Yesterday I turned 31 and I feel strange about it. Birthdays are always a little weird, and every time I complete another year on this silly little planet it makes me panic a bit.
This has become truer since I opted for a life of travelling, and with every new grey hair and creaking joint I’m hyper-aware of the fact that I’m on my way to becoming ‘the strange old lady in the hostel’.
In addition to my concerns about being a creepy dorm-dweller, there are a few other things that bother me about my age. Here is a list:
- Last year was my first foray into freelancing and I made a grand total of £4,000. Is that a salary for a human grown up? No sirs, it is not.
- My body is showing serious signs of wear and tear and my main life goals right now are achieving a firmer bust and being able to get out of a chair without any of my bones clicking.
- I am of no fixed abode, so when I’m not travelling I’m sleeping on mates’ sofas or at my parents’. Mmmm, smells like success to me.
- I’m constantly enraged by my skin’s ability to develop new wrinkles on an hourly basis. I’ve started doing acid peels at home to sort out my stupid old face (what could possibly go wrong), and this is how it looks when I’m mid-mask. If you have a sensitive stomach and/or are prone to fainting you might want to look away now. Bleugh.
When I’m with mates in England I don’t really think about my age. We’re all the wrong side of 30 so it’s not really a thing, even if I’m slightly behind them in terms of having money or somewhere to live. But when I’m travelling I spend a lot of time with folk in their 20s (and sometimes teenagers GAHHH) and it highlights the fact that I’m no longer classed as a ‘young person’.
I was reminded of this a couple of weekends ago when I went to London to visit a girl that I met in South America. Danielle is much younger than me (Dan, are you like 23 or something I can’t remember?) but it doesn’t matter about the age difference because she is the queen of my heart and we are proper good mates. We’d planned to go dancing, and en route to the discotheque we met up with some of her pals who were equally young and equally brilliant. I didn’t really think about the huge age gap until one of them exclaimed something along the lines of, “wow you’re 30? I would’ve never thought you were that old”.
Tell me about it, pal.
That semi-compliment must’ve given me a sexy little confidence boost though: despite my declining skin elasticity, I pulled a BEAUTIFUL man shortly after. This guy was out-of-my-league handsome. Like, I was looking around trying to work out who’d dared him to go speak to the old lady in the too-short skirt. It wasn’t a dare, though: he legit thought I was cute, and after a night of dancing he asked me for my number. I gave it to him because why not, and we’ve been chatting ever since. But, it turns out he’s 25.
Six years younger than me. Three years younger than my little brother. OMG. He assumed I was his age when we met, did I accidentally trick him? I feel like one of those cougar ladies that people talk about.
But, he doesn’t care that I remember a time when the internet didn’t live inside our phones (I still don’t really understand how it gets in there), and I’m not bothered that he was 14 when I graduated from university. I mean, I am a bit, but not really. Is it gross that there’s such an age difference? Who knows, but he’s got a six pack and I’ve never seen one in real life before so why don’t we all just throw away our birth certificates right now.
I bet you’re wondering what the point of this post is? Am I just writing to brag about my man-attracting skills? Kind of, but also no. Being around younger people when I travel amplifies my fear of aging and I needed to tell you because I can’t keep anything to myself.