28 things I learnt by dreaded 28th birthday

Written by Hannah Claire Vann


Only a handful of weeks ago it dawned on me that it was THAT time of year again- the time of year where, nearing the end of September/early October, my mind plunges me into a black hole as I face the reality that I am coming devastatingly closer to 30.


It’s like my brain has a timer set for this window where I do many things I cannot explain. For example, calling my best friend and coming close to tears saying things like “but I haven’t even achieved my dreams of becoming a rock star yet! And I’m 30 soon? Most rock stars are in rehab BY 30! What am I even doing?”


Then, of course, there’s the nights out where I will get completely pissed and find a corner to slump in and stare into the abyss of the night while everyone sings along to “I want it that way”, by the Backstreet boys. My focus shifts to “fuck.. I’m nearly 30... fuck... there’s so much I haven’t achieved and so many dreams I’ve had to let go of... fuck... fuck.. fuckety fuck..!"


In the past I have also proceeded to drink a bottle of wine and get so drunk that I forget all about my student debt, failed love life and broken diet promises that will “start on Monday because it’s the start of the week and makes sense”.


Before I know it, my birthday rolls around and I drunk call everyone I can think of with red wine teeth. This is roughly how my birthdays have gone in previous years. I've had some memorable ones, such as getting dumped via text on my 17th birthday only to get back with the idiot 6 months later. My 26th was also doozy and round about where my existential crisis began.


This year on October 5th, when I rushed to the train after work and met with my best friend for a couple of days in Bristol to celebrate my day of birth, it was very different. Number one being not calling Darcie a couple of days before slumped in the porch alone, crying about how I’m getting older and having a crisis. No, instead it was eye opening. A trip to the Yungblud gig drunk with the tall bouncer, with a wink, telling me it’s “Libra season” (#twinflameenergy) then heading to Lakota where I was surrounded by 18 year olds telling me I did in fact look 18... MUCH appreciated.


The birthday trip, as good as it was, did make me realise that my 20s were coming to a close, so why the fuck shouldn’t I enjoy the journey to 30? Why not? Because one day when I’m a wife (to Jonah Hill specifically) and a mum, and then my life will more than likely change drastically to the point where waking up to plate of cold Chinese on a comedown, sleeping in my make up and wearing the shortest dress known to man probably won’t be as acceptable.


So I thought, in honour of ending this part of my life and letting go of this year to welcome in a new age and chapter, I recently thought to myself, there’s no better way than listing everything I’ve learned in an effort to inform and bestow knowledge upon others.


So, this is a list of my tips, advice and lessons learned and even thoughts.. some controversial. I hope these points speak to you and stay with you as they have with me and may you find them enjoyable, yet informative.


Here goes, 28 things I’ve learnt:


1. I think the whole “separate your whites from your colours” when you do your laundry is just a myth. I haven’t separated them and everything seems fine


2. Post funny instagram stories even if it only makes you laugh until you’ve created abs and treat yourself like you’re the funniest comedian you know


3. Learn exciting new words daily to prove to your mates that your vocabulary stretches far beyond “wank stain” and “total fucking knob jockey”


4. It’s ok to be scared of your oily hot pan. It’s like a demon spitting hell fire at you while you’re just trying to make bacon and eggs


5. Don’t spend your student loan or wages on weed, domino’s and Primark...


6. You will work at least one shit job in your 20s. No matter what company and where and your role, you will work one job you can’t wait to quit


7. It’s alright to have one weekend every now and then where you spend an ungodly amount of hours getting sucked into the conspiracy side of You tube, scrolling through reddit, binging Netflix, watching porn, eating pizza, drinking to much wine, prank calling your exes and sending nudes to a tinder match (all in that very specific order)


8. Going to sleep at 10pm is actually a lot nicer than doing coke in a dingy bathroom of a dive bar with your tits hanging out of a crop top that way to small for you


