When I was 15, I decided to see a careers advisor. I’m not sure why but I felt I had to, as I was hurtling towards adulthood without a firm career plan. Whilst my friends were worrying if they had enough money to scrape together for a bottle of Diamond White, or frantically nominating the person that looked old enough to ‘go in the shop’, I was furiously wondering where I was going to be in 10 years time…
So the meeting with the careers advisor didn’t go to plan. When she beckoned me through to her office, an office which looked like a photocopier had violently vomited, we got down to business:
“So, how can I help you?”
“I want to be a Journalist, I think. Could you point me in the right direction please?”
To this day, the silence makes me cringe. Her narrow, hazel eyes were transfixed on my bemused grin, before she delivered her damning verdict:
“Have you thought about a trade course. There’s a really good electrician’s course. You might like that.”
Fast-forward eight years. In that time,
(i) I grew to 6ft
(ii) Realised I have a fear of desperately boring people
(iii) Left my comfort zone and moved to London’s poorest borough
(iv) Met some of the most creative and career-driven people
(v) Learnt a huge lesson about looking after your health
(vi) Gained a degree and a post-grad qualification
(vii) Had some really whack shape-ups
(viii) Developed a devastatingly bad tendency to dress everything in sarcasm
(ix) Became accustomed to the fact that my lateness is stuff of legend
(x) And the biggest thing I learnt…you can do anything if you put your mind to it
But here’s where it went wrong. I became a bit lost. Disorientated? Cocky maybe? (Doubt it). There were too many choices, too many tantalising temptations as to what to do next. So what did I do? Well, nothing.
(Stricly not true- I’ve completed an obscene amount of work placements. I’ve done it all- made tea (badly) and dropped the tray; stood out in the rain, with notebook and pen, interviewing athletes until the rain soaked my socks and left my bottom lip quivering. I’ve been to murder scenes and casually asked what happened. Got hopelessly lost on many assignments and wandered around tough, inner-London council estates, practically asking to get mugged; attended a protest march with deaf children and wondered why they weren’t very talkative. Had many highs, far too many lows, fucked up and been roared at and been praised when I’ve managed to get something right.
All of this for free might I add. (I’m sure this has raised a few eyebrows at my local tax office. Surely there’s a gymslip mum, crying out for her next Primark fix…)
I’ve applied for jobs, made embarrassing follow-up calls, only to be told that the position had been filled. I’ve been to interviews, thought they’ve gone well when they clearly hadn’t and been unceremoniously rejected; I’ve refreshed gorkana far too many times that my index finger has begun to twitch nervously.
To those of you who have correctly guessed who I am, you are quite right to feel perplexed; for someone who exudes arrogance confidence through every pore, this surely must be a work of fiction or an elaborate joke. Unfortunately not.
It’s a new decade and I’m determined to get my mojo back. I’ve started this blog so I can track my own progress. This might be quite epic to look back over. Or rather tragic.
So armed with my pen, a head full of shorthand outlines and McNae close to hand, I’m ready. Though I am giving the electrician thing a second thought.
Until next time…..
♫ Jay-Z – Thank You