19/03/2015 08:46 GMT | Updated 18/05/2015 06:59 BST

Thinking About Thirty

A lady once told me she was just "a little girl growing up". To hear an adult say this both baffled and scared me at 17. I thought the grown ups had it all figured out.

Bye bye 20's

As I turn thirty, to the world I am a qualified adult. The final curtain is closing on my 20's, a decade where I was fully for the first time immersed into the big bad world. Thirty may be just a number but it's a good time to take stock and reflect upon the last decade. It is a milestone but I prefer to think of it as a clean slate.

My 20's have been, like most others, full of ups and downs. As Dickens so poetically wrote "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". In my 20's I first experienced grief, loss and love. I experienced joy, happiness, panic, fear. I travelled, lived abroad, had surgery, pierced my ears (such a late starter), had my first real relationship, became a model and promptly and rather tangently an economist, then a journalist. I dropped out of college and yet returned and graduated three times. I've had many (many) jobs. I learned to love, let go and live!

Lessons Learned

Overall it's been good decade. Finding your own way truly for the first time is scary but I soon got the hang of it.

Building relationships and letting others go is something I learned along the way; this is a hard lesson. I've lost friends over fights that a decade later I can't even remember. Life's too short. Make-up! Have fun! Enjoy people! We all hurt others, and we all ask for forgiveness at some stage. Swallow your pride. Say sorry! I've made some great new friends and grown up with old (through some noughties fashion faux pas it must be said). My 20's has taught me all of this; To forgive, to love and to take that leap of faith.

A New Perspective

So what has changed the most in me? I've come to realize and accept that normal is in fact good, the drama I once so desperately craved...not so much!

The biggest over-riding change in me in the last ten years, the difference between 20 year old Dee and 30 year old Dee is my perspective. To these thirty year old eyes life is grey now, not black and white any longer. Things are not simply good or bad. I must admit I miss the black and white of it all sometimes, the bliss that comes with innocence is not something you can rebirth. Part of me feels like I'm still 19 and another part of me mourns the fact that I'll never feel that innocence again. But I've leaned to appreciate the hazy grey insight age gives and not to morn the white innocence that has been forever lost; it was merely ignorance after all.

Looking to the future

So on reflection have I hit all my 20's 'targets'? Absolutely not! For one I didn't have targets. I'm a 'wing-it' kind of girl but I did pretty alright in my first full decade as an adult. I learned, I loved, I forgave, I discovered, I lived. I know more of who I am and what makes me tick. I'm healthy. The world is an exciting place; not as scary as I once thought when I turned 20. I feel stronger and empowered. Getting older I really do feel wiser, clique as it may sound.

So I'm happy. 30 is the new 20 but even better after all, right? The fact that I still get asked in the cinema if I'm a student helps me in this denial (mental note: keep up the investment in that moisturizer). So here's to another decade of learning, loving and living. Remember us women are all just little girls growing up, so be kind.