I am constantly on the lookout for ideas for this blog. I look for inspiration everywhere; conversations on the underground, magazine articles, discussions with friends, social media, the list goes on.
The aim of these posts is always to get people thinking; yet more often than not I treat them like a diary entry, often spilling words from my head onto a page with no clear thought process involved. I just simply write what I’m thinking and hope others like it.
After my last post, Success v Happiness was so well received (thank you again), I really felt the pressure for this one. I guess that’s why I felt the need to dig deep and get personal again, covering a topic that so many of us feel a lot of the time, disappointment.
I promise there will be no violin strings involved, instead I want to look back on why so many of us are so disappointed these days. Back in school I can’t remember feeling really disappointed – there were times when I didn’t reach certain goals or milestones, not getting the lead in Bugsy Malone still cuts me deep now and again, but overall when I was at school I was pretty content with how my life was panning out. Look at friends for example, how often do you plan to meet for a drink only to receive a text message as you’re walking out the front door “Sorry babe I can’t make it tonight, I’m shattered and I’ve got loads to do” – how disappointing. Back in school however this just never happened. We all couldn’t get enough of each other, we walked to school together, got told off in class for gossiping together, then there was the slow walk home together followed by and hour long conversation on the phone and my favourite pastime, using the dial up internet to chat on MSN for hours – us girls just wanted to spend every minute together. But now everyone is letting life get in the way of spending genuine time together. Of course it’s so much easier to go straight home after work, instead of travelling 30 minutes going the wrong way on the central line for a quick coffee, but as friends we need each other more than ever, and we are all disappointing each other out of sheer laziness.
Looking back on exams, they were never a doddle for me, the relief I felt after passing my maths GSCE with the prospect of never doing a mental maths test again, was a greater relief than finally passing my drivers test after 4 attempts. But I worked really, really hard, failure was not an option so I worked my butt off and studied the A-Levels that most interested me and got into the University I wanted to spend three years partying (and studying) at. – Not a lot of disappointment going on here, minus the four failed driving tests of course.
Other than the odd bad break-up, a boy once recorded “you’re dumped” on a mobile and got his friend to re-play it to me at lunchtime, an ex boyfriend with two wandering eyes and a penchant for Jodie Marsh look-a-likes and the occasional refusal from my parents to go to an under-18s night at Centertainment in the middle of Don ‘dodgy’ Valley (if you’re from Sheffield you’ll understand), I experienced no life-altering disappointment till I grew up and everything got serious.
Disappointment is horrible feeling, it’s one you can feel right in the pit of your stomach and one you often have to disguise. Negative feelings can be released through a good cry and a hard kick of whatever is nearest to you. But with that feeling of disappointment how many times have you tried to rise above it and not let it defeat you, only for it to come crawling out (in my case via my eyes) as soon as you’re alone.
I personally believe that the reason disappointment is so poignant in so many twenty-something people’s lives these days is that during school and university there was always a cut off date. We knew we were living one stage of life that would lead to next; School – University – Job. But with the job market as it is – shit. We are all stood here looking around thinking is this it? Is this what I worked my ass off for? It’s that tricky stage in life where finding the balance between ‘wahoo I’m young and free and I want to live my life’ and ‘I can’t afford my rent this month’ seems impossible. We are all young, yet with so much responsibility and so much disappointment that life didn’t quite work out the way we planned.
I believe being disappointed can also have a snowball effect, how often has a train delay or an early morning traffic jam ruined your day? Since when did we all get so grouchy and angry at the world, back in school it was so easy to brush off a bad mark in geography because we were all just looking forward to morning break.
Disappointment is something I feel on a daily basis and it’s always at myself, it’s exhausting. It’s all engineered by the fact I’m not in my dream job. What’s worse it we are all told from an early age that we only live one so find the job you want to do and don’t settle for anything less. But my dream job is out of reach right now so am just supposed to feel disappointed for the next few years?
Luckily, I’m surrounded by an incredible foundation, whose support is endless – my family, friends and boyfriend. You need people around you who let you rant 99% of the time about how life isn’t quite how you imagined yet give you that response you need, “Shut the fuck up Mary”. It’s so crucial we remind each other of all the milestones we’ve overcome and how much we’ve achieved. Us young graduates are living in an incredibly difficult time – but we are all managing. So many of my friends have battled over the last few years to get where they are now, they may not be in their ‘dream’ job but they’re most definitely on their way. I hope it’s my turn next. One thing I’m going to stop, right here and now, is wishing my life away waiting for great things to happen. Who knows what’s around the corner, in the meantime I’m going to enjoy the little things that make my life so wonderful. Right now that’s a cup of tea and Grey’s Anatomy.