Last week the delightful Fauxred turned 25 and she posted on her Tumblr something about wishing she’d achieved more by that age. This struck me as slightly odd as, well, I’ve never thought that. I don’t remember ever thinking “I wish I’d done more”, mostly because I have never had a life plan, I guess. Not knowing what you want to do with yourself has one advantage of handily avoiding disappointment as you have no goals in the first place. Aged 25 I was pondering why, with it being the year 2000, I wasn’t yet the proud owner of a flying car and was also getting ready for a move to a new city. One month in, I was living in a friend’s spare room and had found a job. By May I had moved in with Topper. It was a year of change, and a hell of a lot of fun!
Part of many people’s problem is seeing pop stars, actors, footballers and other (often minor) celebrities in the news and wondering how they came to be a millionaire aged 23. I think that judging your success/failure in life on what you see others having accomplished is a recipe for disappointment, especially if those people are young and working in the entertainment industry. Not everyone is Lady Gaga and, to be perfectly honest, most people will make hardly any progress towards their lifelong dreams for one reason or another. Most of us are like Tim and Daisy in Spaced, just bumbling along some kind of vague career path, but making plenty of friends and having lots of fun at the same time. However, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have goals. Life goals are fine as long as they’re yours – just don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
I'm not 25 yet, but…
* I somehow managed to graduate from my first degree, having dropped out midway through my final year (cue “well, that wasn't very smart was it?” from just about every Job Centre employee I've spoken to) due to having a mental breakdown.
* I've had one serious relationship which ended 18 months ago and although I know it was for the best, I still miss things being the way they were incredibly sometimes.
* I've tried three very different careers – childcare and campaigning – far preferring campaigning but discovering it's terribly hard to get into, and wondering if I should just settle for something I don't like for the money – but I have no idea what I can do/want to do.
* I'm starting a second degree in social sciences, part-time with the OU, in the hope it's of more use than my pathetic photography qualification.
…in short, I feel like I've wasted the last five years of my life, except for one thing, which I don't have anymore, and that idea hurts like nothing else.
Ah to be Cheryl Cole… She's my age and appears to have achieved so much more than me. Like being married and divoriced already. Oh, and being a convicted thug. Actually, I think I'm OK with that.