Kids, in September 2015, I was a mere eight weeks away from turning the big 30 and to say it was freaking me out was an understatement.
While your Nan, aunt and godmother were super excited about our upcoming birthday celebration trip to Mauritius, I was having bi-weekly full on panic attacks – I’m talking doing the ugly cry in the middle of SPAR because I couldn’t choose which damn chocolate to break my Slim Sure diet with and having a complete meltdown at spotting yet another f***ing pregnancy or engagement announcement (by people I’d babysat as kids, no less!) on my social media newsfeeds.
Anyone who dared to even whisper “So, how excited are you for your 30th?” to me would get a look that would freeze Satan’s balls hurled at them and I was actively avoiding making any major plans for any kind of party.
Now, I wasn’t unfamiliar with the quarter-life crisis that besieged most 20 to 35-year-olds … in fact, by then I had gone through at least three of the gods-awful stages ( finding my identity, finding a home and finding a job) but for the f***ing love of Westeros, nothing prepared me for the utter devastation of turning 30. It was enough to make me drink away my sorrows!
And no one, I mean NO ONE, bloody got why I was so depressed – except my gorgeous fellow 30-year-olds Lutfia, Tiana, Leilah and Jennifer who thankfully had and were still going through it. “Oh, it will pass”, “Your thirties are way more fun than your twenties”, “My life began at 30, so will yours” are all platitudes that were passed around by well-meaning friends and honestly, all I wanted to do was throat punch them … stop f***ing telling me s*** that doesn’t help!
So, in an effort to calm myself down but which only really served to prove that I had squandered my youth, I compiled a list of 30 things I wished I’d done before I was 30… here goes nothing:
- Pursued my dream of theatrical acting (and actually put the two drama diplomas I have to f***ing use!).
- Moved to Johannesburg when I was offered a publicist job there, despite how much I hate that city (a change of scenery might have led to more dating options and now I will never know).
- Told my high school crush I adored him instead of having my frenemy blurt it out, thus turning me into the pariah of the school (at least being a loveless outcast would have been of my own doing).
- Kissed my matric ball dance partner (yes, he was a drug addict and it wouldn’t have amounted to anything, but gods, the boy was HOT).
- Skinny-dipped more often …
- …and stopped worrying about my weight so much. Big girls, you are beautiful!
- Tell people when they’d upset me with their hurtful comments and actions during the day so I wouldn’t swear like a sailor in my sleep (or stress eat).
- Gone to Comic Con and seduced Alexander Skarsgard, Jared Padalecki, Channing Tatum and Paul Wesley in my skin-tight, too-short Wonder Woman costume.
- Speaking of the Wonder Woman suit … I should have worn that thing more! Especially to random Saturdays at Readers Den. Who knows? I might have met your father sooner.
- Told He Who Shall Not Be Named the truth and that the real reason we couldn’t be BFFs is because he has never apologised for leading me on and breaking my heart.
- Walked up to my Viking on that fateful day and said: “Here I am. What are your other two wishes?” (What? You guys could have been born earlier and spent your winters in Sweden right now if I’d been brave enough, dammit!)
- Not shamelessly have thrown myself at a Biggest Loser SA contestant (after his weight loss) for months, only to have him call me and ask me to arrange media for his upcoming wedding.
- Gone to bed earlier so I could actually sleep for more than just 5 nights a week …
- … And risen early to watch the sunrise with someone special.
- Conquered my fear of cockroaches (yes, I know, I still scream like Dementors are dragging me to Hell each time I spot one.)
- Spent less time trying to explain to family, friends and strangers who I am and just accept my weird, kooky self sooner. F**k what other people think!
- Actually watch Star Wars and Lord of the Rings without falling asleep every goddamn time.
- Admitted that while Doctor Who is the love of some of my friends’ lives, it’s not for me ( I mean, sure, I’ll watch it during a bonding marathon but it’s not on my must download list) .
- Accepted less invitations for things, events and people I really didn’t want to see and spent more time with the ones I did.
- Said yes to a few more drinks invitations from guys – if nothing else, the experience would have come in handy and I would know more of the IT places.
- Not been too sick and hung over to visit the Empire State Building during my first New York visit. Who knows if the Tom Hanks to my Meg Ryan was waiting up there for me or not?!
- Stuck to my teenage dream of being a radio presenter and club DJ (maybe then those recurring dreams of having thousands of gyrating people screaming my name would stop!)
- Spent more time bonding with my dead grandmother instead of running away from my unresolved feelings and issues about her all the time.
- Asked Orlando Bloom for an autograph and photo that time I gate-crashed his cast party.
- Spent a summer in London and Paris or moved to New York for three months.
- Accepted than my chronic fear of rollercoasters and theme-park rides won’t go away (might have spared the poor people who got my breakfast flung on them far too often.)
- Stuck to my resolution of having uninterrupted Me-Time (the world would be safer for it).
- Quit trying so hard to win the favour of others. What they want is irrelevant.
- Own a matching dinner service and crockery … serving my legendary beef stew in an ice cream container is not all it’s cracked up be.
- Had you …
Of all the things I regret not doing, not having you sooner was the biggest. At age 29 years and 10 months, my greatest fear wasn’t dying – it was dying without having had, met and loved you with all that I am and was.
But I was working on it, kiddos, working really hard ( even if I had to date all of the frogs in the world to do so)…