The Difference Between 20 and 30


Today I found a grey hair. At just 32 years old this sounds ridiculous, as I’ve had random grey eyebrows for years, but when I found it I genuinely felt quite sad. That single grey hair confirmed everything I’d been noticing recently… I’m getting older. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that I’m old in the slightest, but I’ve noticed that my opinions of life and how I live it has changed since I turned 30. For example:

1. Staying out until three in the morning is almost impossible, and if I do I’m guaranteed to not be able to move from the hangover the next day even if I’ve only had a small amount of alcohol. In my 20’s I could go out all night wearing six inch heels and an outfit the size of a tea-towel and feel reasonably fine the next day. I don’t want to go out to nightclubs anymore. Instead, I’d rather go to a nice bar/restaurant and be home by 11.00pm.

2. I have started to judge younger women if they wear trampy outfits – I actually found myself thinking “Put it away!” after seeing a random woman walk past the other day wearing a ridiculously high skirt.

3. I wear flat shoes to work, as my feet can’t cope with wearing heels anymore.

4. I keep putting my back out.

5. In my 20’s, I used to be able to eat what I wanted without gaining weight. After I turned 30, I only have to look at a chocolate bar for my waistline to expand.

6. I’ve recently started to enjoy music by Glen Campbell. Say what you like about Glen – he was a member of the Wrecking Crew and therefore is a legend.

7. I detest Justin Bieber, One Direction and GLEE. I think that Dubstep and Drum & Bass is simply noise.

8. I love shopping at the supermarket. I can spend hours there, and get a kick out of finding good deals.

9. I found myself telling my students that I passed my GCSE exams without the use of the Internet, and that I didn’t get a mobile phone until I was 18.

10. My friends are getting married, divorced and/or are having children. In my 20’s they were just getting laid.

11. In our 20’s, me and the Best Mate used to discuss epic nights out and the people that we were attracted to. Last week we had a conversation about what product is the best for removing mould in the bathroom, and what fabric softener we use.

12. In my 20’s I had a job. In my 30’s I have a career.

13. In my 20’s I holidayed on 18-30 resorts. In my 30’s I like to go ‘somewhere quiet’.

14. Art galleries have suddenly become interesting. I can spend hours walking around museums and I genuinely enjoy the experience of learning new things.

As a teacher, I always feel a little twinge of jealously when students that I have known for years go off to university. I remember that feeling of excitement, uncertainty, and the thrill of having the prospect of a whole life ahead of you with very little responsibility. I remember being carefree about anything and everything. However, I also remember having to fight for everything, work extremely hard and have very little money to show for it. I lived in sub-standard housing with a sub-standard ex. I lived from day-to-day with no thoughts about the future.

As I’ve grown older, my life is good, despite the trial and tribulations that I have experienced recently. I have everything I’ve worked for, my opinion is more respected professionally, I know what I want and I am not scared to ask for it. My 20’s were spent building a life so that I can enjoy it in my 30’s.

Perhaps it’s not as bad as I thought. And there’s always hair dye…

What about you guys? What has changed as you have aged?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog

30 thoughts on “The Difference Between 20 and 30

  1. I’m only 25 but I always have felt like an ‘old soul’. However, I totally agree about staying out late. I feel like I get a hangover just from being up late, not even from drinking! But on the rare occasion me and my friends have a kid-free night, we totally take advantage of it, and pay for it the next day haha.

  2. Now in my 40s, the thing I notice most is that even though I still think I’m in the shape I was when I was younger, i can’t do anything as fast as I used to – run, climb, whatever.
    But I have enough experience now to do it smarter and more efficiently.

    and there’s a lot to be said for having a quiet night at home with my wife. though I still go out to concerts. Midweek, even!

  3. Ohh I can identify with much of this list! With the exception of being a stick in the mud responsible (read: boring) person in my 20’s, now kicking myself for it in my 30’s. I learned from that though… the days are turning into years, and change doesn’t happen unless you make it. Except for rear expansion and grey hair. That happens regardless.

  4. Urgh….grey hair!! I pluck those suckers out so fast……and I don’t care about the saying is “you pluck one and ten will grow back in it’s place”, I haven’t seen it happen yet!!! but I will tell you this……I was thirty when I got my first grey hair and I was soooooo beside myself at the horror of this long ugly strand that I saved it, for about a week. Now….. I just dye my hair, because honestly when I think of grey hair on a woman I think of an elderly grandma type and men don’t want to F* a grandma!!

    • Some men do love the mature ladies, so, y’know, I wouldn’t say that. Some older women have still got it, and some are sexier than ever because they were done with the younger woman hang-ups.

      And grey hairs don’t multiply when you pluck them out– they just get to where there are too many for you to pluck out.

