Sometimes I catch myself feeling astonishingly self-satisfied with my life. I have travelled (four continents and counting), I have eaten some truly weird stuff (including guinea-pig – several times, alligator – not recommended and rat-onna-stick – kind of wish I was joking about that one) and I have met some fascinating people (the guy who’d just gotten out of jail and hadn’t spoken to a woman in years so asked if he could sit by me on the train to Doncaster, the drug-dealer from New Orleans and the guy who bought me a vegan lunch so he could tell me about his pedophile conspiracy theories are the real stand-outs).
But then there are weeks like last week when living in this capitalist modelled society as I do, I wonder if I’ve achieved much with my very little life.
I think that feeling started a lot earlier this year to be honest, though given this is me it’s taken this long to get to the surface. I think it started with Little Sister talking about career choices and me being completely unable to recall ever thinking about career pathways or the like. I never have, I don’t think I ever realised that you were supposed to.
Then TI doing much the same, and me being surprised by the very idea of someone actively planning career moves and steps.
There’s something about it that I find myself thinking of as a pose. It’s much the same way I struggle with people saying “I love you”, my instinct, my gut, tells me it’s false, some sort of pose. Which is presumably why I find myself with jobs to pay the bills rather than in a career you’re supposed to dedicate your whole self to.
Last week it was Cuddles talking about becoming Management and The Selfie King absolutely glowing about his job responsibilities. I’m left cold, struggling to get paid everything I’m owed every month and often making just about enough – usually when I surmount the hill that was just ahead of me the car breaks down or the plumbing or some other insurmountable hill presents itself. I’m thirty-seven and living almost more pay cheque to pay cheque than I was at twenty-seven. There’s a certain feeling of failure that society pushes on you when that’s the case.
Especially when the Princess is married with two kids and a cat, living in a detached house with a garden and managing to keep said house and garden better than I do my terrace without children or pets.
And then the week came to an end and an old friend comes to you for a tarot card reading. He’s not the only one either.
The thing is, I wanted to be a witch. I got what I wanted. I got my fairy gold and I got my liminal power and I got my magic. I think I’m always going to want more and bigger and better, and sometimes I get distracted and think that I should’ve stuck to what society says is how to live. I couldn’t have done that anyway; two assaults by pupils, being bullied by a manger for what turned out to be the symptoms of untreated Anxiety, a chronic illness that leaves me exhausted when I even think of doing a “normal” week’s worth on the regular?
I’m never going to have things, but I do have nice dresses, I have a house and I have jobs that genuinely make a difference. Yes it’s small but each week I get to make Cornish Bloke’s muscles work a little more. I get to help a variety of people with autism work, go to college, engage with the world politically. I get to help a guy with Dementia enjoy dinner in fancy restaurants. It’s small and it’s all around the edges of life but gods it’s one hell of a life. I got my liminal magic in the end, there’s so much more to do but I have by and large done rather well at getting what I wanted.