Friday, 1 April 2011

A Mid-Youth Crisis

I have always wondered what I would do when I grew up.

Today, a work colleague told me that I really needed to write a will. This made me worry on two fronts.  Firstly, do I look ill to you? And secondly, and most disconcertingly, does this mean I have suddenly fallen into the grey and murky territory of being a grown up?

A friend posted the following as her Facebook status this week: ‘Lucy knows she is finally an adult because she thinks that dreadlocks are gross. When did that happen?!’

Lucy, I don’t know when it happened.

It wasn’t that long ago that I bleached my hair so many times it snapped off and had no self-imposed rules about the times of day that drinking was appropriate.

Nowadays my boyfriend tells me I dress like a mum. A ‘trendy yummy mummy’ he adds, but a mum none the less. 

And now you mention it, I am going off pubs with loud music, like to get 7 hours decent sleep as a minimum and own a waterproof jacket. (I can’t yet admit it’s a cagoule, but come on readers, I do live in Scotland?)

What is happening to me?

I recently read that the reason adults ask kids ‘what they want to be when they grow up’, is because they’re looking for inspiration. I liked this idea. We all had a dream of what being a grown up would be like, and I often wonder how many of us actually pursued our dreams of being astronauts or Blue Peter Presenters.

My career ambitions and plans for grown up life have progressed something like this:

Aged 5, quit ballet lessons after 4 weeks. The school hall was cold and the teacher mean. Career in the National Ballet finished before it could even begin.

Aged 8, holding lessons in my bedroom, giving difficult spelling tests to teddy bears and awarding gold stars accordingly.  Desperate to be a teacher. (As the child of two teachers this stage was inevitable. Over the following 20 years they have totally beaten this desire out of me.)

Aged 12, discover TV show Silent Witness, and long to be Dr Sam Ryan, a clinical pathologist.

Aged 15, find my natural leaning is not towards science and that I cannot even bear the gore of Casualty. Perhaps cutting open dead people will not be quite what I’m expecting. Back to the drawing board.

Aged 16, complete one week of work experience at my aunt’s solicitors' practice. It is mind numbingly dull. She mainly speaks into a dictaphone and passes this to her secretary. Conclude that law is not for me.

Aged 17, following a successful foray into GCSE graphic design, a career in art is the future. Changing Rooms is all over the TV, so an interior design company it is. Enter into discussions with a school friend, and the brainchild ‘Corbishley-Brown Design’ is born. When I thus suggest I might study interior design at university, my grandparents are almost shocked into an early grave.

Aged 18, absolutely no idea what to do with my life. Take the obvious choice and study English Literature and History of Art at university. My, how useful that has been. Happy side effects were: happiest years of life, the discovery of g&t and reading as a full time pursuit.

Aged 21, manage to avoid the path of university friends into one of the following careers: 1. Accountancy 2. Management consultancy 3. Auditing 4. Law 5. Teaching. Unfortunately am living at home and working for a Life Coaching Company. There is a weekly group ‘pat on the back’, ‘nominations’ for the staff members who have gone ‘above and beyond’, and a staff lottery drawn from the ‘box of luck.’ Is this what working life is like? I am living The Office and want a refund on my degree.

Aged 22, decide working for a living is overrated. Travel.

Aged 27 ½ (Present Day) Am being told I need to write a will by a colleague.

This is the same colleague who recently saw a photograph of me in my University days and gasped at how young I looked. The only thing keeping me from ending it now is the fact that I got ID-ed in the supermarket yesterday.

Have concluded that office life is not for me. Googling ‘How to become a Blue Peter Presenter’ has become a daily occurrence. Am upset that my year is mapped ahead of me by a list of who is on milk duty for each week of it. The last time I was on milk duty was back when I was awarding pupil of the week to my teddies.

That’s it, I’m taking action. Things are not panning out how I’d intended and I’m not prepared to stand back and watch myself turn into a grown up against my will. The cagoule is going in the bin, I’m revolting against the milk rota and cranking up the radio volume.

And as for what I’m going to do when I’m a grown up? Well, we’ll worry about that when I get there. 


  1. When I grow up I want to be just like you lol x

  2. Great blog! I came across it when I was looking for some way of writing to Mrs Orange Hat Moneypenny to tell her that her TV programme is c**p (but, somehow, I can't not watch it, so I shall be thrilled when the whole series has finished!

    I've bookmarked you and will follow with interest - great writing!

    p.s. as yet, I have been unable to find a way of writing to afore-mentioned Mrs OHM, but I'm still looking!

  3. Kathy thanks! Yes, the orange hat lady is most vexing. Please do keep reading and let me know if you find her email address.

    I know she works for the FT? Maybe through them...?