Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Fairyland

I can't believe I'm going back to England again tomorrow- I don't feel ready at all. There were so many things I had to do this half term- write my personal statement, start my applications for drama school, find material for my English classes and plan a whole term's worth of work...

It's not like I went out a lot either- once again I arrived in England penniless and had to spend most of the week on my mum's couch, drinking tea and watching reruns of Come Dine With Me. I don't understand what happened- I planned on saving up loads of euros, so I could pay my mum back the money I owe her for the flights, visit my friends and family in Liverpool and buy myself some English treats to take back to Paris...

By the time I stepped off the plane at Manchester airport, I had fifty euros for the entire week, which shrank into a measly thirty five when I changed it into pounds.

The money I earn is Paris is like Fairy Gold- I seem to have a lot of it to spend on champagne and croissants when I'm here, but as soon as I try and leave France it crumbles to nothing in my purse. When I opened my purse at the bank, I swear there was actually a layer of glittery dust at the bottom of it.

Maybe France is my Fairyland: I spend my days playing make-believe games; the gold I earn looks like Monopoly money and disappears as soon as you look away; and the streets are lined with gold-dusted chocolate tarts...


They say you're not supposed to eat the Fairy Food or you'll have to stay forever.

But this time I am DEFINITELY moving back to England. I know I say that every year but this year it's different, because I have The Plan. The drama school thing might not work out, but it's better to try, don't you think? How can you live your life not knowing? I don't want to get to sixty and be miserable because I always wanted to try drama school and I never even tried. At least if I audition and I don't get in- I'll Know.

My mum seemed quite supportive at first, when I told her The Plan, but then she took me for a long walk in the rain and started asking me what I expected to happen after drama school.

"You like going to Ibiza, don't you? You like nice make-up, don't you? It's not fun, you know, when you can't pay the gas bill and you have to ring up and ask them if you can pay a little bit this month and another little bit next month."

My mum is obsessed with me not being able to pay the gas bill, she brings it up every time we talk about The Future. I'm not an idiot, I know what happens when you don't pay the gas bill- one year at uni I lived in a hideous slug cave in the grimiest part of Liverpool and our gas was on the meter and we never topped it up, so we were very cold a lot of the time and we couldn't use the gas stove and we had to boil the kettle to run a bath...
Of course it wasn't fun and I will try really hard to avoid such a dire financial situation, but must this be at the expense of doing what I really want to do?

It's fucking terrifying. What if I make a decision now that I live to regret? Shall I try and get a sensible job, or shall I go to drama school (if I get in, of course) and get into more debt? I think that training somewhere like RADA or Guildhall will open up a world of opportunities. I want the credentials, as well as the experience.

What am I more afraid of? Not having the experiences I want in life, or not having the security?

What if I get a job that I don't really like, buy a flat somewhere crap, and then get run over by a bus?

Pfffft.

The truth is I do live in Fairyland sometimes...

I was going to add a 'but' but I can't think of one.

17 comments:

  1. Erm, well I suppose I "followed my dreams" aka arsed around my whole life travelling and studying English Lit, and here I am washed up at 30 with no job, no money & no boyfriend while my sensible friends are buying their own houses and having babies (yuck, babies, but still, proper grown-up stuff). I'd still probably say to go for it I suppose, but to be honest, it is a bit shit when you look around and go "oh, whoops, maybe I'm wasting my life?"

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    1. I'd like to draw your attention to what Olivia has posted below:

      "Gwan, at least you've lived. 30 is young! Your friends will be bored and divorcing at the time you're finding Prince Charming and your perfect job."

      What she said, you're not wasting your life, you've lived in loads of good places! Wasting your life would be staying at home and never seeing the world.

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    2. Thanks Olivia & LBM, that cheers me up (not that I wish divorce on my friends of course). Sorry for being a negative Nancy all over your blog, listen to the others!

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  2. I think you should do it LBM, and even if you are all washed up, dirty and poor at 30 you still have plenty time to do all the sensible stuff after. You will be happier having tried! I live in Fairyland too, it's not always a bad thing! Xx

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    1. Thanks Mairi! I heard in your part of Fairyland they eat tapas and paella instead of gold cakes but I bet it's still lovely, I definitely will come and visit you one day!

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  3. I live in Fairyland too babe, I'm right there with you and when we come out of drama school we won't have aged a day and we can start doing what we want to do.

    Gwan, at least you've lived. 30 is young! Your friends will be bored and divorcing at the time you're finding Prince Charming and your perfect job.

    I want wisdom to pass on to my kids, I want to have lived and fucked up first.

    Gas bills, smash bills.

