Tag Archives: Biographical

My Career Aspirations Growing Up.

Maybe I could be a telephone operator! No… I wouldn’t like to wear those things over my ears. I wish I had a guardian angel, you know like Debbie Reynolds had in Tammy? What do you think?

As someone who, at the age of twenty six, seems to be having a career orientated life crisis on an almost daily basis and is generally anxious about her future because she has no idea what she wants to do other than earn money and buy shoes, I thought it pertinent to add a post depicting my journey through desired career choices that I’ve had since being a small child. As you will probably be able to tell whilst reading, I had very little grasp on reality growing up and was constantly changing my mind about career choices, which is probably why I’m so cast adrift now. Thanks, child me!

Teacher – I think every girl wanted to be a teacher growing up. I wanted to be a teacher, because my teacher at the time had really nice shoes with bows on and I liked the sound they made when she walked through the classroom. Also I was persistently top of the class when I was a kid and liked being the favourite of pretty much all of my teachers and also I was always picked to read first and was colour-groups ahead of my classmates who I helped teach how to read. So really becoming a teacher was a natural calling in my life, at this point, as let’s face it, aside from the great shoes and the wages, I was a teacher. One of the career choices people constantly tell me to look into is teaching, but as I grew older, I realised that kids are little bastards and that the older they get, the more arsey they become. I genuinely don’t think I’d be able to keep a level head with some puberty ridden shit bag being a nuisance in my class. I’d end up on the front of all national newspapers as the woman who beheaded a little bastard for bad-mouthing Shakespeare. And I’d stand by it too, the little rat.

Vet – If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t think I knew what being a vet entailed growing up. All I really knew is that I liked watching Animal Hospital and loved watching the vets talk about the animals in great detail, soothing, calming tones lulling both me and the animal into a false sense of security. I would still like to be a vet today, but I wouldn’t want to operate on anything or euthanise anything either. Really, I guess all I wanted to be and what I would still like to be, is a professional dog and cat stroker, which according to my career’s officer at school, doesn’t exist and I should probably focus on a more realistic career goal instead.

Woman who walks around museum pointing at stuff and then talking about it – I don’t think that’s the real name of this particular career choice, but all I had in my head was a “curator” which is something different; I think that’s the name of someone who gathers stuff in the museum, rather than shows groups of school kids around. Anyway, I went on a school trip when I was little and this is what sparked my initial interest. An amazingly articulate woman showed us around and I decided that I wanted to be her, so when I got home, I presented my sister and mother with all of the things we owned in our living room and spoke proficiently and seriously about how all of our living room objects were from ancient China. Maybe guess what the exhibit we were shown around was? Ancient Chinese artefacts. I needn’t have gone, given my living room was bursting with the stuff!

Librarian – This career choice was generally a no brainer for me, given my passion for books and reading growing up, but really, at the time of deciding this, all I really wanted to do was own my own library and be Belle from Beauty and the Beast, however, given my abundant intelligence from a young age, I guess deep down I knew that girls didn’t fall for hairy-wolf-men that were made that way by magical white witches, so I thought that entirely ruled out the Disney Princess option, thus librarian became my only real option. I changed my mind during my first year of comprehensive school when I realised that our librarian was a mean, cruel woman who wanted to keep us away from all of the books by not letting us in the library at all, which not only negates the idea of a library, but makes all librarians absolute wankers, if you ask me.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – what? I did want to be Buffy. I liked the way she kicked and punched and I loved her snappy retorts to vampires and people in general. She was cool and confident, she was fierce and unstoppable and a vampire, one that filled my pre-teen heart with gooey feelings, fell in love with her! Then later on, a really bad vampire fell in love with her and become all soft and gooey too! It was very inspirational to, not only a hopeless romantic, but to someone who also grew up wanting to be the pink Power Ranger – at the time, even I knew a Power Ranger was inaccessible to a girl like me, but a vampire slayer? Totally realistic.

Singer/Songwriter or Britney Spears Impersonator – Stop judging me!! I am not at all ashamed that I went through a period of wanting to be Britney Spears. Did you see the video for Hit me Baby One More Time her loneliness was KILLING her and all she wanted was to play basketball. I may have misconstrued the point of the video, but regardless, she was a pretty amazing role model at the time. She kind of lost her shine a little bit during The Meltdown of 2007, but by this time I had already moved on to wanting to be both Beyonce and Marianne Faithful, so I really didn’t care. Anyway, at the time, I used to practice dancing and singing constantly, as well as doing my hair and make up to look like a little songstress. My parents were genuinely worried about me during this period and had a discussion with me that pretty much led them to crushing my dreams by telling me that I realistically couldn’t be a pop star/dancer. I’m not sure if it’s because they assumed it would be impossible for me to break into this world without compromising my virginity or because they didn’t think I was good enough. I should probably ask them.

