I am approaching middle age (apparently), but don’t feel much different to the day I left school, bar the odd creak in my knees.
I don’t know where the time went. It seems like only yesterday, I felt a sense of anticipation as I walked out of the school gates for the last time. A big adventure lay ahead of me, life loomed large, and whereas some of my classmates were intent on getting married and having children, that was something that was not even on my radar.
In the words of William Wallace “freedom” awaited.
Roll forward more years than I want to count, and I am still trying to work out what I want to be when I am a grown up, and things have not gone to plan – assuming that there was ever a plan in the first place.
That fleeting sense of freedom was squashed under the weight of jobs I hated, but had to do because I got on the property ladder. My parents, particularly my father, were old school and of the opinion that you got a job, any job, regardless of what it is because you have bills to pay. I can’t say that I disagree with that, but it does mean that the rat race awaits the unsuspecting, and you spend the rest of your life pedalling for all you are worth just to try to stand still. There have been many days when I have sat at my desk, feeling like I was walking up a hill in a force 10 gale, with a plastic bag over my face, struggling for breath. I hated every second of every day.
I have more freedom now, but no spare cash. I work two days a week in an office to pay the mortgage, while my pet sitting business takes care of the bills. I have more time to myself, and do not get up every day with a sense of foreboding.
I would dearly love to have the money to travel more. It is the one thing that fills me with a joie de vivre. I love just wandering, having no idea where I am going to end up or what I am going to see, or who I am going to meet. I was in Singapore for a few days earlier this year, and each morning I left the hotel, map and camera in hand, with only a vague idea of where I was heading. That is my idea of bliss.