    Liv x

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    1. Haaaa of course! I forgot you don't age in Fairyland! I bet we won't age that much though anyway, it's only three years! I will cut down on the booze and start getting some early nights just to be on the safe side...

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  4. I say - don't worry yet. Do the drama school thing and don't panic. You've got YEARS to correct any mistakes - really you have. It's 7 years until we're 30, SO MUCH can happen in 7 years, and there are plenty of people aged 30 and over who are still drifting/studying/deciding. I think having this feeling of cautiousness proves that you'll know when to really call it a day and "grow up", if the time ever comes when you really need to - you've got the security of common sense there for if the time ever comes. But these are your years, you have to do what you want, and you obviously want to go to drama school! And have for years!

    I've got a "proper job" and a mortgage and a kid, and I'm so so happy and focussed on building home and security and savings all of that. But I am confident that I've done all the living I needed to do beforehand, and I'm ready for this now. Anything left on my to-do list, I can do with T & T.

    And you can pmake all the plans in the world, and some external factor will come and throw a spanner in the works. Plan to remain free and expand your horizons and boom - you're pregnant/stuck in relationship which keeps you in one place/run out of money once and for all. Plan to save your money and have a baby and boom - redundancy/you can't get preggo/you go through a break up.

    You know yourself that you'll never be happy/sure of thimngs if you don't give dramarama a go! Nothing can happen that is so bad you can't fix it again before the time that you're supposed to be set up and sorted out, and who knows, you might even become a STAR, kid.

    Jess x

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    1. Very good advice Jess! I like the idea that nothing can happen that I can't fix, I guess my main worry is that I will try and be an actor until I am fifty and make no money and then be regretful, but of course I will realise if it isn't going to work way before I get too old that I can't try something else.

      I can't believe that you now have a babbie and a soon to be husband! I can imagine you in a retro wedding dress, walking down the aisle to Morrisey... xx

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  5. I think you should do it! I am kinda sorta maybe almost jealous you are going back to england. But you will do awesome and what is money anyways, it will come when you least expect it. I think you should follow what your heart is telling you! Good luck! I'm rooting for you! :D

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    1. Thank you for rooting for me! I'm so happy with all these lovely, supportive comments!

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  6. I think you should go for it, and while you're studying drama, try to find a rich man to marry you so your gas bill will always be paid no matter what ;)

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    1. Thanks for the support and may I say excellent plan! (Except nowadays I think all the rich men expect to marry a rich woman who will contribute towards the gas bill, the cheek of it...)

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  7. Not to turn this into an echo chamber but I agree with everyone else who's commented and think you should follow your dream and try out for Drama school. I myself am 30 and was always passionate about reading/writing; wanted to study English but was dissuaded by my parents with the same speeches your mother gave you. 'You like nice things and like to spend money so you should have a secure job etc...' Anyway, I caved and studied Accounting and have never been happy with my job but could never leave because I still kept spending and had loads of debts. Making money facilitated me spending it, so I feel sort of trapped now and need to continue working in a job that I dislike in order to pay my debts. Had I pursued my passion for writing I may still have been broke but I would have been a lot happier and would never have gotten into so much debt. Everyone says that 30 is young but I feel older than my years and like I've wasted my life with no chance of correcting it. My passion and creativity has been sucked by this dreary ‘stable’ life and now I feel empty. I also am stuck in Continental Europe; want to go back to England to do something else but I can't, again due to money issues. Sorry for the depressing comment (it's my fist by the way) but just wanted to let you know that going the sensible route doesn't always pay off if every fibre of your being is against it.

    L O

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    1. First of all, thanks for the very heartfelt advice. Secondly, I can't believe you think 30 is too old to change your life! 30 is not too old to do anything, especially not writing! Thanks for the helpful comment, but I can't help worrying that you should take your own advice and get out of this job that you seem to hate...

      LBM.

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  8. I studied theatre in college (here in the US), went to law school a few years later because it was the sensible thing to do, hated my life as a lawyer, and -at 30 years old- quit my well-paid lawyer job to start a photography business and do what makes me happy, not what makes me rich. It's tough -especially because law school here in the states is not cheap- but I'm happier than I've ever been knowing I'm doing what my heart desires. Eventually, the money will come, too. When you're truly happy with the path you're on, the work is fun and the motivation to do it is never-ending. I have faith that no matter what you do, your gas bill will always be paid. :)

    xo,
    Stephanie (Big Mario Life)

    PS - lovely blog! Just found you via the boot. :)

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    1. I really hope that thing you said about the gas bill is true... I've looked at your photographs and you are obviously in the right profession now, I hope the commenter above reads your comment and takes it to heart- it might be hard but 30 is not too old to change your career, is it? Thanks for the lovely comment!

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