We both harbour an enormous desire to own a house, as our parents and grandparents did. As well as own a beautiful collection of furniture, enjoy our jobs, have a new car and be able to buy expensive cheese, cashmere blankets, framed art, Temperley dresses and Tom Ford suits. Not to mention the apparent nesting instinct/spell(?) I’ve found myself under. Manifesting itself in bunches of flowers, coasters, crisp bed linens and the shunning of clothes shops in favour of antique shops, reclamation yards and obscure hidden caverns of old, forgotten furniture.
I am now full steam on getting a full time job. Which I absolutely want to do. The magazine is still very real, and is progressing well, but we need to save. And I mean properly save. We have been lucky financially and Charlie has a good job, but the rise in the cost of living has had a huge impact on what was meant to be our future home money. Not to mention the difficulty in me following this media ‘dream’ – oh yes, it is still in the golden lit text – but now the word is solid, staid and irreplaceable. I believe one day, it will work out, and this will be worthwhile. Obviously it would have been easier if I had sailed into a job on a magazine somewhere. But then would I have this unwavering passion and (underneath the drama) actual confidence in my skills? I was literally dreaming back then: A WRITER she said, as she floated around a garden, filled with flowers scented with naivety. But now this is so very real.
I heard on Radio 4 the other day on School For Start Ups, someone from the class of 1988 saying that, in his opinion, it has been better for those who didn’t get a cosy, safe job straight away. The ones who didn’t are those that felt hardship, want and accomplishment, rather than safe. So safe that they are trapped. Perhaps. And this recession is worse than the 80s, isn’t it?
There have been so many times when I have been desperate to be in an office, with a peppermint tea steaming next to a monitor screen, filled with stats and reports. I could walk around as if I was important by now. I’d probably be house hunting, driving a Fiat 500 and planning a trip to Paris, via New York. When I think of it now, it fills me with sadness, but also relief. I will still have these things. Yes, through a route of pain, financial stresses and leaning on Charlie for support in so many ways – not to mention the opinions and ‘friendly comments’ I have received – but it will work out. I promise.
But perhaps our generation – the ‘lost generation’ are actually benefitting in some way from this financial doom. We may expect what our parents have, but we haven’t owned it ourselves. We are into wholesome lost crafts, learning skills, good foods, finding what more is out there than the assumed path we were of course, going to lead. Now it’s not university, job, house, job, children, job, summer holidays, job, weekend, dinner parties, children leaving, job, self assessment of life, job, retirement. We can’t really get permanent jobs, so ‘job’ doesn’t feature so prominently, and we can’t get a house at the moment (see: here), so that can’t count. Not having these things has made me feel like a failure more than a million times, but slowly I’ve realised. Friends and family, maybe having kids, making a home from what we have (see: here) and accepting the reality is not surrounded around what we want. We are figuring out through using what we have, as opposed to want and the continuous search for happiness, what we are so lucky to have already. (See: video).
I’d rather this, than be numb. And the dream thing, it will work out.
Here’s another dream: One day, Charlie and I would like to go on a road trip down from Canada to South America. We’d like to take nothing with us, but swimmers, jumpers, a camera and a bottle of rum. I will write about it. It will be glorious.
I do hope Charlie feels as I do. About everything. I think he does.
‘I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. The longer I live the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and wonder of the world.’ J. Burroughs