In just under three months, I will be turning 30.
I’m not gonna lie, that sounds really old! I look around, and some of my closest friends are getting married, or pregnant, or buying houses, and I genuinely wonder where the last ten years went! For about five of them, whenever anyone asked me how old I was, my automatic response would be to reply ’19’, only to realise I wasn’t any more!
The more friends I speak to, the more I’m told that this feeling never goes away – You never really feel all that much older, whether you’re in your 30s, your 40s, or your 50s.
But for now, my 20s are on a final countdown. And as soon at that countdown began (9 months ago, on my 29th birthday), something very strange happened. Instead of permanently thinking of myself as a 19 year-old, oddly, I started thinking I was already 30! It was as if my brain has been trying to come to terms with the big 3-0 before it even happens. When people say how old they are, I find myself comparing their age to thirty when I try to work out if they’re older or younger than me, and at least once I’ve actually caught myself selecting an age bracket option of 30-34 instead of 26-29 on questionnaires!
And so, for reasons which I will go into more detail about later, I find myself three months away from thirty, and embarking on a challenge.
A challenge where I must take part in 30 Blind Dates, before I reach the age of thirty.
I will write more about the challenge at a later stage, however before we meet my thirty dates, I guess you need to meet me!
For those of you who grew up watching Sex in the City… I guess I’d describe myself as having the same ideals and dress-sense as Charlotte, with Samantha’s sense of humour, Carrie’s sex life and writing aspirations, and Miranda’s work ethic …
One of the great things about being twenty-nine, is that I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I look in the mirror, and I’m happy that I’ve become the adult I wanted to be. I know what makes me happy, and what doesn’t. I know what length my hair looks best at, and what make-up suits me. I have a wardrobe of clothes which suit my figure, and I know I’ll never be a size 10, and that being a size 12 suits my frame and the sports I enjoy playing. I have a great bunch of friends, who have stuck with me through thick and thin, an amazing sister, and a wonderful adoptive family. I have a Law degree, a decent Masters, and an ‘adult’ (ish) job, which allows me to rent a lovely flat on my own, and drive a pretty car. I have a Mulberry handbag, that I bought with my own money, a Pandora bracelet, which I bought after a summer of killer overtime hours, and if there’s ever something I want, I know I can buy it, with money which I’ve earned myself. I’m happy, confident and independent.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with 29 year-old ‘me’.
And up until a few weeks ago, I was even genuinely happy with the fact that 29 year-old me is single!
It’s not that I’ve ever struggled to find dates. I’ve always been quite bubbly and outgoing. I actually travelled the world on my own for almost three years, meeting people at every step along the way. I have a lot of friends, and have always enjoyed social situations.
I’m just really quite picky. I guess I’ve always placed quite high standards on myself, and figure, if I’m to settle down with one particular man longterm, then I should set equally high expectations for my future beau.
The problem I’ve realised, particularly after coming back from backpacking, is that it’s really quite hard to meet people. Unless I want to date someone from work (been there, done that, realised why it comes with a t-shirt!) or bump into someone on a drunken night out, the opportunities to meet new people in my home town are far fewer and far between than they were on the Inca Trail!
And so, casting my age-old aspersions about online dating aside, about six months ago, I finally signed up for online dating … More precisely, the infamous ‘Plenty of Fish’ …. a dating site offering a sea of possible suitors. Four close friends had found long-term partners online, and they are all nice, normal guys (none of whom resemble the odd weirdos I imagined bumping into online!).
And that was how I stumbled upon Henley Boy ….
Which is where the 30 Dates challenge finds it’s foundations ….
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx