Things I thought I’d know by 30

cropped-anna-pic-2-e1436354275658.jpg By Anna Trevelyan


It’s a funny thing, age. It creeps up on you. In spite of the fact that I still feel 14 (mentally), I am definitely somewhere over 30 now.

I’m probably not the only one who thought being 30 would feel different to how it actually does. I still don’t feel like a proper adult, after all this time, and here is why.


Ten things I thought I’d know by the time I was 30…

better. I still eat curry in white tops, I still burn myself using a tea towel to get stuff out of the oven and I always forget my coat. My mum, for instance, would never do these things so I probably shouldn’t either (but still do anyway).

my ultimate career goal. Even though I am currently running two separate careers at the same time, I still think that one day I’d like to try my hand at elephant podiatry. Or go back to my first career as a Children’s TV Gunge Maker. Or spend another summer in a pit excavating bits of old sea urchins in Winchester. Let’s hope common sense prevails (however – see above point – it probably won’t).

how to do vital things. Any thoughts I had of re-wiring plugs left right and centre, baking wedding cakes and making my own clothes never really materialised. I probably learned more practical things when I was at school than I have learned as an adult – I could even do a great hula hoop back then, and I actually had a use for a hypotenuse. Some things change but some things stay depressingly the same.

what to do in a crisis. I wouldn’t want to wish ill on someone, but I desperately want to use that defibrillator at work. In the (fortunate) absence of any real drama, I am often left speechless when someone tells me something slightly dramatic. I still do what I did when I was seven – find a tissue and give them a bit of an awkward pat on the back.

when not to laugh. Bottom burps are still funny. People sitting on creaking chairs are still funny. Fake poos are still funny. Proper adults know how to ignore these things, which brings me onto my next point…

when to keep schtum. Real adults know where their mute button is. They don’t laugh at toddlers who put bank cards down the loo, and they say things like “it’s a bit stuffy in here” when someone has clearly let one off. I am still yet to learn this skill.

to dress appropriately. Last week was by no means the first time I turned up dressed exactly like my friend’s three year old. Yes, I sometimes resemble an adult baby in my jelly shoes, but everyone is secretly really jealous when it rains.

stuff I used to know. We all used to be able to trot out certain things for exams, but nowadays I can only just hum the words to Auld Lang Syne and I barely know pi to one decimal place. It’s a sad state of affairs on New Year’s Eve, I can tell you.

..my limits. Nearly slipping a disc after trying to give my Grandad the bumps was a low point. Apparently there is some sort of personal alcohol limit too that we all must know, but try telling me that after two vinos and a martini.

how to behave. I don’t know what it is about summer but it makes me want to do ridiculous things. Last summer I fell over, mid cartwheel, in front of a park full of strangers (what on earth possessed me to try field gymnastics after 20 years I’ll never know). I still can’t help laughing during serious ceremonies, and being anywhere near a bus makes me want to sit at the back and mess around. This does not go down well on the number 3.


I’m not sure when I’ll grow up, but it doesn’t look like it’s happened yet. They say 30 is the new 20, which may explain it. So if 60 is the new 50, maybe I’ll be a proper adult by the time I’m 70 – but, then again, maths was never my strong point.



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