Instagram versus reality and the things I’m reflecting on as I creep closer to 30

I’m going to be 30 in May! I’m on holiday sat in a bikini by the pool wallowing in self pity and the looming loss of my youth that will inevitably strike, when I realise that I need to change the way I think.

Despite Instagram making me believe that I should be at a particular point in my life at the age I am, oh and tiny and perfect, my life, by and large is amazing, and as I’m getting older I’m definitely learning that the things that I’m so focused on achieving before the dreaded 3-0 aren’t the be all and end all…

Watching my weight

I’ve never been a small girl and I’ve pretty much hated my body since about the age of 7 when you begin to understand about what is ‘supposed to be’ pretty. Being chubby or fat has never been deemed acceptable or pretty. So hating yourself at such a young age, spirals you further into a depression that you never fully grip or understand throughout your teens. You assume hating your body is normal because you aren’t ‘normal’.

Cut to my mid twenties and I’m spurred on to do something about the way I look by my sister who made me her maid of honour. So, now I look better, I feel better and my self esteem is improving a little every day. But it also did so much more than something superficial. I began to understand my body. The types of food that fuels it to make it feel good, and the things that don’t. That my body is bloody strong, and of this I am proud. Despite the millions of comments I’ve had about lifting heavy, looking ‘too manly’, being ‘too strong to ever marry’, my body is amazing.

I will never be ‘skinny’ and I will always have fat. But I am female. I have more oestrogen than my male counterparts and I have been designed by nature to house and grow a tiny human! You need fat on your body to do that. Oh, and did I mention I LOVE a Nando’s?

Hating yourself is exhausting and self love takes time, but I’d rather keep working on that, knowing that by and large I’m kind, caring considerate, hard working and hilarious, which is far more important in the long run anyway!

Life goals

Ever plan your life as you entered your twenties? Haha, yeah, me too! I wanted to be married with kids by 30, with a big house and an amazing well- paid job. Ha! I’m in student debt, I live at home and am so single I’ve spent most of 2019 conducting a science experiment on dating sites using pick up lines on guys to see if they’d date a girl with a ‘cracking sense of humour’. They will and then decide to ghost or insult your intelligence because someone better has come along – luck of the draw or the ones I end up picking, I guess.

So life is not time bound. Some achieve things far sooner than others and that’s okay. I have a wonderful job that makes me both mad and happy at the same time. A beautiful circle of humans that I call family and friends who truly care, and even a lot of great dates and even better stories to share too!

Being too much

I actually am! It’s true. But I’m learning that it’s not a negative. I love hard, I care very deeply. I mother people – even my boss says so! I enjoy talking to someone on the phone rather than via text. When I like you, I make that abundantly clear, and will spoil the people I love. I say what I think and stand up for what I believe in. I’m also incredibly affectionate – sue me, it’s one of my love languages!

So many people see this as a negative. So many of the wrong ones see it as a negative. But my ‘too much’ is my way of showing that I care. When I stop caring, I behave as though you don’t exist – believe me. The ones that do care about me – my friends, family etc. – laugh it off, and understand that these quirks make me who I am.

It’s the little things that count

I once dated a guy who on one date took me to Nando’s cause he knew I loved it so much, despite him being veggie. Whatever his intentions, that made me really like him. It was thoughtful and kind. I mean, it is definitely the little things that matter. Remembering your birthday with no social media reminders, checking in that you’re safe and you got somewhere, feeling comfortable enough to talk to someone about anything. This outweighs appearance, cars, jobs, money any day.

So, yeah, I expected to be a lot further along in various aspects of my life as I draw closer to the big 3-0. I’m not, and I might not be by May and that’s okay. Aside from my biological clock, not much else has a time limit on it, and I firmly believe things will happen when they are meant to. Coming to terms with this, is definitely making the next decade far less daunting… but ask me again next May, I’ll probably be rocking back and forth in a ball mourning my youth and complaining about my back ache…