Sunday, 27 February 2011

Living the Dream

So, here I am again. It’s Sunday evening, 9.30pm. That means one thing and one thing only. Work tomorrow. The weekend is over. Oh, Lord. It’s enough to get you reaching for another glass of wine and a giant bag of Maltesers. Or two.
Unfortunately for me, like most people, work is a necessary evil. In this world that we live in, we need money to survive. And, unless you fancy spending a little bit of time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, the only way most of us will ever make it is by doing the nine til five grind.
Or, is it?
It is ten years since I graduated and moved to London. A fact that I find quite terrifying. A decade ago I had plan, real plans. I was going to do something with my life. Make a difference. And I was going to enjoy doing it too.
Then, something got in the way. I call it life. Rent. Bills. Other people’s expectations of me. Dare I say it, relationships. My ideas of grandeur got swept under the carpet as the whirlwind took hold, blowing all those fantastical ideas to a place far, far away at the back of my mind.
During the last year or so, these dreams have begun to resurface. More than that, actually. I have started making baby steps to realising them, or at least attempting to, anyway. Nothing terribly impressive has yet to materialise from my small endeavours, but those fanciful whims have started to crawl back into my consciousness and beg for a little a bit more attention. And it’s getting harder to ignore them.
Last weekend I went to see a couple of my girlfriends. On Sunday morning I watched the Sex and the City movie as I nursed a Cava and Sangria-induced hangover. As I sipped my coffee I watched the recently jilted Carrie listen to her new PA’s reasoning for moving to New York from St Louis. For love. To pursue her dreams. Somewhere in my dehydrated brain, bells of recognition began to ring. Hmm, it sounded so familiar.
Then, on Thursday, I spent a couple of hours in a shop in Covent Garden for a job interview. In between serving customers and cleaning up, I got chatting to a young Italian guy who had just started there that week. He was working there to support his fledgling musical acting career, doing shifts in between auditions at London’s opera companies and various West End theatres. He was in London to pursue his dream; to become a star of the stage.
I admired him. And was a little bit jealous, too.
Last night, in a bid to clear a bit of space on Sky +, I watched the movie P.S. I Love You. It’s the one where Hilary Swank receives letters from her dead husband in an effort to help her get over him. A sweet movie, but nothing to write home about, on the surface anyway. However, the underlying message was quite strong. Life your life for today. Do what you want to do. Worrying about buying a flat and earning a big fat salary is all well and good, but will it really make you happy? Will it let you fill your potential and do whatever it is that you really want to do, what you know will fulfil you more than a penthouse and the latest Gucci handbag?
Yes, I know, I can talk. Like so many people out there, I’m not doing what I really want to do with my life. In fact, the longer I stay in my current line of work, the more I resent it. Not because I have a terrible job, but because it isn’t what is in my heart. Not anymore, anyway. And, as I get that little bit older and see the world changing under my feet, I start to see that the time when I finally take the plunge and actually start doing something about it is getting closer and closer.
My mum bought me a little sign when I was a student which I still have stuck on my bathroom door today. “Reach for the moon. If you don’t make it, you’ll still be among the stars” it suggests. I don’t think wiser words have ever been said.
Maybe it’s time to start learning to fly.


  1. Such a great blog, I feel like you've just written what's going on in my head on a daily basis!

    I feel like I am living vicariously through films at the moment (Fame, as I type this, and Sex and the City was one yesterday.) I have dreamed of going to New York and living there for a year or two since forever but money and responsibility and my stupid sensible ways have stopped me. I'm so aware of the clock ticking away and that I'm getting older without achieving this and so many other things, but as time goes by it seems more and more impossible.

    I'm trying to be brave and get started this year but the cautious part of me is looking at the bank balance and ringing alarm bells... I fully blame rent and bills! London is great in so many ways but also holding me back in others. Hope you're braver than me and start flying soon :)

  2. Beautifully put and so so true! I remember that smiley girl ready to take on the world...glad to see she never *really* went away.

  3. Guys, thanks for your comments!
    Unfortunately the dream job didn't come through but I am still feeling optimistic - watch this space! :)