It wasn't my first, but I had a run in with a grey hair sticking straight out the top of my head last night. A few months ago I explained my new hair colour to my boss "I keep seeing blonde hairs in my roots and stressing that they're grey. I know there are grey hairs in there because I've found them before and I just don't want to think about it every time I look in the mirror"
After months on end of asking nearly-30 year olds what the problem was with turning 30, I think I'm finally starting to get it.
I was starting to think that maybe 30 was just like any other birthday. I haven't liked birthdays much since I turned 21 and was so upset I became a recluse for 2 months, so I figured that turning 30 was hardly going to be more of a struggle. What I was unprepared for was the countdown ... If you're younger than most of your friends you find that from the moment you turn 29, the fact that your next birthday will be your 30th is hanging over your head.
Back in May I was talking to a 30-minus-5-weeks year old and I had to ask "What's it all about? Does it hit when you're six months out? At the moment I just can't see what the fuss is about but I'm thinking that maybe I'm just not there yet." Her reply? "Oh, you'll see."
Over the last 18 months we've been analysing our reactions to the total and utter global financial failure and at one point I wondered why so many of my friends seemed to be taking it so hard (disregarding the aforementioned 'total and utter failure' bit!). Partly, so many of my friends are architects and interior designers and redundancies hit us early. Partly, it's the first proper financial crisis since we've been rent-paying, salary earning, wedding planning, child rearing, fully mortagaged adults. But I also think that we're all about to hit one of those birthdays. One that requires extra effort and celebration. One that brings birthday cards from people you haven't spoken to for years. One that will define your life as people ask "What did you do for your xxth?". And the last thing you need as you're about to face this hurdle is for someone to invent the credit crunch to highlight all the things you shoulda woulda coulda been doing with your life at this momentus stage. To discover the meaning of 'credit crunch' right at this point in our lives seems a little rough.
But I still didn't quite get it.
I was one of the lucky ones. I kept my job (but I worked damned hard to do it and I've been working even harder ever since). I had some money saved away for a rainy day. The thought of having to move back to Sydney and live with my parents isn't as horrifying as it used to be.
Now I'm 5 months and 12 days out. I'm overweight. I'm single. I have grey hairs. I have no career. I don't own any property (Hell, I only just bought my first car last year!). I don't have any children.
But you know what? I'm losing weight (and I love food so I don't care that much!). If I'd met the man I was supposed to be with I wouldn't be single. But I haven't, and I'd rather be single than settle. Permenant hair colour is really rather affordable. I can't (just about) afford to pay my rent, and that will have to do. I have no plans to be a single mum so it would be better for everyone if I refrained from procreating at this point.
I'm not quite sure of the point of this post. I was going to talk about how I'm finally starting to have the '30 panic' (although not really, but I didn't get to that bit!). I somehow managed to go from grey hairs, through the credit crunch and finally end up with 'life's not so bad'.
I'm going to post it anyway. Perhaps tomorrow (when it's not the busiest day of my working month) I'll ponder about it again slightly more coherantly.