‘Eat The Damn Doughnut’: The Truth About Turning 30

Deputy Editor Victoria Stokes reflects on the nuggets of wisdom she's gleaned in her twenties.

As Victoria Stokes approaches her 30th birthday, she reflects on the nuggets of wisdom she’s gleaned in her twenties

“My 30th birthday is still months away and yet ever since I turned 29 it’s all I can think about. I guess it’s a crucial turning point, moving into a decade when you can no longer pass as a pretend adult, and have to assume the role of responsible, clued-in grown up. Your twenties are supposed to be a bumpy ride, but your thirties? Well it’s generally assumed you’ve got things worked out by now and know stuff like how to make pate or the difference between a tracker mortgage and a fixed rate one. (I’m clueless on both counts, by the way)

Owning a home and making French delicacies may be something I haven’t the first clue about – I don’t know how to sew, or properly make a bed without the fitted sheet sliding off either, FYI – but there are lots of things my twenties have taught me.

Getting pass out drunk isn’t big or clever

I’ve gotten making-a-show-of-myself drunk more times than I should probably admit in a column my boss will read, and I’ve done a ton of stupid sh*t while under the influence that I’d rather forget… fortunately, my friends are always there to remind me. Call me a granny, but these days I know when to put myself in a taxi home and even though I’ll still be that eejit up dancing on tables at 4am, I know to take my stiletto heels off before I do it.

Not every pal is a pal for life

… and that’s okay. Sometimes you’ll fall out and have to avoid each other down the local, other times you’ll just drift apart but keep sending each other ‘We should catch up’ texts over and over until one of you dies. Some friends will still be making your face hurt with laughter when you’re 90, others won’t, and that’s totally fine.

Collect experiences, not things

That hideous high-waisted zebra print skirt I wore in college is long forgotten… or at least it would be if there wasn’t photographic evidence of its existence. Still, the point stands. When it comes to choosing between a designer dress and a gig ticket or even a trip of a lifetime, always choose the latter. That questionable OOTD will eventually get flung to the back of the wardrobe, but you’ll be talking about the time you jumped out of a plane in Australia for years.

You shouldn’t have to force it

… your friendships, your relationships, your arse into a pair of size 8 jeans. If it doesn’t fit you let it go.

Bad experiences can make funny stories

I got mugged on Friday the 13th while dressed as Axl Rose and though I didn’t find it too funny at the time, it didn’t take long for me to see the experience for what it was: comedy gold. When things go a bit skewiff in life, as they inevitably will, try and find the funny side, because if you can’t laugh at yourself when you’re in the back of a Garda squad car, handbagless, sobbing and dressed as an 80s rock icon, when can you?

Don’t write off the transitional boyfriend

I’ve dated more douchebags in my twenties than I care to count, but I don’t regret a single one of them because they’ve always served some sort of purpose and taught me lessons along the way. Maybe you just need a fella to scratch that horny itch, or temporarily fulfill your need for intimacy. Whatever it is, just because they aren’t your forever person doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

Eat the carbs

Seriously, life is short. Eat the damn doughnut.”

This article first appeared in the January issue of STELLAR Magazine, our February issue is on shelves now.

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