      And there are women that ROCK the salt-and-pepper to silver hair. Seriously. Listen up, women, there are some of you that do it soooo well, and then cover it up! Don’t do that…

  5. To tell you the honest truth apart from a head of salt and pepper nothing has really changed I still have a mental age of 10, I am mischievous, naughty, lack responsibility and live for the day. That is how I stop myself getting old. I ache as if I was 80, I am only 50, it really does help that you try and not think age………I always say age and time is a invention of humans, Mother Nature has only four ages. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter then this life ends and then you are reborn in your Spring, with Mother Nature nothing really dies she sleep for a while until Spring.

    🙂 Nice to see you back I hope the break did you some good 🙂

  6. I agree with almost every (the lady parts, no) point in this. As my next birthday on Saturday I will be closer to 40 than 30 I feel a “steve says” response coming on for every one of your points. Great post!

  7. I feel like I could say at least half of these things about myself and I’m only 23. But then, I’ve always felt a bit more mature then people around my own age. I don’t mean that to be boastful. It’s just that a lot of the hijinks people associate with youth never came to me. I’ve had my eyes set on college and a career since I was 10. I’m not sure if maturity is the right word, but it’s the one I use since I can’t come up with a better word to describe this oddity.

  8. I’m now aged 55, and as regards what I have learnt about life and how my views have changed, I would reckon the following to be true.

    1/ the older you get you realise the less you know
    2/ the less you know about life, the more you know about life, as you realise that the meaning of life is inconsequential as it is far to complex for us mere mortals to comprehend
    3/ All the things you, as an adult, whinge about children doing nowadays, you have probably done, with certain technical or cultural variations, the same
    4/ There actually is time to do most of the things we want to do. We generally mishandle it’s usage, or more often make up complex excuses for not achieving our goals
    5/ “They” don’t matter, everybody “doesn’t know”, and “well known facts” are in reality pretty thin on the ground, but free speech is rarely free by nature, as you never know what munitions might come whizzing back in reply
    6/ Friendship, companionship, hard work, and compromise are the vital elements of a long term marriage. The tit-bits on the side like champagne, roses, and flash jewlery are all very pleasant, but, in reality they are both transitory and ephemeral, and no more than wind blown fluff or confetti on the ground.
    7/ It’s pointless worrying about anything unless it directly affects you, and even then there is little point in doing so as minor things will sort themselves out, and major things will probably be beyond your control,
    8/ If all else fails, there is always good coffee, company, chocolate and booze or wine,
    9/ No-one really knows what happens to you, or where you go, when you kick the bucket, so you might as well try and enjoy life to the full.
    10/ Size does matter, and small is beautiful. Look at the 30,000yr old virus, and 1,500 yrs old moss sample which have recently emerged screaming and kicking from patches of frozen ground
    11. Finally, you realise the best rule of life really is-“Illegitimi non Carborundum”, as why let those of non marital conception grind you down!

    There of other things you come to accept or appreciate of course as you grow older, but then as bits of our bodies fall off, discolour wither, snap or crumble; you are best of not giving a damn!

    Any of this ringing any bells?

  9. Nice article, thanks for sharing. I find I care less about what others think of me unless they are a priority, and herbal tea has become an acceptable substitute for liquor.

  10. Wish everyone would gain the wisdom you’ve expressed – and I’d be happy if most of them got it by the time they were 60! So here you are, barely into your 30’s, aware of what’s important in life.
    Good for you.
    Hope you like your new place.

  11. My favourites were six and seven. And having recently passed ‘the new forty’ and lost my bus pass virginity it’s quite nice to have my age questioned again. There are swings and roundabouts with every age I think.

  12. I will comment on this later because it is a subject near and dear to my heart, and my head. I have a question for you. Is there a way to get cheaper Eurostar tiockets? The prices seem a bit high even with me planning several weeks ahead.

  13. What’s changed for me is that I feel very out of place trying to enjoy things that I enjoyed when I was younger. It seems my body has grown older whilst my mind has not. Btw, ignore my earlier question about the Eurostar. I’ve got it sorted out.

  14. In my 20s, working out was totally optional. And I was fine. My belly looked good and I could be active without struggle when I felt like it. Now, taking a few days off is noticeable. Great post!

  15. Pingback: Don’t Poke Your Xiphoid Process: The Difference Between 30 And 40… | Steve Says...

  16. Getting married, having a baby and moving from the big city to the suburbs of Long Island IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS has been quite a culture/life shock for me, and I’ve accepted this comes with 30s territory. I have to echo that music will have to go on without me. I got off the new tunes train back in 2005, and since then, I’ve retraced my steps to the point where I’m currently only listening to 70s easy listening. Gordon Lightfoot is a good man.

      • We ad our annual work party tonight, and while it was great, when the DJ stopped the music and everyone filled in the blanks with the words to whatever was playing, I felt like I was from another planet. All I wanted was some Queen. All I got was a ton of hip-hop-pop that made me feel old and outdated.

Comments are closed.