Today I am 30. Thirty. THREE. ZERO.

Far from filling me with despair, the prospect of entering a new decade has me brimming with excitement. My 20s contained some of the best {babies, marriage, university} and worst {cancer, death, depression} days of my life.

If you had taken me to one side way back in 2003, I couldn’t possibly have predicted how the next ten years were going to play out. Uncertainty can be terrifying, but it’s also kind of exhilarating. I don’t know what life has in store for me, but I can’t wait to find out. So I say ‘bring it’. Come on 30, show me what you’ve got.

Before we proceed though, here’s a brief overview of some of the wisdom I’ve acquired in the course of the last 10 years. Some of it’s pretty profound, but most of it really isn’t. Enjoy…

1. They lied. Algebra is not an essential life skill.

2. It’s possible that the guy you had a crush on aged 19 is the person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with.

3. Good manners will take you far.

4. The things that bring the most joy cannot be bought.

5. But a pretty dress is good for the soul.

6. I am stronger and more resilient than I think I am.

7. Sweet potato is delicious, especially when roasted.

8. Moving house is definitely one of the most stressful things you can do.

9. Slowly turning into your mother isn’t so bad.

10. If you’re prepared to work hard, you can achieve anything.

11. Grief is not something you get over or move on from, it is something you carry with you forever.

12. Blondes might have more fun, but I look better as a brunette.

13. Friends and family really are the most precious things in the world.

14. The least popular kids at school generally turn out to be the most interesting adults.

15. Thailand is my favourite place in the world.

16. It is impossible to get bored of watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

17. It’s OK to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.

18. You may never again be as fearless as you are in your early 20s. Embrace it.

19. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you you’re beautiful, the person you need to hear it from most is yourself. We could all be better at telling ourselves how fabulous we are.

20. Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. I stole that one from John Lennon, but it’s true.

Love Audrey xxx

Photography copyright (2013) Eliza Claire

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