Tennis Player – this was a constant one growing up, every time Wimbledon was plastered all over the television. When we lived in Holland we had this huge drive way and I would go into the garden and slam the ball against the wall, whilst making the best and not at all inappropriate for my age tennis noises. Admittedly, I did get quite good at slamming the ball off the wall and it did keep me fit throughout the summer, but I didn’t keep it up. Like all british teenagers once they get into comprehensive school and realise that doing anything leaves you open for incessant, cruel critique, so I gave up pretending to be a tennis player and put my racket down for good.

Lawyer – Admittedly, I might have only wanted to be a lawyer because I had seen too many episodes of Ally McBeal or potentially too many movies. But to me, I loved the idea of storming into a room and being like ‘OI, I have the evidence here that proves you’re all crooks! YOU HEAR ME, CROOKS!!’ or given the fact that I am really good at arguing and love giving self-righteous speeches whilst mounted steadfastly onto my high horse, that might have also been the reason that prompted me to want to be the voice of the law. Plus, again, I also really liked the clothes and shoe choices and the tap clap tap of court shoes as they bustled through full of law-like knowledge.

Fashion Designer – No, seriously. This was a genuine career desire of mine throughout school. I loved art and design and I wanted to take those as my options, go to college and take art, before applying to university to do fashion. I had it all planned out and I did have an abundance of talent in the old art department, so it made sense. An English teacher of mind found out and hauled my mother into school to beg her to force me to take more academic subjects, because my future lay with English and all the career choices that would leave me open to (all, Mrs Walker, ALL? I literally have done zero things with my degree other than starting this blog. I am foaming about it, in all honesty!) so they coerced me into taking French, Geography and History, which I aced, because I am brilliant, but didn’t really enjoy because all I wanted to do was draw and become the next Coco Chanel. But whatever, dreams are for rookies and kids, right?

Writer – In spite of all the fashion designer business, one thing did remain resolute: I was excellent at English literature and language and writing was another passion. I got a typewriter one year for Christmas when I was really small as well as a tiny desk and I would sit in the living room tapping away on the typewriter, even before I could write or form words. Then, as I learned, I would write stories and pass them onto my mam and dad, who would read them and tell me I was brilliant. So writing has always been something that I wanted to do and probably will remain with me until I’m an old lady, embittered with literary failure, making me become the type of old person who stabs knives through the footballs of local children who dare kick it near my property. I will also be the type of old lady who spits at the youths too, but that’s a story for a different time. Anyway, I’ve always written stories and still jot down ideas for short stories, novels, children’s literature, but have absolutely no motivation to do it, due to the fact that I am overwhelmingly terrified of being an even bigger failure than I am now, or being told that something I really want to do is something I’m not very good at. Just like fashion.

I think in this day and age a little despondency in one’s twenties regarding a career and professional future is pretty much resolute. I never wanted to be some phone monkey answering phones as a career… a stop gap, a way to pay the bills, maybe, but I wanted more and I think I always will be that type of person. So until then, I guess I remain a little bit like Frenchie, except with really shit hair.

 

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Chapter One: My Glorious Birth

I once said that if I was ever going to write a biographical account of my life, that I would begin with the closing chapter, so that people would be left guessing, rubbing their chins and huddling in dark corners of libraries or book clubs, pouring over the first (last) chapter, wondering if I was a time traveller, or if I had a very specific car that required plutonium, then bits of rubbish and eventually, a train, to work. Mainly because my introductory chapter was going to entail a very specific account of how I died. It would be like that chapter and also scene in The Time Traveller’s Wife where he flashes into the present and he’s bleeding profusely, causing everyone to panic. But, to save this kind of undoubted social upheaval that would pour into the media and social networking networks like a fine, but dangerous wine and vilify me as some kind of monster for the rest of eternity (oops, another plot twist/spoiler: I’m immortal), I thought I’d change tact and start at the very beginning: My glorious birth.

But first, we’re going to need a little background, I didn’t just appear in my mother’s womb unexpectedly, that is nonsense and only believable if it happened in the olden days when apparently everyone fell pregnant at the hands of THE LORD, who was more than a little cavalier at his seed sowing back then, if you know what I mean… anyway, let’s continue:

When my parents first met, they were just a couple of crazy kids living in the midst of the only decade that everyone remembers with heart-warming nostalgia for unbeknownst reasons, given the neon colours, strange pants and terribly big and crunchy hairstyles: The 1980s. Now, I’ve only heard this story from my parents, who, you’ll learn throughout the course of this process are inherent liars, so this may not be entirely true; they may have lied to my sister and me all these years, forcing us to believe in the bittersweet concept of falling in love at first sight, which is apparently what they did. Apparently, my beloved dad was a little smitten with my mam from a distance for an indeterminate amount of time and it wasn’t until he happened upon her one morning as she was waiting for a bus, did he take his chance and bedazzle her with his 1980s moustache and his own car. Anyone who knows me, knows my undying passion for romance and love stories, so undoubtedly this story is my favourite: She was waiting for a bus and he happened upon her and decided to take his chance at love. Like, if John Hughes had been wandering through a tiny, sleepy village in the North East of England back then, he would have definitely cast Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy, or maybe even John Cusak to play my parents and it would have been a truly amazing piece of cinema, with an even better musical score (Side Note: For the rest of the post, I would be happy if you could hum Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds, perhaps the epitome of the 80s right there).

