“It’s all ahead of you, like a wheelbarrow”

Last night I was engulfed by a sense of melancholy. I was watching High Fidelity (again) on BBC 1, and though I very much enjoyed it (it’s one of my favourite films, based on what is undoubtedly my favourite Nick Hornby novel) I couldn’t help but feel a longing for a certain ex-girlfriend. It wasn’t simply because it deals with the breaking up of a relationship (though that was surely a factor); it’s more that this is the kind of film we really would have enjoyed watching together. Also, much like the film’s hero, we used to enjoy making little mix-tapes for each other. Music was one of our things. In fact, I’m still proud of my last Valentine’s Day gift to her, a collection of the least corny and cheaply sentimental love songs I could think of (Yo La Tengo’s ‘Our way to fall’, Sultans of Ping’s ‘Let’s go shopping’, that kind of thing). Now I don’t want to give the impression I’m still in love with her and want her back. It’s not that I still miss her, but occasionally I do and last night was one of those times.

I’m normally not one for whiney navel-gazing (disagree if you want to), but I think on this occasion I can be forgiven. You see, today’s my birthday. More than that, today I turn 30. I no longer have any rightful claim to the adjective “young”. For fuck sake, I’m practically middle-aged.

Of course this is something everyone faces, if they’re lucky enough to live that long. I shouldn’t think that I’m anything special. I do, however, feel entitled to a level of introspection today. I’m 30 years old. I had always assumed that whatever path my life would take, it would have at least started by now. Yet here I am, directionless and penniless. I do have a good I idea of what I want from life, but no clue on how to achieve it. It’s not just the joblessness. It’s everything. I’m single and living with my parents. I have friends, but nobody I can say is a real friend, if you know what I mean. Family aside, the closest living things to me are a disobedient dog and a neurotic cat.

I’m also bothered by the sense that I wasted my 20s. Ok, I got an education, and I did travel a bit, but nowhere near as much as I would have liked. I really feel I should have partied more and learned to enjoy myself. I certainly should have had more sex.

Anyway, never mind my neurosis. If you’ve reached 30 you’re probably laughing at my pathetic ramblings. And if you haven’t, as one well wisher recently told me, it’s all ahead of you. Like a wheelbarrow.

This aside, if you’ve been wondering why I haven’t updated in while, it’s due to an ironic combination of being busy with other commitments and too lazy to post. Sorry about this.

4 Responses to ““It’s all ahead of you, like a wheelbarrow””

  1. May 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Well speaking as someone who felt old the moment the doctor wiped the womb juice off their ass, I can only tell you that you are “young” every single day you manage you haul yourself up onto your feet, or into your wheelchair, or blink your eyes (fuck this PC bullshit anyway) or whatever functioning you’ve been given in life. You are infi-decimally young compared to the time you don’t exist in the universe, so fuck the begrudgers and enjoy your “youth”!

  2. 2 demurelemur
    May 12, 2009 at 8:47 am

    First of all, Happy Belated Thirtieth Birthday! Next, it’s okay to miss having someone. I missed one ex-boyfriend for three years before I copped on to myself and started trying to trap another one. Just remember, there’ll be a lady along eventually. Sure you’re only lovely. And finally, if you travelled, got an education, and wholeheartedly pursued your chosen career path you emphatically didn’t waste your twenties. To my (perhaps overly romantic) mind, it’s better to have followed your passion than worked your way up some ladder (property or corporate). So stop being so hard on yourself. Bet ya a fiver that this will be a brilliant year of your life. And if it’s not, then at least you’ll get a fiver.

  3. May 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Belated Happy Birthday! I just wanted to say that 30 IS young – oh so young, you have no idea!! And also, you have another ten years to go before you’re middle-aged 😉

    The thirties is a wonderful decade! It’s when people (and this is not just my experience – ask around) really grow into themselves and start to become comfortable in their own skin. And I’m told (but don’t know yet, cos I’m still in my thirties – just!) that it only gets better – if you want it to! You have SO much to look forward to : )

    I just found your blog and would love to subscribe via RSS but can’t find that option…

  4. 4 The Unemployed Blog
    May 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for the comments, lads. You cheered me up, one and all. Hilda, a subscription button can be found in the “Blog info” menu on the top right corner. I realise I could make it easier than this. I’ll get on it.

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