Do our achievements define who we are? Dear god, I hope not!

Does it matter at what age you achieve certain things? What if you never achieve them? Does it matter if you haven’t had kids by your 30s? Or if you’re in your 40s and you haven’t had a promotion at your job? Is age just a number? Well, I don’t know about it being just a number, but it certainly does a number on you. One minute you’re a little kid playing in your garden and your mum’s calling you in for your tea. Blink. Then you’re leaving school, full of the anticipation and excitement to start the adult life you’ve been waiting for. Blink. Then you’re in your fucking thirties without any real sense of how it happened or where you were while it did. Are you left with a feeling of inadequacy that you haven’t done enough with your life? That people your own age have done so much more?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I’m having a moan, but I’m not unhappy with the life that I’ve lived. Of course, I could have done more – I’ve only been abroad once, I’ve never learned how to drive – but despite things like this, I have done some pretty cool things and been to some pretty cool places with great people. I’ve got a good family and my friends are literally the best people on the planet. I guess my beef (pointless beef though because who am I going to write the strongly worded email to?) is how fast the time has gone. I feel like this is something that no one prepared me for. I know it’s relative to how old you are and as you get older the illusion that time is going faster gets worse, so I shouldn’t really be surprised by how quickly each year passes, but I am. When you’re a kid the amount of time between each Christmas or how long you had to wait for a holiday or a trip was fucking huge. I remember asking my mum from at least the end of August when would Santa be coming. It only really occurred to me recently that for her, the time must have been flying. All we ever wanted as kids was to be a grown up. How brilliant being a grown up must be. They could go to bed at whatever time they wanted, man. That was serious goals, right there. Being able to decide your own bedtime. What a fucking power to have. You were dead arse sure that you’d stay up so late every night because you could, when the truth is, most of the time you go to bed earlier than you ever did when you were a kid. I love the smell of irony in the morning. Turns out though, compared to deciding which debts you can afford to fuck off, how you’re gonna get out of the plans you should have never made in the first place and which hair dye you’re gonna use to cover your grey hair, what time you’re gonna go to bed is a pretty mundane decision.

Did anyone try and tell us how being a grown up was pretty shit, for the most part? They must have, mustn’t they? I tell my own kid on the regular. I’m like, ‘look, being an adult is not all it’s cracked up to be. You will not get to do all the things that you want, you will probably have a shit job, no prospects, an ugly wife, a couple of kids who will think you’re a joke, a rented house on a shitty estate, crippling debt that you’ll never clear and then your kids will put you in a third rate nursing home, never visit you and you’ll die alone, covered in piss’. Hahahahaha. I’m joking, obviously, I don’t really say that to him. I just try and tell him that being an adult isn’t that good whenever he says he wishes he was a grown up. This usually happens either at bedtime or when he isn’t allowed a Minecraft magazine from Co-op. ‘I wish I was a grown up, then I’d be able to get all the Minecraft magazines I want’. Erm, son, if you’re a grown up and you’re still buying Minecraft magazines then you’re gonna have bigger things to worry about. Trust me. He doesn’t believe me when I tell him that being an adult is basically bullshit. Why doesn’t he believe me though? On everything else, he thinks I’m some sort of an oracle with all the answers, but not this. Like I’m trying to hide all the joys of adulthood from him. Can’t wait to be a smug cunt the first time he complains about how hard everything is. I’m just gonna hit him with a rolled up Minecraft magazine.

In the quest for this adult utopia, we go through school, not really giving it our all, not really placing that much value on it. Maybe if I could go back, I’d try a bit harder. In all honesty though, I probably wouldn’t. I’d just try and make myself a bit cooler than I was. Doing well in school isn’t the be all and end all, even though that’s what they’d like you to believe. You can do what you want later in life. All doing well in school really means is you’re getting a jump start on it, which is sound, but not essential by any means. Then you leave school behind and you’re off to live in the real world (where the fuck did you live before?). I left school at 18 because I went to the sixth form (yeah, no big picture here. I just forgot to hand in my college application form on time) and went off to be an adult. Woohoo. Our lives were actually beginning. Were they? What a fucking joke. What was so great about it? Yeah, we could legally go to the pub, but the only problem was, we had already been going out (sneaking in my case. I had strict parents) to the pubs since we were 15. Why would we want to go now that we were 18? They wouldn’t be any better. Worse, if anything. We had to find jobs, start paying our way. No more free rides. Hang on, I thought you were only joking when you told me being an adult was shit. Haha. As far as qualifications went I had a GNVQ in Health and Social Care under my belt (don’t know why I didn’t just keep it in the house, you know. Haha) but what was I meant to do with the fucking thing? I didn’t even want to work in the Health and Social Care sector. Truth is, I’ve never really had much in the way of ambition. Never had a big dream, a vision, a plan for the future. It’s nice to see people succeeding, of course it is, especially when they’ve put the work in. Good for them. But I don’t think not wanting that shows a lack of anything, that you should always be trying to get more than you have, that you should always be trying to climb the ladder. As long as you’re doing your bit, you’re contributing and you’re not hurting anyone, fucking crack on. I don’t want more money, so I can buy more stuff, so I can feel like I’m keeping up with Jones’. How much money you have or how high up you are in your career doesn’t define who you are as a person and if you think that it does then you are the very reason that I don’t want any part of it.

When I left school I was happy just earning a wage, so I could keep myself in the lifestyle that I was accustomed to and by that I mean Class A drugs and takeaways. So, I got a job in a chicken factory. Yeah, I know! The days, weeks, months, years passed. All the while, I was busy getting older, without actually realising that I was. I remember being 21, thinking ‘30 is so far away’ and then BOOM, before I could even get a grip on my twenties, I was celebrating my 30th birthday. What the fuck? I had a kid and a house, but that was the extent of my foray into adulthood. Most people in their 30s have got their shit together haven’t they? A career, a family, a mortgage. Is having that shit important? I suppose it must be. People spend their lives in loveless relationships, they kill themselves in jobs they can’t stand. Why? Because you’re not meant to be single in your 30s. Being in your 40s and not having a career is somehow seen as a failure. Are people who don’t meet the societal standards of what they should be doing by a certain age somehow failing? Are they fuck. Having your shit together is not an indicator of happiness. Just because the girl across the road has bought her own house and you haven’t, doesn’t make her any better than you, or you any worse than her. Material possessions don’t matter, not to me anyway. If those things are important to you, that’s great. As long as you don’t let them fool you into believing you’re somehow a better human being just because you have them. If they’re not important to you, that’s okay too. If you’ve got your shit together, well done. If you’re not even close, don’t worry about it. You might even be surprised at how much shit you do have together. I mean, there’s even a pretty decent chance that I’ve got my shit together, but I just don’t realise it. (I feel like the phrase ‘having your shit together’ is losing all meaning. Anyone else? If I use it again, slap me!) My bills get paid (for the most part) and I’ve managed to keep a kid alive whilst shoving all my mess into various cupboards whenever someone is coming round. Fucking winning. I mean, I still have to Google how to do everything, but so what, right? I’m pretty happy cruising from day to day, seeing how things pan out. I’m not sure I’d want to know what I was doing with myself anyway, even if the option was available to me. There’s no fun in that. Being nonchalant about things adds a touch of whimsy to proceedings and what is life without a bit of whimsy, eh? Plus, I get to go to bed any time I want to, which was always the ultimate goal anyway, eh? Whether this will still be my attitude in 10 years remains to be seen. I’ll write another blog about it in a decade and let you know. It’ll be here before I’ve even had a chance to scratch my arse anyway, so at least you won’t have to wait that long.

Kim xx

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