Adulting (-ish) at 33

Have you been doing much reflecting lately, now that’s your birthday? Donna asked.

No, not this year. I said and I smiled. I have done my reflecting earlier this year, when I was about to make huge life-changing decisions .

Though I have a vague plan and it just feels right, I’m still terrified, anxious and sometimes stay up at night, wondering whether I should do sometime more ‘sensible’. But let’s not talk about that right now. (*takes deep breath).

So hm hm (*clears throat) my thoughts on turning 33: I don’t feel any older than a year ago. I actually feel younger and I don’t feel I’m a ‘proper’ adult, or at least what the most imagine being an adult means.

Not that I care. I can’t wait to get out of the office and try and make living doing things I enjoy, with people I love. Because, really, that’s what life is about and honestly, every day passes by is one day less until I’m dead.

As my favourite Fleabag once said:

What did Jesus do by the time he was 33?

He died. That’s all he did.

So my Jesus year as I call it will be an adventure to say the least! Even if I die at the end of it, I’ll die happy.

I’m still non the wiser and most of the time I pretend I know how to navigate through life…

but for now, I’m spending most of my time having fun (and panicking) with my friends in Southampton I will dearly miss when I leave…

and indulging in delicious food.

If there’s anything I learnt from 33 years on this planet is that life is too short to spend in an office or worry about what others think or succumb to social pressures to be something you don’t wan’t to be or with someone you don’t want to be with. You don’t have to be an ‘adult’ the way society dictates, you can adult your own, special way.

Just be you, love and laugh, laugh until it hurts.



Falling in love with London again- Birthday brunch at Borough market, shopping and giggles

Monday, 21st of May

I just woke up. I checked my phone, sweet, wonderful messages from friends, family, even people I didn’t expect to hear from. I’ll check them out later. I need to get up. 

One of the first ones I read makes me giggle. I’m so lucky to have such awesome friends. Remember that next time you doubt yourself.

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Birthdays, the one day most people remember you. I always found the idea of birthdays a bit… surreal. Why do we celebrate getting older once a year? And why do we care if people remember our birthdays? Why do I care?

Artemis got me a gift. It’s been wrapped up, on the hotel’s tiny, shiny dressing table since Friday, waiting for today to open it.

She is one of my best friends and she knows me very well. So, of course I loved it. A handmade notebook. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. I can’t wait to start using it.

(Thank you Andrea Illustration for my simply stunning wonderful gift)

My new notebook

After our last breakfast (we are leaving early for the airport tomorrow, no time for food) at the hotel we get ready and off we go. It’s sunny and warm. Perfect day to wear my favourite floral cardigan and rose earrings. 

We are heading to my favourite food market in London, Borough market. Freshly made smoothies, gourmet chocolates, delicious doughnuts, heavenly smelling street food, specialty tea, flowers, cheese, a lot of cheese, just some of the goodies you can find there.

My idea of heaven.

I remember the first time I’ve been to Borough Market. A sunny summer day in 2015. Costas loved doughnuts and I scoured the web to find the best ones in London, since we were about to visit. I found an article on ‘The 10 best doughnuts to try in London’ and one of them was the salted caramel and honeycomb doughnut by Bread Ahead Bakery. They had a stall at Borough market, one of the best food markets in London. Decided then. That will be our first stop. I tell Costas. He is not too bothered about it. Why am I even trying?

I went there just for the doughnuts but I left with much more. I was in awe. I loved everything about it. The rest of that day was not as exciting, we had a heated argument which almost ruined the awesome plan I made for the day but I was so proud and happy I discovered this market (and the Hunterian museum, and Brick Lane market, thoroughly recommend!), it didn’t matter much if I was right (I was) or wrong or how his behaviour made me feel. If it were for him we wouldn’t have seen any of this. I wish I realised then how unhappy I was and ended it much sooner. But better late than never right? I wonder how many people are in unhappy relationships but don’t realise…

I’ve been to Borough market a couple of times since, and I loved every single one of them.

