Every end has a start

So it happened. I turned 30. The big 3-0 and to be honest, not that much has changed.
Before the event a friend asked me whether I was planning to have a party but I told her that honestly I couldn’t have asked for anything more from this year. However, regardless of that, it didn’t stop my family and friends spoiling me and I had a lovely day, followed later in the month by a brilliant birthday weekend with my extended family.
Thanks to donations made on behalf of my birthday, we also managed to raise more than £400 for Ya Ge School for the deaf in Kaifeng, which I know is going to make such a difference to them.
The staff at Ya Ge send their thanks.
As do the pupils.
And this little guy is really, really, happy!
And now it’s back to the real world. My friends who have already turned 30 had assured me how much they loved entering a new decade and how much more confident they now feel.
But I think I’m still waiting for the wisdom of my 30s to hit me. Aside from the new wrinkles I’ve acquired around the eyes (which I’m trying not to look at too closely) I still feel exactly the same.
It appears I’m still incapable of making my mind up about buying a pair of boots until I’ve emailed a picture of them to my friends and dragged my entire family into the shoe shop to watch me try them on, and I still don’t really know what the next step in life is going to be.
The time seems to have flown by since I got back and I’m still trying to get my head around where I want to go and what I want to do next.
In one way it’s nice to be starting again with a blank slate, knowing that I can move anywhere and apply for any job I feel like. But it can also be daunting.
There are days when I wake up and wish that the most taxing thing I had to do was decide whether to stay an extra night at a hostel or move on to a new place.
But the possibilities are also exciting.
This particular adventure is now over; I did what I set out to achieve. I wrote down a list of 30 things, set off around the world and completed them before my 30th birthday.
Along the way I met some people who I think were a bit insulted by the whole concept of 30b430. “Life doesn’t end at 30 you know,” I heard said a few times, quite huffily, by people who had passed that digit and were still travelling. Which I was obviously hoping was the case, as I was quickly approaching it.
But for me the point in 30b430 was to stop putting things off and give myself a deadline. Maybe it’s the journalist in me or maybe it’s just human nature but I find that I always achieve more if I give myself a time frame in which to do it.
That way I can’t put it off and say “One day I’ll go there or I’ll do that”. I just have to go and do it now.
So that’s what 30b430 was about for me. It wasn’t really anything to do with age. It was about going on an adventure, doing things I’d always dreamed of doing and, perhaps most of all, enjoying the simple pleasure of ticking things off a list.
So thank you for sharing the adventure with me and here’s to new beginnings!