20 good years

That’s about all I have left I guess … I HOPE!! That means 60 have gone by already in a bloody blink of an eye.   It is actually scary how quickly it passes.   My dad always told me “you’ll feel the same inside as you always did..” he was not wrong…


Weren’t they good then, those years?   I hear you ask.  I think that overall yes they were, and are!   But I think I have now left it late to make a dash for the many things I did not have the courage to do when I was younger.  Honestly I was the lamest,  most cowardly young person.  I’ll tell 20 year olds today “ugh your 20s suck.. “ because MY 20s sucked.. mostly because I kept myself so small,  for example I didn’t even have the courage to drive until I was nearly 30….  if you keep yourself small like that … nothing stands out or not much does,  and before you know  it 10 years have gone by … then 20.   


I definitely have achieved plenty of things, pretty much the same things as most people, particularly  those of my vintage , strive to achieve, things that are highly valued.. that I highly value. I sometimes feel that quite often I was not in the moment while I set about creating the life I wanted, quite a lot of the time in fact… and I guess that has contributed to the feeling  of time passing very rapidly.  Yes I got married, twice in fact……. I went to University… I did that twice too… the second time decades after the first… when I finally bit the bullet and aimed for an actual career.  I did what I still consider the best thing ever..and I appreciate how lucky I am, but it is quite rightly not for everyone..I had my children.. 3 of them… It’s fair to say they  don’t need me, although I’ll always be here , of course they have their own lives… it’s a traditional thing to be proud of …but these kids are a credit to themselves and I’m beyond lucky with them.  I did forget really that I actually had a completely separate life of my own for a while there.  So as the sands of time are flowing towards empty so rapidly I had thought I might pay attention to that fact.  The truth about career is…. I had no idea what I wanted to do, ever…  I drifted through education and a first round of higher education with my main consideration being… so long as whatever I have to do  it doesn’t involve maths.  That first degree led my to wasting 12 years in a job I hated.. and quite honestly never really did properly.   I was actually there for 16 years.. I didn’t mind the first 4.   Who stays in a job for 16 years now I wonder, who is actually pathetic enough to stay somewhere they hate?  Someone without courage and direction but with  a mortgage I suppose.   


I have never actually felt old, on my 40th birthday I had a newborn daughter, how could I possibly feel old given that particular gift?  Completely exhausted yes… old.. not even a little.  But then 40 is really not considered old any more.   I had quite a few things to get done before my next milestone birthday.   Emigrating to a new country was top of that list.. and I did get it done.  Hey it’s sad to leave friends and family … because yes we were blazing a trail that no one else in our family had ever done. But it was exciting too for the 4 of us ( my eldest stayed behind for University)  After a few years of working in the Aussie version of the job I hated.  I finally thought I had the nerve to try a real professional job.   Very proud to be accepted into a post graduate teaching course.  Oh boy University  the second time was a different beast …well for a start the last time I was there, there were no computers for the students, only a very limited number … and it wasn’t compulsory to use them, thank God.  I wrote my essays by hand and edited them by cutting them up!


I really enjoyed teaching at first… but in a stroke of bad luck I landed my own class  with a team of bullies as colleagues.   I’m serious.  I could feel the energy was bad in that school but was grateful to finally be in charge of my own class.  What can I tell you … I finished that year with a cancer diagnosis.  I wasn’t surprised. 


Once that particular health domino had fallen, they all fell thick and fast, a hip replacement was the next thing.. oh my Gosh it was the best thing ever.  I shed a ton of weight too because I could actually MOVE.  I know I said I had never any idea of what I wanted to do for work, well for the grind, no… but what I really really wanted to do was to learn how to act, or as I felt it was in my case, although I’d last done it decades ago, affirm I could act.   I did an entry audition!  I got in!   I don’t know what it is about acting class, but I felt all the games and running about were not for me… give me a script and let me perform it.   I’ve written about this elsewhere… but we didn’t end up getting our full course…. but there was no way now I was going to stop acting..and except for this year of covid,  robbing me of a year, well everyone of a year of their life tally…I haven’t!   And even then I’ve done zoom performance.  This is what I want to do but I know I’ll have to get money from elsewhere.   I have been pushed… and now I will be doing supply teaching.  


I am most proud that with my very much younger friends I co founded a theatre group… we performed our own material and it has been a great experience and a huge learning curve.  2O something Gillian would have thought it impossible.     I love how proactive and brave young people are now.  I don’t know what’s going to happen as we come out of this pandemic.. if we do.  It makes it hard for everyone to make the most of their lives.  


When I was  a child a year took a WHOLE year to go by right?  Now each Christmas merges into the next Christmas….. and who knows what this Christmas will be like…  I really hope I will get 20 good years, or 15 or 10.   Please? I would never tell anyone what to do but if I could proffer an opinion, don’t leave your run as late as I did.  I’m glad that I am doing my acting now but it’s a bit sad I could have been doing it for 40 years not 4.

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