It has come to my attention that a rumour has been doing the rounds at work surrounding the timing of my departure. So I think I need to start this blog post by clearing this up. I’m fairly certain this gossip originated somewhere along the Corporate/Family team corridor I reside in, but I can’t be sure… So to put it to bed I can categorically confirm I am not joining the winter series of Love Island. As much as I love that TV show, my travels are unlikely to be taking me anywhere near South Africa at this point, but even if they were the TV viewers of UK do not need to see me anywhere near a pair of budgie smugglers. How’s that for a horrific mental image?
I started this blog series, and indeed first ever blog, with an attempt at ‘Setting the Scene’. After writing it I realised that I hadn’t written creatively (well certainly with an element of freedom) like that since my GCSE’s. My more recent writing endeavour was on the oh so trivial topic of Brexit. Feel free to give my rather short… article on ‘Brexit proofing your business’ a read if you are having trouble sleeping.
Journalism was always something I was interested in and an early future career aspiration was to be a Sky Sports News presenter. Not doing English at A Level was always a regret and I thoroughly enjoyed dipping my toe back in to the water. Maybe I can still be Jeff Stelling’s replacement after all?
On a serious note, thank you to everyone who read my first attempt left a comment or messaged me personally – it meant a lot that you took the time to read it, let alone message me about it, so thank you. It is nice to know that many other people feel the same or similar to me and even more reassuring that getting older and having children doesn’t make you feel any more adult. Let’s hope I don’t ramble on and bore you too much over the next year and a bit.
So hopefully by now you have a rough flavour of my life. I’ve set the scene and that brings me to the fundamental point of this blog, My Quarter Life Crisis. In my first blog I spoke briefly about life milestones and the concerns I/we sometimes feel if we perceive that we have “missed” them.
For clarity, and I hasten to add it is a new found clarity for me, I don’t feel that I have missed any life milestones yet. Well with the exception of one; travelling.
I think I missed this milestone because I have always been running. I don’t mean literally running, although I have been doing that since I was very small. I mean this more metaphorically. I’d compare my journey to qualifying as a solicitor as being akin to running on a treadmill. From the moment you finish your GCSEs you’re thinking about (or more accurately in my case being told to think about) what A Levels you are going to take, with one eye on what University course you may want to do.
Often what drives your choice of degree course is what kind of future job you want or think you want. From the moment I decided I wanted to do something legal related I set myself on a minimum 5 year run on the treadmill to reach my goal. Once I went down the solicitor route you extend this by another three years, one for the Legal Practice Course and two for my training contract. Qualifying is like signing up to do a marathon. You know how far it is (26.3 miles) and what steps you’ve got to take (each of the above) to get there. Up until qualification I was running with a purpose. But that changes the second you qualify. As unlike a marathon where you have a finish line, a medal and a well-earned rest there is no end. There is no recovery period. You just qualify and the treadmill keeps on rolling, it is blink and you’ll miss it kind of stuff. Now that is not necessarily a negative, for all NQ’s it is the culmination of a heck of a lot of work as you finally get to the point where you start your career in earnest. What flies under the radar, it certainly did for me anyway, is that once you achieve that long-term goal it leaves an empty void. An end purpose if you will.
That is not to say I do not have a purpose now – I do. It is more that the space qualifying has given me has made me stop and take stock subconsciously. I’ve found myself thinking about whether or not I regretted decisions I have made over the years. Thankfully there aren’t many and most fall in to the category of “a better choice would have been to” rather than being straight up wrong. Something which I have always said, and assumed must be a quote but didn’t know who said it until I googled it is
“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”Lucille Ball
This quote could not be more apt for me and particularly my thought process with this decision. Right now I have the opportunity to do something which I didn’t really have chance to do before. I’m not giving up anything forever right now but if I don’t take this opportunity then I might never have the chance, certainly not in the format I can do it right now ever again.
I didn’t have a gap year pre or post University or Law School and I went straight into starting my training contract after that. Throughout University and the summers between I worked in a variety of part-time jobs. I’ve been constantly running.
As with all milestones, you only regret missing them if you wanted to do it in the first place. For some, other milestones are of greater importance and you’re willing to sacrifice something for another. For me travelling is something I have wanted to do forever and I don’t want to miss out on and live with that regret. I know that I am lucky and thoroughly appreciate all the opportunities I have been given but I need to do this now as otherwise I might be sacrificing it for ever. To quote Tim, a wise man from my new favourite reality TV show The Circle
Granted he was saying it in the context of surviving in a gameshow in which the prize was £100,000 but I still think the subtext has merit. As I said in my previous post, as a generation we seem to be doing things later and that “inbetweener phase” is lengthening. I am just lengthening mine a bit more…
But before I set out to tackle my quarter life crisis there is a whole heap of work and life admin to sort. Life admin is something which I constantly moan about but am completely useless at ever tackling. Despite professing otherwise, my internal personal mantra regarding life admin puts sheer laziness above all else.
“Why go to the effort of actually emptying the bin if you can continue to play a real life game of buckaroo, where instead of a temperamental horse you’ve got an exploding peddle bin?” – My Inner Voice
One such task is renting my house out and, whilst I am writing, a subtle plug for anyone looking for a house in the Kidderminster area…
I could (and probably will at some point) write a whole blog post on life admin. Detailing the trials and tribulations of an inbetweener attempting to navigate life in the easiest manner. That does sound a little bit like a follow up series though…
Songs Sound Tracking My Life Right Now
Kanye West – Follow God (The whole Jesus is King album really)
Yungblud – Hope for the underrated youth
Miley Cyrus – Slide Away
Tones and I – Dance Monkey
What I Am Reading Right Now
Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken by The Secret Barrister
Things I’m Netflixing
Knock Down The House
Friday Night Dinner (Late to the party I know!)