I’d like you all to think back to when you were a little person, sitting crosslegged on the carpet of your classroom at school. Do this properly: the smell of Crayola in the air, the itch of the carpet on the side of your legs, the enormous jumper you mum bought you that you would “grow in too” etc. Your teacher asks the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
There were two ways you could respond to this question. Either a) throwing your hand up in the air with great enthusiasm to tell everybody about your dream career as a vet/astronaut/police officer etc or b) keeping your head down and your hand firmly by your side with absolutely no idea. I definitely fell in to the latter category. I did at one point entertain the idea of becoming the sixth Spice Girl or one of Charlies Angels but I’ve never really had a realistic ambition to aspire towards. Really, my ambition is to have a nice quiet life with a continual stream of tea and biscuits.
I have now hit a snag. At 21 years old and only a matter of months from graduating I still have my eyes to the ground and my hand firmly in my school cardigan pocket without the foggiest what I want to do with my life. I’m going through what I like to call “an existential quarter life crisis”. According to Wikipedia, a quarter life crisis is “a period of life following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Every time I turn on my TV there’s a new story about out of work graduates getting rejected by McDonalds or some such horror. What I’ve realised is this: I am only 21 years old. I’m probably (hopefully) only a quarter of the way through lifes journey. What I chose to do now does not dictate what I will be doing by the time I retire. What I find comfort in is the fact I am certainly not alone. Speaking to friends and peers I’ve discovered that quite a lot of the “just-about-to-enter-the-real-world” demographic are scared shitless by the idea. Perversely what I’m most afraid of is going to a school reunion in 20 years time and meeting an old acquaintance who’s done fantastically well, being asked what I’m up too these days and being laughed at when I answer. Take solace: If this happens, that person is clearly a wanker. Chins up friends. We’ll be alright.
GOOD DEED OF THE DAY: To the kind man who lent me a tissue when my foundation exploded all over my belongings – thank you