Sunday, 3 November 2013

Friday Nights & Sunday Dinners

Doing things regularly. It's the perfect plot device, ensuring drama on a weekly basis and making sure there's always something to talk about. From the Gilmore Girls (MY MOST FAVOURITE THING EVER), having "Friday night dinners" at their grandparents' house every week - honestly barely an episode of that show goes by without one - to Olivia Pope's Sunday catch-ups with her dad (not all that much more scary than a meal with Emily Gilmore if you ask me...) many shows rely on the regularity and familiarity of ritual, of entrenched expectations to allow the pace to continue.

But in real life? Not so much. Apart from religious, borderline obsessive watching of my favourite TV shows, there is very little I'm capable of doing routinely. I marvel at Youtubers who are able to promise they "post new videos every Wednesday," or, god knows how, even daily. I can't stomach the idea of a nine-to-five job, a boring career, the thought of commitment to a life lived in one place. As cute as Tom and Giovanna Fletcher's lives are, from the wedding speech and now the pumpkin baby announcement video, the idea following the pattern of job, marriage, family, etc. etc. literally makes me feel ill. I can't really picture how I want my life to look in the future, especially as I barely even have a handle on what I'm supposed to be doing next week.

Sometimes its all I can do to remember to eat meals at the "normal" time of day. Is there anything really wrong with eating cereal for dinner or ice cream for breakfast? - not on my planet. I don't know whether its that I get bored easily or just that my daily life is really uninteresting, but when days go by, each one incredibly similar to the last, I start feeling trapped. And then I feel the need to go and do something crazy, like get something else pierced, run off to Reading Festival with a weeks notice, quit my job or get seriously behind with my school work only to panic, sit up until two am doing an essay and get to my 8.30 am history lesson just to realise I answered the wrong question.

I don't handle boredom well and I do admit to having a very low threshold for enduring things I don't want to do. An allergy, an intolerance, or just a severe distaste. I'll sit there, roll my eyes, force myself to get through another Thursday that will be exactly the same as the one before, and exactly the same as the one in another seven days time. My worst nightmare is predictability and the only thing I like less than knowing I'm going to be living right where I am now for the next year, sleeping in the same bed I've had since I was a child, is that I still don't know where I'm moving to. All I want to do right now is escape off round the world, without any idea when I'll be back.

Many of my friends are experiencing this same feeling as I am - probably they're capable of handling it slightly better than I am. To be honest, I think its perfectly common around age 17 to 18 to suddenly realise your whole life is ahead of you and the pressure to know what to do with it can feel completely overwhelming. Its like staring out into uncharted water, or off the edge of a cliff into a massive abyss ominously labelled: Your Future. "What happens now?" we all think. Since when do we make the decisions, decide the course of our own lives. I didn't sign up for this - no one asked me if I wanted to be born and now there's potentially eighty more years of this bulls*** that I have to plan out? (You can see why I feel other people are dealing with this collective emotional crisis a bit more maturely...)

So once I'm done with my ironically timed toddler-style tantrum about the fact I exist, I had better get on and start making some choices. Smart, useful ones that might actually get me somewhere. Not something I'm famous for being great at, but its probably time to start giving it a go. To do some preparation for the entrance exam I have to take, to sit down and deal with the mountains of work I need to do, to stop helplessly refreshing the UCAS track page in the hope it will tell me what to do with my life. If you feel yourself getting into this state (no judgement here, if you've made it this far you can tell that I am clearly losing the plot anyway...) I have one piece of advice for you. Watch Danisnotonfire's videos on this topic, and have a cup of tea. If this doesn't make you feel even slightly better you are probably in need of professional help that I am in no way qualified to give.

Hugs. We'll all get through this eventually xoxo

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