After devouring-ish (we couldn’t finish them!) our delicious tomato, pesto and mozzarella sandwiches and grabbing a salted caramel and honeycomb doughnut and cinnamon bun for later,  we wandered in Oxford Street going in and out of shops. We must have spent an hour or so laughing whilst trying sunglasses in TK Maxx. We left with a couple of pairs each, just because we look supercool in them.

We used to love shopping in our early 20s. Now we do as little as possible. How people change when they grow up and stop caring too much about clothes and other materialistic needs  that don’t matter anymore.

Whilst Artemis was in Primark shopping for her little one, I opted for a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit cake and caught up with my birthday messages.

I accidentally opened a work-related email. I don’t check my emails when I’m off work, how did this happen?

And I find out, Dave, our boss is leaving. Very soon. He is going to the Asian University of Women, in Bangladesh, very soon. How soon is very soon? 

I couldn’t believe it. I message Donna, she confirms. Almost instantly I feel sad. Happy for him, this is once in a lifetime opportunity at an inspirational University, they are so lucky to have him, but so so sad he is leaving.

You don’t come across people like him often. I’ll write about it when I get the chance. He deserves a whole post.

When we were done with shopping it was time for Artemis to finally try Wagamama for the first time. One of the few chains I like. I tried their udon noodles, because one of the greatest pleasures in life is tasting food you’ve never tasted before. That very first bite, when you don’t know what to expect…and then… the explosion of flavours in your mouth, followed by the almost reflective ‘mmmm’, the universal sign of delicious food…


We spent our last evening packing, chatting, planning our next adventure, a perfect end to my 32nd birthday, I day I’ll always remember.

Tuesday, 22nd of May

We got up very early. We are so sleepy we can barely see. We somehow make it to the airport, after a packed tube and train ride.

I love London and the last three days have been amazing. It always makes me want to move here. But that packed tube and train ride persuades me otherwise. I couldn’t possibly do this every day… or maybe I can, I guess it’s all about getting used to it. We humans are incredible adjusting, adapting…I can get used to it. But what if I don’t? I thought I’d get used to having a flatmate but I still hate it… maybe some things you can’t get used to… or maybe it takes more time. Why am I thinking of this now? I’m not even moving to London!!!

I walk Artemis to the security check gates, give her a big hug  and wave her goodbye.

I’m on my own again. I feel a bit lost. I had a cry. I’m so grateful, blessed to have spent the last three days with one of my favourite humans.

I still don’t know how I feel about turning 32. One moment I’m happy I’m alive, healthy and I’m not stuck in a miserable relationship, I have awesome friends and family who love me, I get to do whatever I want to and I have a job it pays well enough so I can live on my own again, next minute I feel bad I haven’t figured out what I want to do for a living yet, sad that I may never have my own family, since I’m now in my early thirties, but I won’t compromise just for the sake of it, I deserve better, worried that I won’t get to travel as much as I want to, I’ll never have enough money to follow my dreams and the list goes on…

One day at a time dear…

After a quick coffee, I head back to Southampton.

I finally finished reading Love In The Time Of Cholera. I cried again. I’m not sure what to think of Florentino Ariza and his lifetime love for Fermina. It’s sad, it’s so sad, how can someone love another human for 40 years and still chase her in his 70s even though she rejected him so many times? Was it a happy ending? Was it sad? Bittersweet I guess. Like life. A happy melancholy…hah



How am I 31 years old already!

Thank you everyone for all your lovely messages and gifts and a special thank you to Sofy and Suki for our lovely lunch today and to my lovely Helena for my birthday treats, you are the best!

My first year in my 30s was challenging to say the least. I struggled mentally, financially, personally… I’ve made MANY bad decisions, I lost friends, I wasted time and money on meaningless things but it wasn’t all bad.

