Imagine if we didn’t know our birth years and no-one had any idea how old they were, all of us, so there were no expectations, limitations, or for that point advantages of being a certain age. Apart from the obvious physical changes in appearance we could be at whatever stage we fancy, and act accordingly. I have a friend who says she’s Ibiza ’98; when she looks in the mirror she sees the party girl she was at 25. We can joke about being 39 again when we are 65 but in all honesty we can feel the clock ticking and are reminded every year of the time speeding by celebrating our birthdays and none so much as the ‘big’ birthdays, 18, 21, miss a few 30, 40 and so on until the Queen sends you your telegram at 100.
At 39 you maybe started to reflect on where you could have taken a different turn, counting your blessings (you made it this far) and asking yourself what to do next to make your mark while you are still arguably young. Those of you who have children doubtless think you’re already doing the most important job and your best achievement will be raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted human beings and quite rightly so, good luck with that. I’m greedy, I also want a little bit more. A not so wise self-made millionaire once told me that he didn’t want people to just walk over his grave but to stop and say ‘ah that was the man who …’ His chain of electronic stores aren’t exactly awe inspiring on a cultural level but his name comes up a lot on a Google search.
So the question therefore has to be, what to do? Let’s start by looking at what we are good at. I used to think I was funny, so much so that at one point in the height of youthful folly and over confidence I considered being a stand up comedienne. In fact I went so far as to audition for Pontins and Butlins – an auspicious start to anyone’s stand up career. Unfortunately I wasn’t a terribly good singer so whether I was funny or not didn’t come into it, you had to be a talented all-rounder so the closest I got to a holiday camp was cleaning tents for Eurocamp. So comedy to make my mark? Maybe not. I can draw reasonably well but have no passion or real talent for art, I am no genius inventor or innovator, sport is certainly not my forte. Hmm, the biggest challenge as I see it is to recognise a talent or passion and harness it. That’s it, I am really good at watching TV, gossiping to friends, have been known to be over dramatic, I should work in the TV industry. Oh yes, that’s been my chosen profession for the last 17 years and as yet haven’t managed to make a particular impact. So does that mean we have to re-invent the wheel or just ourselves to become notable or should we bow out gracefully and concede that to our family and friends we are notable enough? For me the fire of youth and ambition are smouldering in me and as I creep towards my big 4-0 the flames are beginning to grow.
When I told my son I would get him a helicopter when I was a millionaire a friend who overheard told me I should keep my dreams more realistic. Balls, I’m sure JK Rowling didn’t expect to be the billionaire she is today. Today could be the start of realising my dreams, well, a girl can but dream…