Wednesday 30th September 2020, the day I turn the big 3-0.

My plan was to hide and deny the fact I was turning 30 because, let’s face it guys, I act and dress like a child.  I thought let’s do the opposite and stare it in the face, because it’s gonna happen whether you like it or not.

I’ve dreaded this birthday for a while now, I won’t elaborate on this as I think you’ll know where I’m coming from and you’ll have or had your own 30s dread. It’s mainly because – in societies eyes I’m not where I’m supposed to be, but after some careful consideration I’ve worked out I’m in a far better place.

There’s nothing like a birthday (of any age) to make you pause and reflect, and do you know what I’ve realised?

  • There’s always someone who has done more than you by ‘that age’.
  • There’s always going to be someone who has travelled more by ‘that age’.
  • There’s always going to be someone earning more money than you at ‘that age’.
  • There’s always going to be someone married with kids by ‘that age’ leaving you wondering why you’re single.
  • And… there’s always someone who’s going to think you’re old and someone who thinks you’re young at ‘that age’… that’s the circle of life.

But stop for a moment. Stop comparing, stop anguishing and really think about all that you’ve achieved and all the love you’ve gifted to this world. It’s tricky, I know – it’s not in our nature to do so.

I find myself sitting alone, in my little flat, in my Superwoman onesie, after having put a facemask on and watching the greatest film of all time (Miss Congeniality – don’t even fight me on this), and I’m actually very humbled and content.

Now, there’s no way not to sound arrogant with what I’m about to say so I won’t embark on a list, instead I’ve written my own achievements down and kept them somewhere safe (I suggest you do the same), but what I will say is that at the age of 30 I’ve been fortunate enough to have made some of my dreams come true, for work to take me to places I didn’t know existed and to be surrounded by some of the best people that have graced this earth (yes, I’m biased, shh).

When you’re living with an illness like bipolar disorder it’s all too easy to keep hold of the struggles, making those the lasting memories, which in turn tricks you into believing the only thing you’ve achieved is the ability to accept a huge amount of shame.

But I’m telling you today, you have achieved more than you think, things which others are most likely looking at you wishing they had achieved.

For me, right now in this moment I quietly tell myself “you’ve made it to 30” because there have been times in the last 30 years where I didn’t think I would make it.

I sit here proud of what I’ve managed to achieve by the age of 30 but, with all those wonderful achievements I have been lucky to fulfil over the years, my greatest achievement has been making it to this day, to 30.

Remember, take it day-by-day, when that’s too difficult, hour-by-hour… and thank you for being here today too.

P.S… to any of my friends and family reading this, although I don’t know what’s ahead of me in life, or these next two weeks of celebrations, but I know for a fact you’re going to make them special so I want to get ahead of the game and thank you from the bottom of my heart… I’m beyond lucky to have you, your love and your support in my life.