It’s not often that my parents talk about when they met, or really, life before my sister and I, but when they do, they seem to go misty eyed and they look at each other with looks that only two people who know the true meaning of love can look at each other. It would be sickening if it wasn’t so damned romantic and when I see the love they have for each other, I can’t help but thinking that I’ve been so unlucky in love in the past because of my sheer unwavering desire to fall in love at first sight (which, eventually happens to me, but you’ll have to wait a few chapters to get to that part. Or go and read the rest of my blog, whatever) and eventually, hopefully, marry someone I would also call my best friend, like they did. To me, it just makes the fact that I exist that bit more important, knowning that I was conceived in an environment where two people were so in love that about twenty seven years later, they still look at each other all funny when remembering how they fell in love. Aside from the knowledge that they had sex, of course, it’s good to know that I’ve been bred from two people besotted with each other, which not everyone can say, I guess.

I am told that other gloriously romantic and comedic things happened during the period of them meeting and me being born, which pads out the John Hughes movie plot slightly: My mam stubbed a cigarette out onto my dad’s hand and laughed hysterically right in his face as he nursed his injured hand. He lied about being allergic to dogs, to hide a presumably un-masculine fear of a tiny little girl boxer dog (which he would own for the rest of his life, which might just go to show where I get my enormous sense of hypocrisy from! And my ability to tell lies to get myself out of situations I don’t want to be in, too, I guess!) and there’s also a story about salted popcorn being propelled down the aisles of a cinema, shoulder shuddering giggles ensuing,w hcih would be another, very sweet comedic aside for the movie John Hughes would have directed. Maybe my mother (Molly Ringwald) would say something in a voice over akin to ‘From the moment that popcorn spilled down the steps of the cinema aisle, I knew I would marry either Andrew McCarthy or John Cusak, depending on casting, and we’d have two amazing children and a very happy life together… everything became clear then.’ End scene.

Anyway, back to the important part of the story, perhaps the main part of the opening chapter, considering that, without it, I’d not actually be here writing this at all, unless I went the route of the usual blogger and hired a ghost writer (oooh, I went there!), but even so, without the main event, I couldn’t hire a ghost writer, and now I’ve officially ‘Inception-ed’ myself.

I was born on Christmas Eve, which was a full eleven days before my due date and as a result, I have given my mam an amazing story to tell to everyone who mentions the fact that I was born on Christmas Eve. She grins, leans towards the person to whom the tale she is telling and states, “Yes, she was supposed to be born then, but she just needed to be here for Santa coming, didn’t you petal?!” and then she looks at me all proud, because as my mother, of course she is proud for having given birth to a human, but also because she’s proud for telling the joke like it was the first time, but also, I’m guessing, because she remembers it word for word every single time, which is actually a very applause worthy accomplishment, given her forgetfulness. Personally, I don’t mind that I was born on Christmas Eve, but other people absolutely hate it and offer me condolences and pitiful glances before telling me that it must be absolutely terrible to have been born then, because people will undoubtedly skimp on presents, given that it’s the time of giving and whatnot, which always seems a little odd to me… why would one skimp during this time? I’m not going to apologise for being born then if people aren’t going to apologise for their blatant cheapness on the day before Jesus’ birth… Bastards.

Obviously, I can’t remember anything about being born, which is probably just as well. I would feel deathly sorry for anyone who can actually remember being cast into the world via means of a vagina, screaming and crying only to me released into – depending on the birthing process, I guess – what I can only imagine being rivers upon rivers of blood and potential excrement… who the hell wants to remember that freakshow?! According to my dad, I was a really intelligent baby and general medical marvel from the moment I was eventually released from the womb and into the real world (absolutely no shit to be seen, I’m told!). Apparently, I didn’t cry at all, just looked around with wide eyed wonder (or, if I was aware of where I had just exited, absolute terror), and later on, when he was tapping my incubator with his finger, I followed his every single tap with my eyes… let’s face it, if that’s not a sign of a genius baby, then what is? I was also told that I was very long and skinny, which looking at me now seems like a genuine impossibility and I often think that I’m told I was long and skinny with a certain sense of scepticism, like my parents have active conversations behind my back, wondering if they brought the correct tiny human home with them, or if they’ve made a terrible mistake. Because, even though my limbs are pretty long, they are also significantly padded, hence their potential disbelief. But, I guess I look far too much like them for that to be a plausible explanation for having a fat twenty six year old child-woman, so that theory is a bit knackered. It’s still good to know that I was skinny once, though (and will be again! My poor, aching skeleton shouts).

In conclusion, this insightful, entirely truthful, if not slightly melodramatic for literary purposes, chapter on how I was born gives you a little taster of what you’re in for over the coming weeks, months, years, decades (depending on how long it takes you to read this), of what’s in store within my biographical process. It will be, hopefully, a good journey, as long as you remember this: You are literally reading the life story of a nobody… that’s what you’re doing right now. Think about that.

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