Sunday, 4 April 2010

13 going on 30

I just watched the film 13 Going On 30 (Don't judge me. It's a Sunday, I'm bored, and I don't need to justify myself to you!) and it was really nice to see a positive representation of being 30. The British media, not to mention trashy chick-lit - I aim this straight at you, Helen Fielding, of dubious Bridget Jones' Diary fame - so routinely paint 30 as the misery year; desperately trying to find a man before it's too late if you stupidly haven't got one already, desperately trying to keep him if you do; worrying about your age, losing your looks, getting cellulite, blah, blah, blah....It makes me, and I'm by no means unique here, worry about reaching that age, for fear that my entire world will come crashing down around my ears.

Anyway, this film, showed 30 through a 13-year-old's eyes as exactly what I imagined it would be when I was a teenager - excitingly grown up, with a glamourous job, after work parties and drinking cocktails in bars, flirting with hot men in designer suits. No weighing herself daily and bitching about being *still* being single (of course it ended with the obligatory wedding and happily ever after, but we'll ignore that part).

Of course, she was a high flyer at a magazine; life probably wouldn't be as exciting if she worked in a bank, but considering high flyer at a magazine is what I'm aiming for, it suits me fine to believe it's all champagne and designer heels, despite the fact that I know full well a staff position at Elle pays £13,000 a year.

And at the moment I'm having issues being single at 26, let alone 30, because it seems that everyone else got engaged or at least settled down in their early twenties, and the men in bars are all 19-year-olds blowing their student loans on cheap lager which is ultimately going to end up mixed with a half-digested kebab all down the front of Topman's finest. And I don't really fancy men in suits. But maybe I'm just not hanging out in the right places yet.

The point is, even if the reality's not quite as glamourous as Hollywood would have us believe, we shouldn't neccessarily believe the doom and gloom pushed on us by bitter old tabloid hacks either. Watching that silly piece of Hollywood fluff has given me a whole new sense of perspective just by making me remember how I used to think before I got so damn cynical. And I'm kind of excited at the back of my mind now, not specifically about turning 30, but about the future in general; I am going to get a good job, I'm going to move out, I'm going to go to parties - what's not to like?

So here's my uncharacteristically optimistic advice for the day: next time you're feeling down, try and remember how your-13-year-old self would have felt about the situation. It might not solve your problems, but you might end up feeling a bit better.

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