04 April 2011

"Slow down you crazy child; you're so ambitious for a juvenile"

The Billy Joel fans among us will recognise that line - for those that don't, I suggest that you get on YouTube and listen to it. It's always had some resonance with me. I'm always on fast-forward - it's how I live my life. But sometimes, I tend to feel a little like I'm missing out on today, when I'm constantly working on tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow, tomorrow, like little orphan Annie, I love ya tomorrow. In fact, you're all I bloody think about.

I feel very sentimental at the moment. (Can you tell?) There is a lot of change going on in my life and I don't like change. I can't stand it actually. I don't mind progression, so long as it's good, but change - true, opposite, unexpected, uprooting change - makes me panic. It makes me wonder if I actually have control over my life. It makes me wonder if I'm wasting it. Tomorrow isn't a certainty afterall. 
Tomorrow - only a day away?

I certainly haven't got much to complain about, in the grand scheme of things, but I always want more. Ambition - it gets to you in the end.

I think I began life with my abnormally large baby feet (I was a giant baby - freakishly tall) on the ground, running like crazy. I remember starting to write books at the age of seven and wondering how to get them published and whether Daddy would know how. My Barbies were the scarily clean sort - I did not hack off their hair and colour their faces in; my Barbies were polished career women, who rode a horse (I worked with what a had) to work and came home to their luxury pad (fashioned from a table in my bedroom - table top was upstairs, underneath was downstairs - I always could make something out of nothing).

Career Barbie - teacher, nurse...astronaut?
Twenty-three years on from birth and my BlackBerry is surgically attached to my right hand (I nearly hyperventilated when it broke TWICE last week) and I stop only to refuel on caffiene-based substances. I wake up and I smell the coffee. I drink the coffee. I NEED the coffee. I think I could possibly be a bit of a bore. Damn.

Instead of drinking copious amounts of alcohol and dancing until three in the morning, with moves akin to Beyonce's, clearly larger and white, twin, I choose to read house magazines and watch re-runs of Kirstie's Homemade Homes and Cracking Antiques. Dear Lord, I am my mother.

But it's not my fault.
You see, my generation is seriously confused. Not only did the majority of us invest three years and thousands of pounds worth (ah, student debt, how you ruin lives) into our dreams, but we then emerged, bewildered and blinking in the bright lights of reality. Quickly it became apparent that real life is pretty tough and instead of a luxury apartment in the city, drinking cocktails and having intelligent conversations with other like-minded creatures, most of us would find ourselves sat in our childhood bedroom, surrounded by faded wallpaper, faded pictures and an equally faded youth.

Some choose to deal with this by sticking two proverbial fingers up at society and drinking their way through their twenties, pausing to celebrate their thirtieth birthday with some cracking memories combined with the two well-known outcomes of travelling - enlightenment and a tan.

Others, like me, decide there's no time like the present and aim to have the career, car, mortgage, marriage and 2.4 children ticked off by the big 3-0. I suppose I figure it will all happen eventually, so I may as well get started.

I have pretty much done everything I can, since I shed my student skin. Sometimes, I realise that I traded in my friends and social life for a career that I love. Sometimes I realise that, actually, I'm pretty lucky.

I spent my younger years dreaming and I feel like I owe it to myself to make those dreams come true. But, as Billy wisely croons:
"When will you realise - Vienna waits for you?"
I'm not sure I can wait around to find out.