*puts on terrible rom com voice* What’s the craziest thing you’ve done lately?
I’ve been known to make a few crazy decisions in my short but moderately eventful life. If the human experience was a giant conga line, I’d be at the front, getting everyone involved, changing direction at inopportune times. To quote my father ‘we’re do-ers in this family – DO-ERS!’ No jokes at the back, please.
Despite what some would call an impulsive streak, I’ve pretty much always done what was expected of me. I did reasonably well in school, I chose extracurricular activities that were actually constructive (e.g. taking up musical instruments instead of experimenting with hallucinogenics). I did well in my exams, went to university and did reasonably well there, albeit while developing a strong affinity with gin and rugby players. I finished with a good degree, toiled away in unpaid internships and crappy dead-end jobs to make money, got a job in an industry I’d always wanted to work in, and the rest is history.
It’s worth noting at this point that during this period I was still rolling with the crazy streak, but with caution, because I was always wary of not screwing up my future. Controlled spontaneity, planned recklessness, was the name of the game. I’d go out all night but still show up to all my classes. I’d consume all the gin (and occasionally other things) that came my way but sweat it out in the gym afterwards. My motto should really have been: ‘All things in moderation, even moderation’. But we digress. Despite indulging my crazy streak when appropriate, I did well. I worked hard. I mean, really hard. When I finished university I was working call centre jobs and other ad hoc moneymaking schemes half the week, to make enough money to spend the other half of the week in London, doing ridiculous tasks in the name of internships and public relations, daahhllling. Once I was asked, on a day off, to travel into London to deliver an item of jewellery to a photo shoot. The errand took me over three hours and I got lost twice, but it was ok because it was exciting. This was a necessary stepping stone to a dream career.
It paid off – at 21 I was living with friends in London, working in my first ‘proper’ PR job. At 23, I was in a management role earning more money than I knew what to do with, living in an area of East London that was just dodgy enough, plus I had managed to snag a good-looking, successful boyfriend who didn’t have a face tattoo or live in a car. I had a solid group of friends, a vague future plan that involved owning a home, getting married and popping out at least two children. They say your Twenties is the decade in which you make mistakes, fumble through a façade of adulthood while desperately trying to find yourself, but I didn’t buy it. I looked at my perfectly on-track life with an air of smugness while friends and acquaintances struggled around me.
Well as you’ve probably guessed by now, the whole reason I’m writing this is because everything kinda went to shit. Stay tuned for Part Dos…