Yep, the big 3.0. which is meant to be a milestone birthday - a time that many of us start reflecting and evaluating our lives.
Well, one person we know did just that, meet our favourite TV presenter and YouTube star Emily Hartridge, who will be sharing her #lifelessons now that she’s 30...
My name is Emily Hartridge and I am 30 (I know what you’re thinking: ‘HOW is she 30? She looks about 25!’) Please, stop (don’t stop), you’re making me blush. I used to think 30 was OLD.
Again, I know what you’re thinking: ‘WTF?’ As a teenager, I thought 30 meant being married with children with a house in the country.
Well, I’m a single TV presenter living in London – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, being 30 in 2017 is totally different to what I thought it would be. Here’s what I’ve learnt about myself, and life, so far...
1. The only hangover cure is… an alcoholic drink. All that 'eat a banana', 'have a coffee', 'take a shower' advice doesn't cut it. Drink a Bloody Mary and get on with it.
2. I can finally shave my legs without making them bleed.
3. Working in the service industry is character building. As an aspiring (i.e. yet-to- be-employed) TV presenter, I got a job as a waitress to pay my rent and, despite serving total assholes, it instilled a strong work ethic and taught me the lost art of politeness.
4. Social media brings out the worst in us. Sure, it's great for connecting everyone but those menial updates - 'such a long day, need coffee lol' (yawn) - or cringey brags - 'perfect day with my perfect hubby #lucky' (gag). I mean, REALLY?
5. Wearing dungarees lowers your age by at least five years. And that's a good thing, btw.
6. Wearing less make-up also makes you look younger. For years, I'd never leave my flat without a full face. I was too self-conscious about my skin, but now I realise that a) less really is more and b) no one gives a shit.
7. Mums do know best. Not about everything because, Mum, I still don't want to marry a banker from Chelsea, thanks. But that advice about not dyeing my hair too much because it will break off and fall out one day? Yep, that happened. Oh, and that boyfriend you had bad vibes about.. Turns out he cheated on me. Lesson? Listen to Mum.
8. Exercise gets harder, not easier. After a game of netball, I ache for days. DAYS.
9. My heart used to sink when people gave me candles as presents. Now a 30, a candle is all I want.
10. Saving money gets harder, not easier. Take last month, for example. I put £800 into a savings account to save up for a car but I clearly took too many Ubers/bought too many Joe & The Juice smoothies because yesterday I had to transfer all that money back to my current account. Sigh.
11. I know what I want in the bedroom. In the past, if I wasn't enjoying something a guy was doing, or not doing, during sex, I'd just grin and bear it. Now I'm more vocal. Great sex is about communication. Note to future partners: screaming, "cum with me, baby!" is the last thing that will make me explode with pleasure.
12. Friendships become so much more about quality, rather than quantity. I got stuck in a rut of meeting up with friends who would always bang on about their own lives, and never ask about mine. I began to question why they were in my life - because you do outgrow friendships. Now I make a point of having friends who really care - and yes, sometimes that might be a small handful.
13. Time with those friends becomes much more precious. Going out-out is less about looking for guys and more about trying to find somewhere to sit down so you can sink bottles of Prosecco and chat until last orders.
14. Whenever you wax in preparation, you never get any action. Apparently my vagina likes a surprise visit.
15. You trust your gut. Last year I suffered extreme anxiety and a psychiatrist told me I'd need to be on antidepressants for the rest of my life. This didn't feel right for me, so I looked into alternatives. 'At Last A Life', by former sufferer Paul David helped changed my attitude to anxiety. I still have bad days, but now I know how to handle it.
16. You'll never understand why guys take hours to text you back.
17. Or why they sit on the loo breathing in their poo fumes for hours.
18. In fact, men are weird. Weirder than us.
19. Kindness is the most important quality in a partner. Then humour. These days when I meet someone, friends are more likely to ask: "is he funny?" than: "is he hot?"
20. My dad always said, "if a guy likes you, he'll let you know" - and never was a truer word said. I remember obsessing about a guy I hooked up with in my early twenties. I'd text him and get one-word replies, then eventually no reply. I wasted so many hours feeling sad. Now, if a guy isn't interested, I move on. I know my worth. No more fuckwits. Repeat: no more fuckwits.
21. Our health is paramount. Looking after yourself becomes really important. I used to eat so much junk food and drink at least five nights a week. Now I genuinely try and take care of myself. Eating well and not pushing myself too much has an amazing effect on my mental health.
22. Conversations about cooking have switched from, "pizza and salad again?" to, "I'm making kale crisps and sautéed prawns with ginger and coconut oil."
23. If you have a passion, go get it. I've always wanted to be a TV presenter and I never gave up, even though lots of people told me I should (my family included). I'm proud of myself for chasing that dream because now I've had my second show commissioned by Channel 4 - and that's no easy feat.
24. Life continues to feel like school. No matter how old I get, there are cliques, girls gossip and people won't like me for no reason at all. The good news? I genuinely care less.
25. Fanny farts happen. I used to get so embarrassed about this type of stuff. But it's totally natural. And, let's be honest, they are pretty funny. Being able to laugh during sex makes it more fun.
26. Give me a five-star hotel over a tent or hostel any day. Glamping has got to be the travel industry's most overrated PR spin. A tepee is just a conical tent, people!
27. I choose to spend more than a tenner on wine in the supermarket.
28. I know my secret to a good night's kip. I have to sleep in a pitch-black room and even though I know I've switched the lounge light off before bed, I still have to check it. Also, I can't sleep without the cuddly seal I've had since birth. I thought I needed to change these things, but they make me 'me'. Without them I wouldn't be who I am.
29. I am that girl on a beach with a top covering her face, in addition to factor 50 sun cream. SPF is your skin's best friend. Once I saw a hint of sun damage, I decided to take more care.
Those life goals you set at 15 probably haven't happened. As I said, at school I thought I'd have at least one child by now. That hasn't happened. But I'm happy and excited for my next decade. There's still a lot more to learn.
Emily Hartridge, TV Presenter and YouTube Star
Photo Credit: Emily Hartridge
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