Monday, 11 January 2010

The Road

I woke up this morning to that familiar old feeling that I had lost the will to live. I rolled over, switched my alarm off, put my ipod on and stared at the ceiling for three hours. I had been telling myself that I would be going to university to hand in a portfolio early...get ahead with my work. It never came to fruition. Barely mustering the energy to go downstairs and let the dog out, I dragged a pile of magazines back to bed with me and have done nothing more than read them ever since.

However, I also spent much of my otherwise useless day, pondering my sudden reasons for such melancholia. I have ultimately opted to blame The Road. I went to see this film the other day with my family and I won't lie to you, I loved it. But I can't help but feel that it has left me hollow, empty and feeling more than a little inadequate. An outstanding, often disturbing film; it offers a bleak outlook on the future of mankind, a different kind of disaster movie. A film about one man and his son, years into an apocalypse where any survivors you encounter are more likely to rob, rape, kill or eat you than they are to be grateful of the company. A story of one mans only charge to protect his son, it offers no explanations, no solutions, no happy endings - only a haunting possibility of things to come.

As astounding as I found the film it left me feeling rather numb which has since progressed to me barely wanting to move from my own bed. Could it be that I am all too aware that should any form of apocalypse occur, I wouldn't survive a day and should I have a son at the time, I'd be able to do nothing to safe his life? I don't think so. I have determined that this was merely a starting point and I am now simply realising that I am barely able to function in the real world, let alone a post-apocalyptic one.

I am not ready to join society. I never have been and I fear I never will be. I look around me at the people I know and I see their amazing skills and talents and intelligence, and I know that they can and will flourish in the real world. Me, I can't even face the idea of a real job - I opted to do an MA in Magazine Journalism to defer the job issue for another year. Why though? I have no discernible talent for it. I wonder whatever possessed me to enroll into two of the most competitive areas - journalism and film - but what is a 'good' degree to take in our society? What course is there that will guarantee a job at the end of it? To the best of my knowledge, nothing. Other than for the exceptional students, those people who you know are going to succeed immediately.

So I stand here and I gaze down my own impending road. But unlike the man and his son, I do not carry the "fire within". I can't see an inch in front of my nose and I have nothing but uncertainty clouding my every movement. In a few short months I will have to start down my road, to join the rest of the world. I am fighting every urge I have to just run away, only because I know it will lead me to another road. The only thing I know for sure is that when the time comes to join real life I won't have a gentle amble, I will be dragged kicking and screaming down that road and fuck knows what I'm doing when we reach the end.

I'm not ready to join the real world yet.


  1. Don't underestimate yourself.

    There are many possible factors which go into creating a current mental state, but the main thing is to have enough perspective that it isn't all down to will power and any negative moments will only be temporary if you decide that there are positive steps to take.

    I remember slipping into a negative phase when I got really bad headaches after a couple of mnths living abroad. I could have just come back to Britain, but a friend told me it was perfectly normal - it may even be a physical symptom of the brain rewiring itself as I learnt to adapt.

    On other occasions when I've had a sudden change in body chemistry I've experienced severe moods swings - I once caught a burglar in my house I got keyed up and chased him out, but went to bed for a couple of days afterwards when it all hit home - not out of fear for what would happen, or what might have happened, but because I'd never considered before that the possibility was real that I'd ever be in that position.

    So mark it down on a chart of growing self-awareness and realise everyone else has their moments of self-doubt too. It's only by questioning ourselves that we find out more about ourselves.

    We all live with uncertainty, it's how well we do it that matters - those of us who never face it aren't forced to grow in order to overcome it, the rest of us who do are gradually liberated by our knowledge that we can.