9. Don’t fall for a guy because his record collection impresses you. Just because he owns the entire David Bowie discography doesn’t mean he won’t kiss your room mate


10. I do not give a single shit if having a pumpkin spiced latte is “for basic bitches”, I’m extra and I live for a psl so back your shit up


11. Sleeping after 3 days and nights of straight up partying is a pleasure one must experience in their lifetime.


12. Leaving that fuck boy on seen is empowering.. you should try it sometime!


13. Sex is terrific but spooning is my happy place


14. This one is for me to me from me: Hannah... you will not become the next Courtney Love in this life time. Stop getting drunk and asking people to start a band with you. Just because you “write poetry or whatever”, doesn’t mean you are the next Patti Smith either... I’m sorry.. it might be time to let the dream go a little. Also, just because you and Darcie pretended to headline Reading festival in her bedroom that one time and lip sync to My Chemical Romance doesn’t mean you’re made to be a front woman... it doesn’t mean shit... again, I love you and I’m sorry to hurt you so publicly like this but this was an intervention that needed to happen because no one else will do it. And stop trying to join bands by saying “I can play bass”, Hannah... you can’t. You know one song and it’s the easiest song in the world. Rebel girl really isn’t difficult to play other than that, you have no idea what you’re doing on the bass. You really have the potential if you made the time to learn more but instead you binge true crime documentaries... it’s starting to get embarrassing. Stop.


15. Threesomes are a terribly awkward idea... don’t buy into the porn dream


16. Crying to the film Marley and me does not make you a pussy. It just means you’re not a socio path and thank fuck for that


17. Instagram has a new feature where you can unsend messages so take full advantage! Like I did when I sent a dm to my celeb crush 5 times over the span of a year but now... where’s the proof bitch?


18. Urban Outfitters is way too expensive and overrated.... buy from vinted instead


19. If your Tinder match wears a bandanna on the first date and looks like a 4chan cult leader... it might be time to look somewhere else


20. 50 shades of grey was not worth the money in the cinema but it was worth it to hear a group of older ladies behind me saying “oh... oh my...well that’s new” when it got steamy on the screen


21. Not to get cringe and become Lucas Scott for a second (I wish I had his magnetising raw sexual energy tbh) but your art really does matter. Wether you studied in Uni or do it on the side.. it matters. Poetry, scriptwriting, singing, painting, dancing, designing whatever! It matters. I know it’s easy to wake up and think your work sucks and no one gives a shit but people do give a shit. I give a shit and you should too! So stop hurting yourself by saying it doesn’t matter because it does. You don’t need to become the next famous creative to have your work matter by other people.... just start putting it out there little by little. I believe in you but you need to believe in yourself and you can create. So do it.


22. If he tells you he’s been on come dine with me, he’s lying (more specifically if his name is James and he’s from Ascot)


23. Re watch the entire One Tree Hill show in your lifetime... it’s wild! And I was gripped


24. You will never know true friendship until you live with your best friend and they see period blood running down your leg mid conversation


25. No matter how much you try to remember, 9 times out of 10 you won’t wipe your make up off before passing out in your bed clutching your McDonalds after a night out


26. You cannot change a bad boy, trust me... I’ve tried


27. If the staff at Subway know your order before you even speak then I think we both know it’s time to change... by going to Greggs instead


28. The most important one and I feel very qualified in giving this piece of advice out: if you ask the question “where is this going?” after months of intimacy, romantic calls and texts, date nights and a load of cuddling and they respond with “oh I don’t like labels, I’m not a relationship person and right now we are hanging out”, run. Get the fuck out of there. Put on your sketchers, do your Olympic stretching warm ups, get into Cheetah position and run. You are worthy of an actual relationship with someone who adores you and truly is in love with you and if someone is wavering then I’m sorry, you will never have all of them. Because guess what, you are not a back up plan, bitch you are the plan!


Thank you for coming to my Ted talk xoxo (Gossip Girl... Jk.. Hannah)