In 3 days time I am going to be 30. The idea is that people approaching 30, especially women, can be a bit touchy. I don’t really get that. I guess I remember this happening on TV when I was a kid and thinking that it would be frightening or upsetting:
And while I – like Rachel Green – don’t have any of those things, I am doing better than I was this time last year. I have a job (not one that’s going to make me financially stable, but it’s one that I’m good at), I have the beautiful hound, and while I did already have him last birthday, he’s still a joy despite the work that is still going into his rehab, I have a new (very new, I haven’t even told Facebook yet) boyfriend and the books thing is going well, (I think I’ve wrangled my way into a group of writers who could be really helpful organizing workshops etc). So what if I still live with my mum and dad? I like them. They’re good fun to be around, in fact (like a pair of teenagers) this weekend they’ve borrowed my car to go on a road trip with their mates.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of this is, I suppose I just feel happy. For the first time in a long time just uncomplicatedly happy, and before I start to feel suspicious of that I thought I should get it written down. I am not a particularly good person, but I’m not bad. I go out of my way to help people if it’s in my power, I certainly go out of my way not to make other peoples lives worse, so I do deserve to be happy, for a bit. I don’t think I even realised how miserable I was until I found my self sitting here, on the cusp of 30, looking back over the precipice and wondering how I made it.
I think I started to be happy again last year: my friend Rachel got married and I was just filled with an overwhelming joy. It was so alien to me that I cried (a lot, like, I knew I was going to cry so I didn’t wear makeup, and it’s a good job, it was very teary) and I think some people thought I was still sad. But the joy! She was so happy! and her husband was so happy and they are, in so many ways, perfect for each other. She wasn’t in the best of places when they met but it didn’t matter, because they fell in love. She moved to sodding Mongolia! but it didn’t matter, because they fell in love. And that little bit of joy, like a spark in the murk of it all, was there.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not been depressed for the last 4 years. (or 7 depending on who you ask) but I haven’t been consistently not sad for any real length of time.
There’s no way that I’m saying that the next decade’s going to be any better than the last, or that “this is my time”, because that’s horse shit and you know that as well as I do. But I feel more positive. Since starting the publishing project I’ve been feeling better. The publishing was a decision I made to take back control over my life in an achievable way. I think I’m heading there and that level of control is helping and I also think I’m out of the other end, now, or at least, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. All I need now is for this new boy to actually turn up to meet my friends tonight – I have a history of picking men who don’t come to my birthday things.
Happy birthday, me.