“You should try to keep your options open,” he said.
I nodded all the while, thinking, “Though I am nodding I’m pretty much going to do what I want anyway.”
Leaving the Job Centre I knew that the advisor had never met one of me before.
Turning up to sign on (eurgh), I considered my future or lack of it. Gone, were the dreams of working in a office, with girls of my own age, chatting about More Magazine and how hot our boss was. Gone were the daydreams of jumping out of bed at the sound of my alarm, and skipping into my work place, happy to be alive. Gone were any dreams at all, because what lies in front of me is….apathy.
The reason I went to college was so that I could train to be a midwife. That’s why I studied Psychology, because it counted as a science and would lead me onto the Midwifery course. That’s what I might have been doing now, filling in forms, talking to women who are doing something amazing, giving birth. I would be helping people and because of it, I would have meaning and purpose. (Having said that I have no idea how the recession has changed life for midwives.) I would be doing something important. I know that the worse thing you can do is link your identity to your ability to work. Once you do that, you’re finished. When I was a sales assistant though, that was who I was. The uniform became a part of me and when working it was always ‘WE don’t have that in stock’ and ‘WE are trying our best.’
So why midwifery?
I was at that age where I wanted to shock people and my family were always asking. ‘What do you want to do with your life?’
‘What job would shock them?’ I thought and for some reason I thought ‘midwife.’ For some reason it just fit.
Now though I’m a different person. Maybe not better, but different.
So I turn up and there’s a random man, sorry advisor sitting behind a desk.
“A letter was sent out to let you know about this interview,” he said.
I held my tongue but, “since when can you trust Royal Mail?’ was just on the tip of it.
“So you obviously didn’t get it,” he said and I shook my head.
“No,” I managed but inside I was panicking. What did they know about me? Interview! What for?
“Sorry, what is this for?” I asked.
“Oh it’s just an interview to help with your job search, I’ll be looking over your cv. I’ve got a copy here.”
translation: I’ll be checking up on you. I am the eyes of the state.
He took out a battered copy of my cv and my first thought was, ‘where did you get that from?’ I then remembered that it was me who gave a copy in to the Job Centre. Duh!
“Oh, I have a new version now,” I said. (My cv changes regularly, dependant upon my mood.)
“Right, because you have no personal profile on this one,”
“That’s what I added.”
Blah blah blah, he raved on, but my mind, as always, was on other things. What would my character’s music be? We Are Young 30!H3. Can you ever be friends with someone who likes you in a love type way? (Turns out no.) In fact why can’t the people that you crush on like you back? Why is love so complicated? Wait, I’m not wearing makeup, how did that happen?
“So what jobs have you been applying for?” he asked, selfishly breaking into my thought pattern.
“Oh, publishing,” I said. It seemed simple said aloud. It sounded right.
“I think you should keep your options open,” he said.
“Right,” I said narrowing one eye in the way I have.
“Anything else?” he asked.
“Well I wanted to do Journalism or writing. I’ve been applying to…”
He was shaking his head slightly, unconsciously I think.
“Well I just finished a job in retail…..”
Still shaking that damn head of his.
“Because I want to leave home…..”
“To leave….Birmingham….” I trailed off and realised he wasn’t listening. I’m sure he was a nice person but he wasn’t listening. Yes, publishing is hard to get into. So is retail, and office work (which he suggested.) It took me three months to get a job that I worked for another three months on minimum wage and here I was again.
I realised that I was angry. Not at him. It wasn’t his fault that the generations before us screwed everything up and so now we pay.
We pay for their credit crunch.
We pay for their poor mistakes.
We pay because we dared to dream. (Cosmopolitan: Angry Generation.)
What if I made the wrong choices? What if I was meant to be a midwife? What if that path would have lead me to living away from home? It drives me crazy.
Teaching seems secure. A decision that would make sense in a logical world.
Now I don’t know what to do.
So how will I stay positive? I’ve been….wearing a tiara. I’m not the only insane person who does it!!! There’s a whole Facebook group dedicated to it. More importantly his lack of faith has kicked me into proper job hunting.
I can’t imagine teaching though, standing at the front of a room of bright eyed children. All of them expecting something from me and I can’t even promise them anything.
“If you try really, really hard and, truly believe then you can watch the rich children go to university.”
Life is exhausting, why did no one tell me this before?
(Oh and I really enjoyed writing those small talk posts, I may do more.)