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Investigating my own experience II

What do you want to be when you grow up? How many times I heard that question from well-meaning relatives I dread to think. For sixteen years I had only vague ideas about my future although I was well aware of my parent’s expectations. Their expectations didn’t match mine, of that I had no doubts.

Thanks to a local youth worker, I did begin to put a couple of plans together. The first was thwarted because they wouldn’t employ people under eighteen and the second similarly so. I would have to wait until at least twenty-one and gain more experience. It doesn’t matter what my goals were although I must say they were nothing outside the ordinary. What did matter was feeling like I had been stuffed into a glass box. I saw well enough but only to look, not to experience.

My family seemed to be getting what they wanted. A son working in local industry, finding a partner, getting married . . . That was their path, not mine and although I had a good time at British Aerospace, I used the opportunity to save toward a few years travelling. The glass box had to go, my path was clear and it was far from traditional or expected. It resulted in estrangement from a family who couldn’t believe that I threw away an amazing job in favour of travelling to ‘who knows where.’

Now here’s where I step right outside the box and I know I am not alone in this. Not that it matters. As a young person I never easily came to terms with the way society ran. Go to school, get a job, find a partner, mortgage, life insurance, family, etc.  I’m not an anarchist and realistic enough to know that at this time, that is the way of the world. Driven by money and controlled by a minority. This used to cause me no end of stress because I saw where I was and it wasn’t where I wanted to be. Change needed to come and I knew I had to be the agent of change, beginning with me. So off I went to unknown shores with an open mind to see what I could discover about people of the world and my place therein.

You can read other instalments of this investigation at Sue Vincent’ Daily Echo and in The Crazy Mind Interview More will follow here . . .

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