My life two years ago and my life now are two very different things. My life four years ago was something unrecognisable. It might as well have had tentacles growing from it because it sure as hell doesn’t look like what it does now.
My life is much…narrower now. And I don’t know how I feel about it.
I distinctly remember thinking before moving into my new home “Well, that’s it. No back-packing across the world. No living in Paris for a summer, working at cafes and falling in love with two local brothers. No relocating to London to live the cosmopolitan lifestyle I have always dreamed of.” Do you know how many times I have dreamed of any of those things? Never! But I had wondered about moving closer to my office and where a lot of our friends are. Now I can’t and it should feel like someone has put me on a leash. Like I’m a dog tugging on the chain attached to my kennel and no matter how hard I pull, it yanks me back, howling and squealing all the way.
Four years ago, I was out every week partying at university with friends from three different classes, this club, that club, flatmates, their friends, their friends’ friends, the dodgy couple who lived down the hall and kept inviting me to play strip scrabble. In my hay-day, I was the belle of the ball!
Alright, alright. I’m lying. But I did know and spend time with a lot of people I would have considered friends at the time. Now there are probably less than ten people I would consider to be my friends and if I’m being brutally honest, I’m exaggerating to not look sad on the internet. And instead of thinking that the one could be any one of the people in a large room, I have a ring on my finger that twinkles at me to tell me that if I haven’t meet the one yet, I’m in steaming crap’s worth of trouble.
Back then, my career path was full of opportunities. After summer I am starting a specialised Master’s degree, digging myself further into this one spot where I decided to start digging a while ago and now I can’t even see anywhere else to start a new hole.
Do I want to get out of my hole, I hear you say? That’s not the point!
Or is it?
My life is narrowing before my eyes in some freaky, reverse baking process. Like a souffle deflating once I take it out of the oven on the third attempt (ok, now I’m hungry). From what I can tell, it is part of that awful, cruel and inevitable thing called becoming an adult. It means settling down and developing in one career (or in my version it does anyway). And people who were never really you’re friends aren’t around anymore so you don’t have the opportunity to pretend that you are BFFs and sing about it at a bar at 3 in the morning on a Tuesday. When we are younger, we have so many opportunities and so much potential. You don’t get to keep them all, nor do you get to do them all. You’ve got to choose some or at least one, run them down like you’re chasing a bull and either keep running (because bulls bite back people) or grab onto a different one.
So my life may be narrowing. Maybe I’m doing the inevitable and settling down but I would prefer to think of it as specialising. Plus, if I’m happy, then what difference does it make?