Turning 30 unexpectedly hit me like a rock between the forehead, sending me careering into a mid-life crisis to rival that of any middle-aged man and his shiny new sports car.
I changed careers, cried an ocean of tears and started to apply wrinkle-creams. Tomorrow I turn 31 and looking back on the year, I realised actually it's not all so bad.
Here are 30 things I surprisingly actually like about being 30.
If you can name it, good or bad... I've probably done it. And maybe regret it. But now I know what works, what doesn't and how to tackle awkward, embarrasing or unpleasant situations. It's confidence enducing for any bumps ahead.
Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better."
2. 'Man, I feel like a Woman'
Yup, Shania said it best. I know this sounds ridiculous, as quite clearly I am female... and although sometimes I do still feel like an angsty teenager/early twenty-something, some days now I do actually finally feel like a proper grown-up woman. I keep our home running, I keep our family happy, I organise our finances and sometimes even wear heels without going partying.
3. I don't actually look 30
And I'm sure you don't either! Albeit I can wake up some days and feel about 100, but I still get ID'd when buying age-restricted products which means I look at the most 24.
Being in your 30s means you have the mind of a woman, but still look hot and youthful. Result!
I actually hate that acronym but still desperately trying to claw at every second of my youth, I have adopted a 'You only live once' attitude.. If I want to dye my hair a crazy colour...why the *bleep* not... I only live once. Want a new tattooo ... only live once... I don't want to regret not doing it later on.
5. I know my own personal fashion style
Although I love to keep abreast of the latest fashion trends, now I don't feel the pressure to follow them all. I have always been a little more AWOL in that respect but the younger version of myself sometimes felt like I needed to match.... now I just don't care.
I like what I like and I know what suits me, I don't care if it's not bang on trend.
6. I no longer seek my peers approval
Like me or don't. End of.
7. Improved Judgement
I've always been pretty good with my judgement but now I am far more decisive and confident with it. If I feel there's a problem, someone trying to pull the wool over my eyes, or there is something I am non-convinced on, I'm gonna let y'all know.
8. My beauty regimen is now easy-peasy
I used to rush out to buy all the latest new cosmetics immediately, and yeah I'm still gonna try out new products, but I have my beauty regime pretty much nailed down now. I can get my full-world-ready face on in under 10 minutes..
Years of paining on cat-eye flicks with liquid liner means it now only takes 30 seconds and there are no more smudge-removals at 6am. I know what colour foundation I need without having to stand at the counter for hours trying to find the best match. It's liberating!
9. 'I don't care what you think Mom'
Although I obviously still respect the opinions of my loved ones, I'm not wittering about what others will think of me if I do this or that so much. I'm now more aware of what I think/want/need that matters and if you love me you will accept that.
10. Less is more
I have less friends now than in my 20s but you know what, they are real friends not air-bag acquaintances. I have healthy loving relationships based on mutual respect, it's good to weed out the chaff from the corn.
I know what I want and how I will get there. There are things I want to achieve in my life that maybe to some extent I put on the back burner through my late 20's but turning 30 made me assess these and really focus on achieving them.
If I let the deadline slip on my goals before, with things or just life getting in the way... that's not going to happen any more.
12. My house looks like a home
I've always been a home-maker, but now our home looks like a stylish, grown up bohemian home with thought-out pieces and arrangements rather than just a kooky party house.
13. I don't take life for granted as much anymore
People are precious and after losing loved ones, or seeing them sick, it makes you appreciate them more - even when they drive you crazy. I never walk out on argument anymore.
14. Knowing that 'This too will pass' is actually true
We've all gone through crappy times, and sometimes it really does feel like there is no light at the end of tunnel but with age and experience you start to see that even in those depths of despair, even if it hurts, it will eventually pass.
15. My pets
I love having my furbabies around me and love having the time and resources to look after them properly. Seeing a furry little face peeking up at me when I wake up ready for their breakfast gives me the warm and fuzzies - as their main care-giver we have a closer bond than I have ever before with the family pets.
16. Being Mrs B
Although we are not yet married, I love the feeling of security and unconditional love I have with Mr B. We are like a tag-team... I know he has my back and that's awesome. I'm with him because he's who I choose to be with, not because I don't want to be alone or because he's 'ok for now'.
17. I discovered I can cook
This one amazed me too. When I met Mr B I told him I couldn't even make toast without burning it.. confession... I never really tried before. Now with the right motivation, I can cook up a storm in the kitchen. Who knew?!
18. My boobs got bigger
Seriously. I have no explanation for this. Maybe hormonal? Whatever, I'm not complaining.
19. Long-term plans to look forward to
No more living just for Saturday nights and a bottle of Vodka. Whilst that's still fun, now I look forward to starting a family or Wedding planning - Some days I get sad that we have nothing in place yet for our wedding, no dates are booked, no flowers selected... but I do enjoy the feeling that soon I will be planning those things and have married life with my handsome man to look forward to.
20. Things that used to make me cringe are now funny
Some of my most embarrassing moments when I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole are now, well, just really funny! Me and Mr B laugh our heads off at eachother's misadventures on a regular basis.
21. Knowing that I can live without a smartphone
So much of our lives are spent online or connected online now and whilst that's great, I love that I did once know how to live life without a smartphone or technology at every turn.
Who else remembers this being the height of tech?
22. I have started taking better care of myself
I realised that although I'm not old, I'm getting older so have started taking better care of myself. I try and eat healthier, and get some exercise and that can only be a good thing.
23. I dance how I like
Ok so I have always been slightly out there on this one, but now I really do not care if I'm not seductively grinding or slut-dropping.
I dance to enjoy myself and leave all that fancy stuff to Burlesque dancers and strippers.
24. Knowing that I survived up to this point
I made it through some really bad times, sad times, good times, and always paid my rent, ran my car, and got to work... so whatever comes, I can keep going.
25. I have finally learned from mistakes
And I no longer repeat the same mistakes over and over again!
26. I don't care if I stay in on a Saturday night
In fact, most often it's fun! Me and Mr B constantly make our own fun, who says you can't party while cooking the dinner or open a bottle of rum and end up dancing round the living room?
27. Saying sorry is easier
I am a stubborn bugger that's for sure, but now I understand that sometimes just saying sorry isn't such a personal battle of wills... you don't lose face by admitting you were wrong.
28. Mum is always right
The older I have got, I actually see where my Mum is coming from A LOT more. I get it. And that's made us closer.
29. Every age group can relate to me
I'm that in-between now. I thought I was getting old, but actually your 30s is the perfect generation bridge.
To my 15 year old cousin I'm a woman to look up to, to my grandmother I'm a young woman she can still talk to about her feelings, to kids I'm a lady, to my future-hubby I'm hot.
30. People take me more seriously
When I give advice now they listen. Whether it be my mum asking me for advice on pet-care or a friend asking for advice on dealing with a work situation. The guy on the end of the phone at the call centre takes my complaint without patronizing me - mostly!
Are you turning 30-teen soon? Or are you already in the 30's gang? Leave your comments below!