Single Bilingual… So What?

I can’t even be arsed being depressed today, that is how depressed I actually am. As I stare out of the window and wonder if I could get away with setting fire to the office, my thoughts turn to my ‘life’. Eugh. Anyone who has ever thought about their ‘life’ before will back me up when I say that, unless you are a Spice Girl, an F1 driver or a bloody millionaire or something, thinking about your ‘life’ is a depressing act not recommended AT ALL. Nevertheless, I sit here and I wonder…

Apparently, I’m clever. People stopped telling me this quite a few years ago as they got sick of me going ‘Me? Really? Aw shurrup…’ and peppering the air with false modesty. I KNOW I’m clever. If I were stupid I wouldn’t know that my ‘life’ was a bit crap at the moment, would I? So, if I’m so clever, where’s the evidence. Despite my beaming school reports and homework with ‘Excellent!’ scrawled all over it in red pen, my intelligence has always been cold comfort to me. Admittedly I’m shallow and fickle, so lately I’ve been of the opinion that being clever gets you nowhere in this world. Again, look at the Spice Girls. To get anywhere in our ‘look at me’ society you need to be good-looking, with the right clothes and the right shoes. Well, I always wear nice shoes so I’m part of the way there, I guess.

I used to think that I’d get ‘discovered’. I don’t mean by some talent scout who would drag me over the counter of McDonald’s (I had a lot of ‘Escape from Shiteness’ fantasies when I worked there) and tell me they were going to make me a star (in what, for example?) but I just thought that maybe I’d get noticed and propelled to top-level management (not at McDonald’s) and be a boy wonder at 19 with an amazingly sexy girlfriend and convertibles and champagne coming out of the bath taps. This has yet to happen.

So I went to university to do a French degree. I’ve always been good at French. Like, really good. “I’ve always got that to fall back on,” I would think in my typical ‘everything-will-be-all right’ ridiculous teenage optimism. Looking back, I realise I was quite possibly the most naïve dunderhead to walk the Earth. Fall back on? Fall back on to do what, Justin? Not much call for la belle langue française when you’re working in a chippy is there? “Bonjour, luv, would you like salt and vinegar on yer pommes frites? Ta, chuck.” Also another curse of being ‘clever’ (or at least being told I was) was that I became complacent, in so far as I completely stopped studying and did as little work as I possibly could, instead escaping to the uni bar to drink vile cocktails, moving on to dodgy clubs and then on to screwing girls I didn’t even like… just because they were there.

I thought I could get way with this, as I did not pick up a single book during GCSEs and A-levels and still managed to pass them. Eventually, university turned round and said, “Goodbye, we’d like you to leave now.” I tried a half-hearted appeal and then realised it was futile (I think it really hit home when a tutor said to me, “Look, we’re just not letting you back in, no matter what you say.”) and so I skipped off happily to another university, determined to make it work this time.

Naturally studying was alien and of course I was resentful that my valuable partying and fun-having time was being eaten into by the very reason I was supposed to be there. It paid off of course and I left with a degree in something much more useful than just French (can I just say to my old university “Kiss my arse, ha ha ha!”) and full of hope for the future. Mmmmm…

So, I’m having one of those days where you get a pen and paper and psychoanalyse yourself and do your own head in completely. Why do I do this to myself? No good comes at the end of it and I end up feeling just more pissed off than I was before. As crap as it makes me feel, the old pros and cons system is the only way to make me feel better apart from going out and getting hammered.

1.You are single. This is good, really. Girlfriends just tie you down, restrict your ‘movement’, and force you to spend hundreds of pounds on unnecessary items…”But I don’t LIKE it…” “Just buy it, will you? I like it!”
2.You live in an exciting vibrant city. This is true. Edinburgh is great. Lots to do, lots to see etc. Blah di blah di blah.
3.You have a job. Again, this is true. I could be worse off. I think I would cut out my own eyes with a peashooter if I were unemployed. I’ve done the ‘dole thang’ before and it was soul-destroying.
4.You have qualifications. Right you are. It could be worse. At least I have had the opportunity to go on to do A-levels and then on to university. Being the poorest person made me ‘ard, it did.
5.You’ve got lovely hair. Sorry just thought I’d put that in. Hairdressers always say that to me.

1.You are single. Why are you still single? You’re not THAT bloody ugly! You’d better hurry up or you’ll end up alone at 80 with just an Alsatian and a bottle of Stongbow for company!
2.You live in Edinburgh. Which is miles away from civilisation, and miles away from the good wages. It is too expensive and the temptation to go out is too strong.
3.You have a job. Which you’re not fond of, really. You’re going nowhere, fast. Your wage is comedic and an untrained monkey could do your job standing on its head. WHAT are you doing here?
4.You have qualifications. Yes, meaning that half of the employers think I’m over-qualified. “Ooh, you’ve got a degree, eh? Why are you applying to join us here, then?” Er, because I want the money! Can you just give me the job now please? The other half of employers think that my degree is irrelevant. Why didn’t I pay more attention in computer studies? I could have been a dotcom squillionaire by now.
5.You’ve got lovely hair. Yeah, OK for you to say, you’re a bloody hairdresser, All you have to do is cut it, not bloody wear it.

So what to do? Well, the answer is simple isn’t it? I have to stop resting on my laurels, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Trouble is, I’m sick of thinking about what I have to do to improve my ‘life’. It just makes me tired and I’m sick of people asking me ‘So what do you actually want to do?” and saying things like “But don’t you want to do a job which relates to your degree?”

I KNOW I have to get another job, I KNOW I have to move flats and make MORE friends as a diversion tactic. I KNOW all this. Just because I know what I have to do, does not unfortunately spur me on to do it. I think I actually sadistically enjoy moaning about how crap things are. But no more.

I am going to stop thinking about my ‘life’ and start LIVING it. It is time to stop feeling sorry for myself. I am NEVER going to be discovered in a supermarket by a captain of industry, I am NEVER going to win the lottery (nut I will still buy the tickets like every other hapless fool in this God-forsaken country), and I am NEVER going to get where I want to be unless I get off my whining Yorkshire arse and do something about it!

I WILL apply for that job that might be out of my league and I WILL find the balls to go into that interview and completely bull my way through it and I WILL bag that job and I WILL have that dream flat and that amazing girlfriend (no scrub that one actually), and I WILL, WILL, WILL have champagne coming out of my bath taps. Right, better pause for breath now. Think about what I’m doing? Nah, I’ll be too busy doing it.

Right let’s get started…Where did I put that packet of fags? I’ve got some thinking to do (oh, here we go again…..).