I’ve been home three times, which was one of the things on my bucket list, to visit home as often as possible, spend time with my friends and my family, especially my two sisters who I love to bits. I had the most amazing three weeks in July, visiting friends, sunbathing, swimming, and of course I became I godmother to my little prince, who I can’t wait to see every time I go home. And I also got to spend Christmas at home after many many years. My latest visit in April was just what I needed to help me get through rough times. Some people asked me whether I’d go somewhere else other than home that often but for me is necessary. Just think, how often do you get to see your family? I can only see them a couple of times a year and I wouldn’t change that for any holiday.

Although I’ve been through rough times, struggling with anxiety and melancholy, I made new friends, I had the most laugh one can have at work with lovely colleagues almost every day, I spent endless afternoons sitting at the park with Sheba chatting about life, went to the theatre, watched my first opera, spent hours wandering in London with friends, watched a Midsummer Night’s dream at the Globe theatre at midnight, the most amazing three days in Berlin, Helena’s hen do, the Winchester Jazz festival, Common People with the loveliest bunch, singing with my SingNow friends (I’ll never forget that day we got soaking wet at Holyrood church but we sang until the end!IMG-20161001-WA0005) Go Ape where I faced one of my worst fears with a little help from friends, One Sound 2017, and most of all I loved being spontaneous with Sheba such as our hilarious lunch at the park or our lunchtime venture to Boots trying on perfumes until we found the perfect ones we were looking for or happily crazily dancing with all of our energy until exhaustion and other I can’t share here!

So all in all it hasn’t been a bad year but I learned from my mistakes and I’m doing much better now. I moved to a new place for a fresh start (thank you Chris for all your help, although it turned into a drama/comedy!), I sold my beloved car to a lovely couple as I didn’t use it that much and spent too much money unnecessarily, got rid of my credit card and now repaying my debt so I can in just over a year’s time decide whether I want to get another job or move to another city or another country or go travelling or study… who knows…

And there is a LOT to look forward to for my 31st year already. My best friend is coming back very soon for more adventures, going home in a couple of weeks to have fun in the sun with family and friends, climbing Snowdonia with some of my favourite work people, which will be a challenge- if you want to help for our amazing cause you can find all the details here– , spending a week in Italy (which I can’t believe, I can’t wait!) are some of the things I’ve planned for the next couple of months which for me is a MASSIVE step forward as planning scares the hell out of me.

Thank you all again for my birthday wishes. And thank you to all my friends and family, I love you to the moon and back.

Eleni xx

Thank you :)

Thank you all for my birthday wishes, cards, messages, gifts.

I am all about people and love and I definitely felt the love, even from people I didn’t expect! My little heart melted, especially with some of the messages I received.

I had an amazing time celebrating my birthday since early May until my AWESOME birthday weekend (thank you Shebz and Helena for making it so special for me!). I will definitely not forget my 30th birthday celebrations! It was a nice goodbye to my 20s, and now a new era begins! Turning 30 gave me the perfect opportunity for a fresh start!

It’s up to me to make it a good one and I will, no matter what! I remembered recently something my psychology professors used to say: if someone hurt you/upset you/made you cry, it’s your fault! And they are right! Think about it for a minute! It’s totally up to you how you will react to a situation. You choose to be upset or sad or ignore it. I know it’s not easy, I’m the last person to suggest it’s easy, I’m an emotional person, but I guess the older you get the less you bother about situations you don’t enjoy or upset you, so I promise, it gets easier!

I look forward to my first year in my 30s, I have no idea what I will be doing in a year’s time! I might be in Vietnam or Mexico or London, I might be married with a kid. Life is full of surprises and I LOVE surprises, so who knows what it will bring! The only thing I know is that I will do my best not to waste anytime on anything that’s not worth it and just be happy!

The aim of this blog as the name suggests was to share what I’ve learned before I turn 30, but I will continue to share what I learn now that I’m in my 30s! I might need to change the title!!! I will not post as often as I’m keeping myself busy all the time, trying to enjoy life to the full, even if that means being tired 24/7. So I am not sure when I’ll post next/

Thank you all again for all your wonderful messages.

I’ll finish this post with a snippet of one of my favourite messages I received: surround yourself with people that make you smile and always remember to be yourself!

Love you all! xx