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Turning 30

On Monday 22nd February I turned 30. Three decades. The beginning of a new era, or stage in my life.  Somehow, my twenties only felt like just after my teenage years, so still young. Thirty sounds like a 'proper' adult. Although, I only feel about eighteen at heart, maybe I need to realise I am an adult now!

Sometimes, I think big birthdays have an impact on people. Like a sudden realisation that they are getting older. Although, to be honest, we all are getting older everyday from the day we are born!

How does it feel?

For me, I think it is mixed emotions. I really don't like the idea of getting older. Part of me feels like I am still holding on to being a teenager from when I was well. It is almost as if I would like to be able to go back in time, to being a teenager and continue my life from when I was well. Unfortunately, though this is not possible. I think I feel this way because of all the experiences I feel I have missed along the road. Nevertheless, the time I am thinking about being a teenager, I am missing out on the present, and the years I will have missed will be increasing. 

Living in the moment

I need to move on and somehow live 100% now. I can't change the past, but I can change the future. Although I have been living until now, prospering and achieving, I need to stop looking back. I need to be content in the moment and looking forward.

I also feel hesitant in turning thirty as I feel I am getting older and my life is passing me by. There are so many things I have not achieved: gaining independence, getting a boyfriend, getting married, having children, owning my own home, getting a job and becoming self-sufficient. Every year that goes by and I am a year older, it feels like some of these things are becoming less attainable, or the chances of them happening are decreasing. 

Not all of them, though. I have to acknowledge I have made great progress and although I have an awful long way to go to gain independence, I do have a lot more mobility than I did. 

Similarly, I have just finished my work experience at Belron, which is a step in the right direction to getting a job.

Turning 30 is milestone, a point in your life. A point where you may reevaluate your life.

10 years without Ben

It also marks 10 years without my dear brother, Ben. 1/3 of my life. I was 20 when Ben died and my 20th Birthday was my last birthday he was with us. Although every birthday is hard, well everyday is hard, but big birthdays are even harder. Knowing that my dear brother didn't get to his 30th birthday makes me appreciate more that I have reached that milestone, and how lucky I am to get older, to live.

Remembering, childhood events is something that I don't want to forgot or 'move on from'. Those memories are precious and ones that I will hold with me.

Lockdown birthday

By now everyone has had at least one birthday in lockdown. Well maybe not lockdown, but at least with certain restrictions, meeting with a limited number of people and 2 metre distancing restrictions. Everyone has missed out a bit. 

I think it has been especially hard for those who have had special birthdays. I suppose on big birthdays, people normally have bigger celebrations or parties. I know when it was first lockdown last year, I remember thinking, I was glad it wasn't my 30th in 2020. Not realising how bad or how long the pandemic would be and continue for. I hear 31 is the new 30! I don't know whether I would have had a party. I had contemplated it. 

I think I kind of missed out on the big 18th, 21st and now 30th. At my 18th I was on home leave from hospital and bedbound, I did have a lovely surprise party at home arranged by my friends. Which my brother kindly provided me with a bottle of pink champagne! 

When I turned 21, I was on home leave from the neuro centre, although I kind of then never went back! I managed to have a special meal out with my family and a friend or two. Then at 30 I am well enough to have a celebration, but there is a pandemic so I can't see or go out with anyone. Oow well we will aim for 40!

Hannah sitting in her manual wheelchair. She is wearing a multi coloured striped jumper and a mustard scarf. She has a large rose gold three and a zero balloon behind her. She is smiling at the camera.
Hannah's 30th Birthday 

Luckily, I live with my parents, two extremely important people in my life. I had a lovely zoom with my family the day before and a zoom with friends on my birthday, followed by a takeaway with my parents. 

A homemade patchwork quilt with a wooden box with butterflies in the shape of a heart and the words #BenHannah3530 on it. There are several 30th birthday cards and a photo mug next to the box.
Hannah's 30th Birthday gifts

#BenHannah3530 challenge

I am so glad I undertook my #BenHannah3530 challenge to celebrate my 30th birthday. I am progressing well with it and on the home stretch. I have currently completed 27 lengths of the garden. It feels like it was the right decision to celebrate this milestone, mark it in a positive way and include my brother in it. I also feel like I have made a positive difference and impact by raising money for charities.

Hannah x

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