30 millionth internet post about 30 things to do in the 3 years before you turn 30
Having just turned 27, in a heavily filtered flurry of scrambled egg and vinyl, I’ve all but come to terms with the idea that thirtieth birthdays aren’t just things that happen to other, older people. Previously distant life landmarks - 18, 21, 25 - have all been and gone. My teenage years are but a distant memory, as are those of my university career and first full-time job. Nothing but 36 months now stand in the way between me and the big 3-0, and going by past experience ("Holy SHIT, the Nicola Roberts album has been out for THREE YEARS?!") they'll be over before I know it.
As much as that episode of Friends did its best to convince me otherwise, the looming end to my 20s fills me with something more like excitement rather than mortal horror. While I doubt very much my life as it stands would much impress my 15 year-old self, I reckon I've just about got things together. My job is pretty great, I live in a nice flat and I've managed to trick another man into dating me for the last two years (You're GAY, 15 year-old self. You'll get over it). At 27, I also already find clubs a chore, fully enjoy gardening, and shop primarily out of Gap. If you carbon dated my brain you'd probably come to the conclusion I'm closer to 50 than 30.
In more conventionally biological terms, however, I have three years left. Time enough, I think, to tie up the loose ends of what has been a mildly successful, frequently drunken decade, and look forwards to a further ten years of wine, Kettle Chips, and incrementally nicer clothes. Yay life!
A Non-Exclusive Pre-Thirty Checklist of Various Things I Should Very Much Like to Accomplish in the Next Three Years, Largely So I Can Instagram Them:
- Purchase a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
- Purchase a KitchenAid.
- Purchase a tailored suit so I can attend weddings looking like an adult male rather than an unusually hairy child who's broken into his father's wardrobe.
- Purchase an apricot labradoodle named Scrumpy.
- Sort out some kind of pension.
- Begin saving money with a view to eventually purchase a first property (we’re probably looking at sometime nearer my 60th birthday for that).
- Finish the first, partially written novel that’s been floating around in my head and various notebooks for over TEN YEARS GODDAMMIT.
- Learn how to consistently poach eggs.
- Learn how to talk knowledgably about wine in polite company.
- Learn some rudimentary French so I can order bread and cheese in Paris without embarrassing myself.
- Earn some £££ from words what I myself have written.
- Consistently maintain this blog for three years - and with posts, rather than pointless, obsessive template tweaks.
- Either accept myself as someone who just has two chins, or find a sustainable way to return to a weight of 70kg that doesn’t involve wanting to kill myself and all my loved ones.
- Give up my can-a-day addiction to Diet Coke.
- Give up the internet one day each week.
- Find myself a London dentist.
- Do Glastonbury for the first and last time.
- Do a marathon for the first and last time.
- Knit a hat.
- Visit one of the continents I've not been to yet (ie. not Europe or North America).
- Drink cocktails in New York to make up for that time I went for my 21st birthday but was still actually only 20.
- Complete Final Fantasy VII, some 20 years after I first started playing it.
- Decide once and for all whether or not to get a tattoo. If not, spend the money on a life-supply of temporary transfers instead.
- Go Skiing.
- Create a viable sourdough starter (ie. one without mould) and perfect the art of breadmaking (ie. not burning down the flat).
- Read the 65 and a half books on this list I haven't got round to yet.
- Listen through the Beatles' entire discography to figure out if I actually don't like them or whether, aged 10, that was just something I decided to believe in order to frustrate and defy my parents.
- Sort through the nightmarish filing box of confusing life paperwork I keep upstairs in the study, at the significant risk of discovering every payslip I've ever received since 2005.
- Toast the end of each and every one of the next 156 weeks with a glass of whisky and the acknowledgement that life is never as bad as I might occasionally think it is.
- DON'T DIE.