A month before I turned 28, a good friend told me her story of how she could barely breathe every single day that she was 29. Oh gosh, one more month and one more year until that’s me. I tried not to think about it and went to Asia instead. And since things didn’t go according to plan and I was back in Montreal for my 29th (NOT 30th!!) birthday celebration I had to come up with some sort of mantra to protect me from the horror that was my life. I was freaking out! 29 was coming, it’s nearly here! I thought to myself. So I figured, let’s beat 30 before 30 beats me. So my mantra is Not 30 for this year. Because I’m acknowledging 30 before it creeps up on me then I’m the winner, right? We’ll see. There’s still a lot of self-reflection and doubt going on. But in the sunnier hours I am brought to my happy place, where I remember all the fascinating people I got to meet and breathtaking things I got to see during my year before I turned Not 30. Here’s a few things from that year. If this list isn’t that enlightening I offer no apologies; I’m allowed to not be wise, I’m still not 30.
1. Hop a plane or take a long bus ride. And a bus ride under three hours doesn’t count.
2. Life’s too short not to stick around for another beer.
3. Don’t trust taxi drivers; do trust the Brits.
4. Forget the radio, listen to that dusty Van Morrison album.
5. Remember books? Yeah, read one. Or two. Or ten?
6. Don’t complain about long lines. People are probably worse off somewhere else. And it’s probably hotter and more humid where they are.
7. Look out the window while you’re driving and be thankful for the few trees we have left .
8. Walk to the store for that gallon of milk (or soy). There’s no harm in being retro.
9. Explore a new city. Or your own, for that matter.
10. If food is in front of you, eat it. It’s the dawn of the new era people, there’s no time to be picky.
11. Play your music loud.
12. Always say yes to a couch full of people and a stack of bad movies.
15. And if I have learnt anything in my last couple of months before I turn Not 30, it’s if a boy smiles at you, smile back. Ladies and gents, we’re not getting any younger. Life’s not gonna get any better by itself. So smile, dammit! And make sure you have a passport.