I can’t swim. I fall to the bottom like an anchor and can’t get back to the surface without help. I’ve never been able, mandatory after school swimming lessons were a belly flop, then when Mum sent me for one to one lessons the teacher gave up and sent me to a group. I was too old to be in the shallow kiddie pool with the toddlers it was embarrassing, standing there in waist height liquid chlorine with some daft woman telling me to practise floating with a crowd of parents watching. No thanks. Olympics was out the window for me.
It’s not the only thing I ran out of time to do.
I think that trying to find a career only became important after the age of twenty five when life seemed to speed up all of a sudden like someone was winding the hands of the clock around manually and far too fast for me to catch up. I’ve had so many hobbies and dreams but nothing that has stuck with me or just entirely not possible for someone like me. So many aspects of my life hold me back from doing anything potentially dangerous, I get scared going to the petrol station late at night by myself. Some people do these things so easily but I think I know too much about the world to be fearless. I would so much love to be walking the streets of London every week day with my croissant and my briefcase finally feeling important, but sadly where I come from this kind of life does not exist. Fear straps you in your seat, making sure that this is where you’ll stay until the end of the ride.
My family never really had careers until they were older than me. My mother climbed quite high after having both children and struggling for the first thirty years of life, she re-educated herself and created her own success. My aunt owns a business, she didn’t re-train herself for that until she was in her late fifties! Before then she was a seam stress and a school cook with too much month left at the end of the money.
I think they became something to live up to, but there was so much pressure from the need to succeed like they did that I got scared and hid under my bed like a baby. Worried about failing, paranoid about what they would think of me when I did fail that I never really dove into the deep end and saw for myself what treasures were hiding at the bottom of the pool.
I love cities so much. I have tried to work in my nearest but unfortunately that wasn’t meant to be. It’s a tragedy of my home town, there are no jobs here and the valuable careers are rare and usually occupied for decades leaving me with retail. The most thank less soul destroying job I’ve ever known. I’ve got to get out of here, somebody pull me out please!