For the fifth time this year, your Auntie Annabel asks over dinner “what are you going to be when you grow up?” and – bearing in mind you’re probably at the age where you’re expected to have already ‘grown up’ – your body screams “I have no idea what I want to do with my life”. You tell Auntie Annabel you want to be a teacher and the next question is, of course “do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
If Auntie Annabel had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say a journalist, or something along the lines of putting pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard and spurting out some shit and getting a decent cash flow for it. In all honesty however, this is just my cover ploy. I might be embarking on a university course specifically aimed at journalism, and write music reviews for websites and blog on my own domain… But, I really have no idea what I want to do with my life.
Since I was young, I always had a level-headed, clear direction of where I wanted my journey to take me. First it was a vet, then a midwife, then I had my sights set on an author and up until recently it was a magazine journalist. So, for me to be at a point in my life where I can say “fuck, what am I doing?” is oddly peculiar.
I don’t pity myself however. I don’t feel anymore as if my life has to be set out on a narrow path and I have to jump at every opportunity and dodge every pitfall so I can achieve my dream role of working for somebody else that is in their dream role… If I’m being honest about it, I’m quite content with not knowing where I’m going to be in five years time.
I don’t have a game plan and honestly, I think that’s okay. There will be thousands who read that former sentence and tut disapprovingly. ‘How dare a nineteen year old girl have no ambition, no drive, and no sense of her own headspace’ Yeah, I know, I don’t fit the mould, sorry mate.
Don’t get me wrong however, I am ambitious, I do have drive, I know myself perfectly inside and out and my headspace is as clear as crystal. I just don’t know what I want to do with my life yet; it’s just something I haven’t figured out. I love to write, to express my views, to champion a band and brands and to call myself a writer… But I love writing about what I want, not what Mr Big-Wig on the front desk has ordered me to write. Where’s the passion? Where’s the adoration of words?
A 9-5 desk job of clickbait journalism, writing about the torrential rain in Manchester or commenting on the latest political scandal just isn’t my thing. I don’t want to be a journalist but I want to be a writer. I don’t want to write fiction novels, or write anything I am forcefully commissioned to – I want to scribble about what I want.
But you cry, where is the money in that? Who is going to want to read about a nineteen year old girl likes, what she eats, where she goes for takeaway at 3am (Leo’s Fish & Chip bar in Northern Quarter, Manchester if you’re wondering)… Well hopefully somebody in the world does.
I don’t know what the hell I want to do with my life, but I’m just gonna go along with it for now. See what happens, right? My mantra is pretty much: “I’m sure it will be fine”.