A Tumble and a Trip

Bong. Bong. Bong.

Life has ups. Life has downs. Life even has middles (they’re less interesting). The reality of life though is that you will have days of soaring happiness; days where the wind beneath you makes the sensation of flying high feel like it will last forever.

Then you’ll inevitably have days where it will feel like you’re slowly sinking in quick sand – the distant lights of the world getting gradually further and further away as you descend deeper, until you’re just in a long, dark tunnel of your own making.

Picture the scene, it’s a brisk autumn morning, you’re out on a hike; maybe you have a dog with you, a flask of some form of hot fluid in one of those backpacks with the unnecessary water drinking tubes.

As you’re at the top of the mountain, while all the heads around you are craning to take in the scenery, bristling to get the best view; if you are spending the entire time daydreaming about what you are going to do when you get to the bottom, you could find yourself losing your footing and toppling all the way back down.

On the flip side, if one were to pay too much mind to how windy it will probably be at the top, or worrying about how cloudy it might be while your feet are still firmly on the concrete of the car park, you could just as easily end up tripping over a rock before you are ever able to get going.

Tired out, Tired in

Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong.

Tiredness hit hard pre-Christmas. My sleep, while still world’s away from what it has been in the past had slipped ever so slightly. Being tucked up in bed by 12, ready for work the next day had become awake at 2, at 3, at 4 even, nothing drastic, I was just askew — my motivation, my energy, my productivity, my drive; passion; sociability, they were all a little askew…

Fortunately, there was escape coming. I went home for the holidays. I was able to spend time with my family and I enjoyed myself. It was truly nice to just get away from the noise; the hustle and bustle of the city for a while and just relax in my childhood home with the people I love. I spent my Christmas day full, content, watching crap television — I was home, my tiredness and troubles were in the past, I couldn’t have asked for more.

In truth my time away was all a bit of a blur. Christmas came and went with its usual bright, bedazzling bluster. New Years was a relief after the year before and I was able to spend it with friends, then came my birthday, my 25th Birthday.

Similarly to Christmas, I spent the day of my birthday with my family, I don’t live with them anymore so I have to make the most of any chance I can to spend quality time with them. We went out for food and had a lovely evening — but before long the time had come to head back to the city, and to my horror, the tiredness hadn’t really gone away, it was just waiting for me here.

It is early February, almost exactly a month ago I was in the centre of a crowded room celebrating a quarter of a century of me. I was drinking my favourite drinks, listening to a playlist of my favourite music, virtually all of my favourite people were there, and I was having the best time. At home in a loaded space.

In that moment I knew exactly when and where I belonged. Now fast forward to tonight, just over a month later, I’m sat at my desk drinking a can, feeling lost in a quiet and empty room. Why?

Society is obsessed with putting pressure on young people, putting bizarre deadlines on life to make. By the time Jobs was my age he was a millionaire, JK Rowling had come up with the idea for Harry Potter, McCartney had released Sgt Pepper and The White Album, hell my Dad had had a child and my Mum was a homeowner.

Yet here I am, sat alone in the bedroom of my rental apartment, looking out at the ripples in the water and listening to drunkards stumbling home — I’m wondering what I’m doing with my life, and wondering if I’m actually any cop at the one thing I’ve pinned my aspirations on. I guess you could say that I’ve been having a bit of a quarter life crisis.

Quarter Life Crisis

Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong.

The beauty of a quarter life crisis is that it’s very similar to a mid-life one, except it’s so much less flashy. People my age haven’t got the cash lying around to buy fancy car in order to compensate for anything, nor do we have anywhere near the job security to have an affair with a secretary. We are the secretary.

I would appear to have virtually everything; a job with prospects, I live in a nice flat, with people I care about around me, a loving family nearby, I own a Yankee candle, I even have an air fryer; so why have I been feeling this sense of disappointment and malaise?

In some ways no generation has ever been luckier than mine; there are no catastrophic wars, we have constant access to any information and media we could possibly need, and we can order a burger when we’re hungover without even needing to get out of bed.

But in other ways we are hard done by — many of us can’t afford to buy a home unless we have support from family, we’ve been ruled over by a class of debauched, degenerate dickheads for a majority of our lives, and to boot we have the crushing pressures and anxiety of the negative aspects of social media, the internet, influencer culture, and more.

But we also have each other. We have the confidence and empathy to talk about our issues — how we feel, openly discuss what had previously been taboo, bring to light misjustice, we stand together to try to change the world for the better whenever we can.

Ultimately we probably shouldn’t be putting so much pressure on ourselves, the world does that enough for us all and then some. We aren’t all Steve Jobs and Paul McCartney, if the world was full of people like them then we wouldn’t be able to move for turtlenecks and acoustic covers.

We can go full speed ahead into the unknown with little regard for the moment, but that can easily lead you to falling over a cliff-edge. Maybe it’s about time I considered taking a moment to enjoy the view and saving thinking about the summit until I actually get there.

Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong.

The bell may toll for thee.

But right now it tolls not quite.

Not before the time is right

Until that day I am free.

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