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30th birthday

So, in just over a week, I will turn 30-years-old.

I swear, I literally blinked and it happened.

One day I was 21 in a pair of knock-off Uggs and an over-reliance on Velour tracksuit bottoms, and the next I was 29 and lamenting my lost youth.

And while turning 30 is nothing to fear (or so I’ve heard), the milestone undoubtedly gives pause, and acts as a fairly handy platform to reflect on your twenties.

And this is what I realise I have learned…

1. The size on an item of clothing means nothing.

At this stage we know they are totally inconsistent, so why EVER get hung up on them?

2. You will ALWAYS feel better after you exercise.

No matter how tired or how miserable, 30 minutes of exercise will genuinely lift your spirits and energy levels.

3. Hangovers will catch up on you.

Enjoy your level 1 hangovers for as long as you can because there will come a day in your late twenties when a hangover means eight hours heaving into a wastepaper bin before a two-hour phonecall to The Samaritans.

4. There’s a lot to be said for comfortable shoes.

'Car to Bar' shoes aren’t for the fainthearted… or the flat-footed.

5. And even more to be said for a good bra.

The support! The comfort! The silhouette!

6. And then there’s the sheer joy of a hooded coat.

For a country as wet as ours, owning a hooded coat is still a novelty.

7. The way you’re treated by someone says more about them than it does about you.

Never forget that.

8. And what you say about someone says more about you than it does about them.

Be kind.

9. It’s never too early to save money.

Even if it’s just €5 a week, you’ll be thankful of the €260 at the end of the year.

10. The ‘you can sleep when you’re dead’ mantra is BS.

Sleep now; you’re bloody wrecked.

11. Your friendships will change, and accepting that sooner rather than later saves a lot of heartache.

Change isn’t always bad, but it is sometimes unavoidable.

12. You’re much more resilient than you ever give yourself credit for.

You will face challenges that you think you’ll never overcome, and guess what? You do.

13. Social media is a total swizz.

The day I see someone cutting their toenails into an empty Coke can on a Saturday night is when I’ll start believing it.

14. Keeping a diary is worth the effort.

Yes, it can be cringey, but for every toe-curling moment, there are ten laugh-out-loud memories.

15. Comparing yourself to other people is time wasted.

Be inspired; don’t be downcast.

16. The heartbreak you thought would cripple you will, in time, become a distant memory.

And guess what? You can also make that experience work to your advantage in the future.

17. Make time for your family.

You don’t know how long they’ll be around, and showing up means more to them than you’ll realise.

18. Spend money on experiences, not material things.

There are only so many photos of your designer bag you can show the grandkids.

19. Say yes, and figure it out later.

Hey, if it worked for Richard Branson…

20. Butterflies don’t last, but what follows is much more exciting.
Don’t ever lament the disappearance of butterflies if a feeling of contentment has replaced them.

21. Wearing your earphones does not entitle you to break wind in public.

You can't hear it, but everyone else can. And you know that.

22. It wasn’t a mistake, it was a lesson.

It might not feel like it at the time, but there will come a point when it dawns on you.

23. Water is your best friend.

And not just a hangover remedy.

24. Strong women will ALWAYS build you up.

Surround yourself with them.

25. Love is when home becomes a person.

Simple as.

26. You don’t need pully-in underwear, you need a dress you feel comfortable in.

Time to go shopping.

27. Make yourself known to your college tutors and lecturers.

A person is much more likely to help someone when they can put a face to their name, right?

28. Don't indulge in office gossip.

Yes, it can pass the time, but it's a seriously toxic way to go about it.

29. There is no ‘right’ way to navigate your twenties.

We’re all just finding our way.


In New York, all kinds of everything pass as everyday occurrences.

Men wear cats on their heads, and a naked cowboy plays the guitar on Times Square. That and it’s a place where fashion choices can be unquestionably described as ‘daring’.

So when one local woman on the verge of a milestone birthday wanted to come up with an inventive way to mark the occasion – she reckoned wandering around Manhattan in nothing but a too-small bikini (“is it supposed to ride up constantly?”) would do the trick.

And it did.

Donning bedazzled H&M swimwear, the newly-turned 30-year-old took to the streets… and proceeded to shake-off her insecurities.

“For my 30th birthday I’m giving myself the gift of giving no f***s and going out in NYC in a bikini,” Loryn Brantz said in an article posted to Buzzfeed.

The writer said she’s struggled at times with her weight and with bulimia – so she also saw the experiment as a small personal victory.

Before venturing out, she opted to write ‘30’ on her stomach. Although, as she explained: “It turns out writing on your belly can be very disorienting and I wrote it wrong. In the spirit of ‘giving no f***s,’ I decided to leave it as is.”

Loryn also admitted: “I was extremely nervous on the trip out of my building but once we got moving I started to feel pretty awesome until I received some mean looks.

“I was instantly transported to the feeling of being insecure in high school dance uniforms, which really caught me off guard since I hadn’t felt that way in a long time. I tried to do like Taylor and ‘shake it off.’”

On a trip to the farmers market, she light-heartedly compared herself to fresh produce: “So maybe the peaches had rounder butts than me, but what they had in butts they lacked in conversation skills.”

Ms Brantz said after a while she “felt like a warrior princess”. She added: “If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would someday sit publicly in a bikini, I would have fainted.

“It was strange and also a little sad that something so simple as sitting in a bikini felt empowering.”

And as her experiment draws to a close, she is reflective – and optimistic. “Here’s to walking around topless for my 40th!” she joked.

Afterwards, most commentators were encouraging: “This was beautiful to read. Congratulations :)” said one reader via Twitter.

Another said on the Buzzfeed page: Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! Looking at a beautiful woman like you I'd never have guessed that you ever struggled with your weight.”

A third stated simply: “You go, Loryn!! I think you kicked ass.”