I am writing this as the last light of my twenties begins to fade away. On Friday morning, just after 7am, I will officially become a thirty-year-old man.

I’ve never really been one to worry about getting older or the ageing process in general, it’s never bothered me at all. However, last week my auntie gave me my birthday card early as I won’t see her on my birthday. I opened the envelope and slid out the card. On the front, in giant gold letters, was the number 30. I completely freaked out.

The weight of the card seemed to increase as I held it in my trembling hands. The chatter around me faded. I almost fell off my chair. ‘Jesus Christ,’ I thought, ‘am gonnae be thirty.’ The magnitude of the situation had finally hit me. I’ve been trying to calm myself down and say things to myself like, ‘it’s no that big a deal,’ and, ‘It’s no that auld’. Both of these things, I know, are true.

But that hasn’t stopped me wondering how it’ll feel when I wake up on Friday morning. Will the world look different? Tinged with grey perhaps as I enter my mid-life crisis ahead of schedule? Will I roll out of bed with creaking, aching bones? Will my hair instantly turn white? Will bright-eyed young people scuttle out of my way when I walk down the street shouting to their pals to, ‘Get out of that auld guy’s way!’

Maybe this will be the birthday that finally makes me feel like an adult instead of an overgrown wee guy. Maybe I’ll awake with an urge to put on a pair of nice comfy slippers and read the Financial Times over a bowl of muesli or something equally dry and dull, becoming a vision of maturity and class.

Social media has led me, and others, to believe that thirty is old for some reason and I suppose it does seem that if you’re young, it can feel like a lifetime away even in your early twenties. ‘She looks so good considering her age!’ I saw someone say once in regard to a thirty year-old actress. Speaking about her as if she was a decaying corpse. It’s madness. Thirty is no age at all. You’re still a wean at thirty, really.

As the big day draws closer for me, I have come to terms with it. It’s not that old. My granny waved away my concerns as I went to see her on her birthday recently. ‘How’d ye hink I feel turning seventy?’ she said. Thirty, I believe, is when my life will truly begin.

I imagine my thirties will really just be like my twenties, except for a few small differences. For example, I know myself a lot better now compared to when I turned twenty. I was crippled by self-loathing and anxiety back then, a nervous wreck of a wee guy. I’ve learned to live with these aspects of my personality now, pushing down those feelings that try to pipe up when I’m stressed or feeling down and attempt to make me feel bad about myself. I am more at home in my own skin. Unafraid of what people think or indeed say about me.

I’ve been in a bit of a slump over the last year or so, much like a lot of people I suppose. Feeling stagnant in my career, feeling uninspired with my writing, feeling like I could and should have achieved more. I feel like maybe turning thirty will be the thing that shakes me out of this. Like entering a new era, a new phase of my life where I’m free to reinvent myself and start over again.

I’m prone to looking deep into things like milestone birthdays and ascribing to them deep significance and almost spiritual qualities. It’s only when I say these things out loud that I realise how daft and airy fairy they sound. Occasions like turning thirty, just like any birthday, are to be celebrated rather than to get all introspective about. It’s not that big of a deal, I’ve realised. People will say happy birthday to me and that’ll be that, the world keeps turning, everyone keeps getting older and that’s it. The flow of time is nothing to be scared of.

On Friday I’ll have a few cans, look back on my life so far and resolve to just have more of a laugh over the next thirty years and not be so hard on myself. I hope I’ll keep this attitude up, that the age you are is just how many times you’ve travelled round the sun and doesn’t really mean anything. Ask me how I’m feeling when I turn forty though and I imagine I won’t be quite so carefree about it.