Kitchen Failures + Five Years Later

18 Apr

I attempted to make macaroons today. FAIL. They were bland and completely stuck to the baking paper – also, I put the last tray into the oven and forgot about it until 45 minutes later, by which time they were rechristened ‘cinder biscuits’. I did learn that we seriously need a new oven though – it turned itself off 4 times during cooking. Fun and games.

Spending the weekend here triggered a sort of mental revisiting of the mindset I was in October/November last year; the time and scene of my quarter-life crisis of sorts. It was fairly dramatic that time – I read a hell of a lot of feminist articles, I swung between “let’s get married and have fifty kids.. like, yesterday, because it’s my only hope for fulfillment as a woman!” and being militantly childfree and anti-weddings, I freaked out about what my ‘career’ was going to be, and I lamented the fact that being small and possessing a voice more aptly described as a squeak.. I will probably never be taken seriously.

I think I am considering things more calmly now – yes, I am 22 years old, but that is no reason to panic. Instead of trying to plan my life’s aims down to the tiniest detail, I’m restructuring – it’s not a timeline set in stone, it’s more like a list titled “things that would definitely make my life nice and full and rich and all that, and I hope they happen, and yes I will try my hardest for them, but my whole life is not over if they don’t happen”. There is not much guidance for anybody who wants to create, carve out and define their own life; there seems to be only convention and those who deliberately thwart convention. For anybody who wants to examine convention, reject what is junk, keep what is useful and make their life completely their own.. well, they are on their own.

Back in Year 9, we had to pick our VCE subjects on the basis of what we needed to study at university to qualify us for the career we wanted. I was 15 – I had a plum-coloured vinyl trench coat, a demeanor that bounced between giggly and surly with no warning, and my life’s ambition was to marry David Bowie. How exactly did they expect that I was qualified to decide my entire life? I remember forensic pathologists were very in vogue that year due to some stupid television show, yet none of those girls are studying anything even vaguely related now – they are doing degrees in communications, international studies, and mathematics, even. I said at the time that I wanted either to be an actor or a graphic designer/illustrator – yet I am studying art history, literature and philosophy.

It seems so presumptuous to plan what your life will be like; it rests on this huge assumption that it is all within your control. But it really, really isn’t.

In five years time, I would love to be happy. I hope I have finished my BA and have moved onto higher academic things. I hope I have published some writing; I don’t care if it is an entire novel, or even just a few poems in an anthology. I hope that the various creative projects I am currently working on eventually come to fruition. I hope that I manage to balance my time well enough to do some acting again. I hope Nath and I are ten times more awesome, I hope that we have found the perfect puppy to be friends with Posie. I hope I get this house to make the transition to ‘home’.

I guess I just hope that if, through the wonders of time travel, I magically bumped into 70 year old me in the street, she would say, “Don’t worry, everything turned out okay.”

xx B

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2 Responses to “Kitchen Failures + Five Years Later”

  1. megan v April 20, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    I really really love this post. It was just so real and felt so familiar. I was JUST talking today about how ridiculous it is that kids that are 16-18 are choosing the direction for what is supposed to be “the rest of their lives” as if there’s only one time in which to choose your direction. It’s ridiculous the way that part of society works. No kid is going to know. No kid is the same person that they are ten years later when they’re actually trying to succeed at the career that their younger self has chosen. My husband didnt’ go to college right away and is now beginning to go at 25 with more life experience and knowingness of himself as a person and what he wants out of life. I chose my path at 18 and am hating my career and begging for a change. See? You ended this post perfectly. We just need to go in a direction of doing things that make us happy and feel fulfilled in the moment and know that the sum of all those things will be GOOD. 🙂 Cheers 🙂

  2. Bunny April 20, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Aww, thanks Megan! The culmination of the thoughts behind that post felt like a huge stone pressing down on my chest until I wrote it.. and finally, relief. Letting go of all this pressure to live up to expectations and the paralyzing fear of making the wrong choice is so liberating. I almost wish I could go to my old high school and talk to the kids who have to pick their senior subjects – to let them know that it’s not the end of the world, the subjects you do in high school do not determine your entire life and that it is okay to be unsure or to just cruise along for a bit until you get a better feel for the type of person you are.
    I am so in awe of you and Evan moving to Iowa; it’s such a huge change, but your attitude of making “the best memories possible” and “loving every moment” is what will make it wonderful – honestly, you have really, really inspired me! xx

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