Further Notes on Nostalgia: The Challenges of owning a West Highland White Terrier

“Everybody’s changing and I still feel the same” that’s the first line of the chorus of a similarly titles Keane song. That is the problem with being 20 or 21 in England. If you’ve gone to University and chosen a ‘normal’ course it means that you’ll be graduating sometime soon. This graduation is different from all others that you’ve had before because after this you should now be equipped to face the joys of new single bachelor or bachelorette-hood. It is what you have read in many books. The years of young adulthood spent living in an average to great studio. The years of independence where you do not need to rely on parental or governmental favour. The years when you’re still young enough to have a good time without really thinking about the future. It is the life you have imagined for yourself since you were 12. You work 9 to 5 every day of a 5 day week, you own a West Highland White Terrier (same breed as Snowy; Tintin’s dog) called Scrimp (alternate pronunciation of shrimp) and you have a group of like minded friends in a similar situation with whom you paint the town red every Friday night.

In truth this is only one half of the narrative regarding the mechanics of moving on. I have spent every year of my life so far in education. Moving from one phase to the next like clockwork. Everything had a map, an organised pattern that was infallible. After kindergarten I knew I would go to nursery school and after that I knew I would go to primary school and after that I knew I would go to secondary school and after that I knew I would go to an A level college and after that I knew I would go to university. What comes after university? What if the life you envisioned yourself living turns out to be further away from the reality? What do you do then? You see there’s no plan for this and it does not matter if you stay on to do a masters and then a PhD, because you know at some point that you will still be faced by this quagmire.

Even more beguiling is how jerky life has been so far. At any point when I feel that I have finally made to solid ground I feel myself yanked to another portion of the sea that I am not yet comfortable with. So just like all the other times, when I finally began to feel comfortable about life in university I see the end of my current course. I know that soon, I must prepare to sail for uncharted waters.

It is a little overwhelming when the world you know seems to be bursting at the seams. It’s the fluidity of it, the choppiness of it, the intermediacy of it, the knowledge that every step already taken was only in preparation for the next. The startling realisation that there will probably never be a time where I can stop and admire the view. So why is it that everybody’s changing and I still feel the same? Everyone around me seems to be developing some mechanism for contending with the approaching difficulty while I remain woefully unprepared. Or maybe it’s just that we’re all actors, constantly going through the motions, never letting anyone see deep enough to realise the conflicts that lie therein. Maybe whoever it was that first said nothing lasts forever had the right of it...

Happy Days,


Anonymous said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks like this.....on a side note you write very well.

Afam said...

Thunks Comrade!!

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