This is your life

I guess it’s a cliché that life never turns out the way you expected it to, but just how far removed are you now from what you thought your life would be like? I don’t mean something as obvious as “When I was a boy I wanted to be an astronaut, but now I’m a civil servant” (I mean, when did you ever meet a boy who wanted to be a civil servant when he grew up?). I knew from quite a young age that I wanted to move away from my home town, and not long after that I started wondering what it would be like to live in another country. Marriage and children were never high on the agenda, but that’s not surprising at that age, is it? Still, if I look at my life now, I’d never have guessed back then that this is how things would turn out. And that’s not to say I’m disappointed either. In fact, this element of surprise is perhaps the best part. Can you imagine being one of those driven, go-getting types who set their minds on goals, then achieve them? “I want that. Okay, I’ve got it now – what else do I want?” No surprises. How boring.
How many “curveballs” has life thrown you (I guess the English, cricketing version of this analogy would be a “googlie”, right Jim?)?
I’m trying to search for an appropriate analogy here – something like life being like a box of chocolates, perhaps…? Does life feel like a rollercoaster ride, and is that because you’re not the one who’s driving?

On a side note – I used to constantly dream about driving a car whose pedals didn’t work – I’d just pootle along; unable either to brake or accelerate. Curiously, since finally learning to drive a couple of years ago the dream hasn’t recurred. Neither has the one where all my teeth fall out. I guess it’s a good sign that I’ve outgrown my childhood recurring nightmares. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a nightmare…

I’m really going to have to learn to structure these entries a bit more – what a shapeless, meandering ramble that was, right?

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One thought on “This is your life

  1. simonlitton October 16, 2007 / 12:06 pm

    Comments from:
    -Jane/Hillbilly, Please
    Posted on Oct. 23rd, 2006 04:06 pm (local)

    Curveballs?
    A major one careerwise in that I always loved space science but never, in a million years and particularly if I had tried, would I have thought I’d work for NASA. But I did for several years and I loved it. My entire career has been skewed toward science even though my training is in English/Literature.
    Personally things have turned out more or less as I expected given how I’ve been defined as “self-contained” since birth. Single and childless at 36? ‘Tis okay really.

    Simon
    Posted on Oct. 23rd, 2006 04:14 pm (local)
    “Childless”, or “childfree”? There’s a world of difference, and people often get very shouty and excited debating that…

    Jane
    Posted on Oct. 23rd, 2006 04:51 pm (local)
    Oh god. They do? Why?
    Let me rephrase: “I am not anyone’s mother, by choice.”

    Simon
    Posted on Oct. 23rd, 2006 05:01 pm (local)
    Some people who have decided not to procreate take exception to the word “childless”, which they feel implies that they lack something, that they are incomplete and unfulfilled. Whereas “childfree” implies, well, freedom.

    Jane
    Posted on Oct. 23rd, 2006 05:01 pm (local)
    I can see why this is so thorny. Would the “freedom” that is implied by “childfree” set off another group of people who resent the implication that children are a burden in the pejorative sense? I am neither lacking something nor unburdened; I simply don’t have any children.
    Children are fantastic and I wouldn’t rule them out but the circumstances would have to be right, and that is a very individual and subjective thing to define.

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