on Bebo while depicting the subliminal messages posted from archenemies on our walls.


When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to be an adult. The mirage of moving away and creating a life for myself, that was mine, was the only thing that kept me going through school. When adults told me, school is the best time of your life I held onto my vision, as surely this couldn’t be it.


Thankfully, it wasn’t and a move to Cardiff firmly put paid to that idea and here in swooned my twenties. A failing ship whose buoyancy of decisiveness, I choose to fleetingly veer. It was here I made a wild, roar some catalogue of incredible friendships, a Pandora’s box of experiences, a relationship that meant kissing no more frogs and drunken antics that I will forever treasure.


So, as my 30th fast approached, I yearned to feel the same empowerment and willingness I did for my twenties. I had hit a blank canvas and I struggled to envision the next decade which was worrisome as having come so far, the last thing I wanted now was to merely plod and get by.


What I didn’t realise and what has taken me the best part of two weeks to understand is that the reason my 30’s are unknown is because I’ve finally got to where I wanted to be all along, but now I actually get to live it! The canvas is blank because this is the unknown and I get to do with it what ever I please. I may not be the exact portrait that my teenage self-envisaged. I may not have the exact things I thought I’d have at thirty, but in actual fact I have more. I feel content.


I am where I am supposed to be, with the same boundless energy and excitement for what the future holds, but with a little more experience and zest to take the reigns and finally navigate the ship.


Oh, and I couldn’t have you leave without at least one life lesson, so here it is, just remember when it’s 5am and you’re howling at the moon drunk, the internet never forgets!

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