As I near the big two five, I’m beginning to have a mental meltdown. But twenty five, I hear you cry, is still “spring chicken territory” – well, I’m afraid you’ve been misinformed.
Lets forget the naive notions I had at the age of 17 that by my 25th I would be well over all and any shenanigans, sexual experimentation, casual social drug use and loud music in my chosen genre, that I would be settling in for the night in a suburban nirvana, with my one year old child and a third of the way into my first marriage with an oppressively inappropriate man. Instead, at the age of twenty four, staring down the barrel of twenty five, let us evaluate where I am, since I’m currently NOT tucking my toddler into my marital bed whilst my bastard husband sleeps in the spare room…
…Well, where I was, up until three weeks ago was continuing with what has turned out to be a three year office based career in financial services, a far cry from the Hollywood hills flamboyant existence that I should by now be ruefully giving up to settle into my three bed semi in Mumsville…
Instead, literally months from my 25th, I have had a shock realisation that I am not where I thought I would be and this epiphany has resulted in me jacking in my 9 to 5 career to move back in with my mother (after nearly 10 years absence) and to be artfully unemployed whilst I voluntarily help promote a friend’s up and coming band into mega stardom. This, in theory, will provide me with the precious MTV lifestyle that by my earlier predictions I should already be reminiscing about at a coffee morning with other mothers. But you’re never too old. If, at fifty, old men can buy fast cars and faster women to make themselves look younger, why can’t I start living the twentysomething life I imagined I’d have when I was seventeen?
Just look at all those wonderful adverts aimed at people just like me, advertising courses for those who didn’t pay attention at school, another chance to have an improved quality of life and potential salary raises. These adverts work.. I have already tried an Open University course (but in my true fashion didn’t bother finishing it because I went to California for two weeks of debauchery instead). So instead of enrolling in another 12 week Introduction to Social Sciences, I have decided that at twenty four, it’s still not too late. There’s another five – count ‘em – five years of youth left to go, it would be ten if I was a bloke but let’s not get into the whole sexist or “old mothers” argument
Nonetheless, I am having a hard time dealing with my recent impulsive decisions. In fact this has to be one of the worst decisions ever made (my years of sensible mortgage considering wisdom dictate this to be true). Yet here I am having my twenty something crisis, giving up all that is sensible; a boring career and total independence from my parents (except when my car tax is due) to go back and live the dream that I invented eight years ago, daydreaming in a coffee shop with a rolled up cherry flavoured cigarette hanging out of my mouth and nursing a cold three hour old drawn out vanilla latte instead of attending my Psychology lectures at college in a bid to sabotage any attempts by my father at successfully getting me to enrol in a university.
Surely I am not the only quarterager out there who decided at the time that university was a crock and that now nearly ten years later having still not thought of anything else to do has amounted in getting into IVA qualifying amounts of debt by working dead end administration jobs and rinsing the money at the pub and on various colours of UGG boots at the weekend….every weekend. I certainly didn’t expect this for myself. I assumed that something amazing would turn up…and it now has, eight years too late but nevertheless it’s being handed to me on a plate. But herein lays the crisis:
In order for me to catch up on “The Dream” I have to literally go back to being seventeen (except now with huge financial burdens) and start all over again, hopefully losing some of the arrogance that got me into this mess in the first place and using some of the wisdom gained to make this dream a reality this time round. The pressure is immense, for I am no longer a spring chicken…or at least I certainly won’t be once this second attempt at “real life” peters out in another few years.
To summarise: I am in a position nowhere near where I thought I would be. In fact, I found myself exactly where I feared I would be and I have now taken brave steps to try and rectify the mammoth error that is currently my life. But have I really got the energy to start all over again? Is the grass going to be greener on the other side? Is living with my mother going to be all my nightmares realised? I guess there’s only one way to find out!