If you’ve only ever lived one day in your whole life then of course you’re going to be afraid of death. If you got a job at 18 and retired at 65 then of course you’re going to want to live to 100. If you dropped out of school and flittered between meaningless jobs for ten years until you got someone pregnant and you had to stay in a job to support the family, of course you’re going to wish you had more time.
If your life never changes and you never take any risks then of course you’re going to want more than what you’ve had.
I spent two years as the salesman who works 70-hour weeks and fills his weekends with drug-fuelled rampages. I’ve spent the last three years and will spend the next year as the poor student who lives in squalor and drowns in assignments but still manages to go out and get drunk at least once a week. During my life I’ve been the devoted and loving boyfriend who would do anything for the girl he’s with and I’ve also been the jerk who tries to fuck anything that moves at the first chance he gets.
Once next year’s done, I’m going to spend at least a year as the waste-of-space hippie who’s running around the world doing fuckall that’s really constructive. By that time I’ll be 25 I’ll either extend that time or I might try something new, guess we’ll have to see.
It struck me today, why on earth is the word “Spreadable” on so many different brands of butter, as if it’s something they should be bragging about? Butter is by it’s very definition a spread, if it’s not spreadable then it isn’t really doing it’s job now is it? It’s like putting the phrase “Has Wheels” on a car advert, totally unnecessary and not something that’s going to make me buy your product any more than your competitors.
I was asked a question as old as time today, one that I’ve been answering at least once a month since I’ve been able to talk with increasing frequency since I officially became an adult. It starts out as “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and gradually develops into “what are you going to be?”.
The difference between these two questions are miniscule in terms of grammar but the insinuations hidden behind the questions are monumentally different. The first is the obvious one, the fact that the sentence loses four key words and tells you that you’re now grown up. You’re no longer planning for the future, you’re planning for right now. There is no intangible and idealistic vision of your future self, it’s just who you are right now, give or take the occasional major epiphany.
The second difference is far harder to notice but even more painful to realise. It is no longer a case of what you want to be, but what you’re going to be. It’s an implication that what you want is no longer the most important part of the goal, it’s not a case of what you want to do but what you’re going to have to do. As you mature, so does your outlook on life and the dream job that combines minimal effort with maximum reward is no longer a possibility, it’s a case of finding a balance between both. Maximum effort will produce maximum reward and minimal effort will produce minimal reward, that’s essentially why some people are happy stocking shelves and others push themselves to breaking point in order to achieve what they believe that they want.
In response to the question, I wasn’t able to confide in the other person what my dream job is. That’s a story for another time, or at least i hope it will be.
I always say to my girlfriend that she’s my top priority and I never lie about that. I’ve had sleepless nights worrying about whether we’re going to be okay. I came running from Swansea first thing in the morning the other day because something was wrong. I always have to swallow my pride and apologise to her when she thinks I’ve done something wrong, whether I think I have or not. If she’s upset, I will do everything in my power to make sure she’s okay. She rings me early in the morning and I don’t shout at her for waking me up like I would for most people, I just listen to what she’s saying, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s just a pointless chat and that’s the sweetest phonecall of all. I haven’t seen my father since I moved to Swansea because I don’t want to use up some time that I could be with her, I’m seeing him tomorrow and I’m bringing her with me. I don’t have a job because I can’t find one that won’t make me work weekends and won’t eat into the time I have with her. I’ve cut quite a lot of girls out of my life because she’s paranoid and even though they were only friends, I’d rather her just be happy and not have anything to worry over. I’ve stayed when she’s told me to go, made her stay when she’s wanted to go, made us talk when all she’s wanted to do is ignore me and all because even though she might not want to see me or speak to me, I know she needs to and I need to in order to fix whatever it is that’s broken. I would do anything for her and I’ve done everything I have had to for her. Please, please don’t get me wrong when I say this because I am not complaining. This isn’t me whining and moaning about all the effort I put in, this is me explaining and trying to get across to anyone and everyone that all of this and much, much more is always going to be worth doing. Not because I get to think I’m a pretty good boyfriend because I don’t think I am, I know I could be so much better for her and every day I will try to be that little bit better for her. Not because she would do the same for me because I know for a fact she wouldn’t, she doesn’t and I don’t think she ever will, that’s not a bad thing about her, that’s just not what she’s like, she has other priorities in her life that come before me and that’s always going to be completely fine by me. It’s because it’s all for a good cause when I get to lie down, she’s cuddled up close to me and asleep and I know that she’s happy and that’s all thanks to me.