Pretty soon now you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time..’ (David Bowie – Changes).
This weekend I went to a little village in Cambridgeshire where my Gran lives, to stay the weekend with the man and my sister. It was good to get away, from the things that have been bothering me and feel like they’re pulling me down. It also made me think about what I wanted, or thought I wanted, when I was a kid. Going for a walk in the village with my sister, I was reminded that sometimes life comes full circle without us realising.
That the choices I’ve made and that others have made for me (as a child) mean that I’ve ended up in this place I’m in right now. It seems more and more to me now that life really is quite cyclical, like the changing of the seasons. The same issues come up, the same feelings come up, even when we think we’ve dealt a death to those demons. Where we were at the weekend holds so many memories for me – some sweet and happy, others bittersweet and sad. Losing touch with people is the one thing that sometimes bothers me much more than anything else. I wonder what their lives are like, if they are where they want to be in life.
Another thing that niggles away is that sometimes I lose touch with this feeling of realness, of how we are all part of nature and the world, and not some sort of detached race who have nothing to do with animals or growing things. If you lose respect or connection with nature and the beauty of where we live and of our place in nature, then you don’t really have a grasp of what being human is. We’re not here to work work work and then die. As disrespectful as I might sound, I don’t want to be someone who works for the sake of working. I really do mean no disrespect to people who do, just that, well, there must be more to life, right?
The recession and my own money problems have brought this into sharp focus for me. My generation seems to be a generation that don’t necessarily know what they want from life. Or, they take on too much and get burnt out by the time they’re 35. There is a lot of choice, sometimes too much, and it makes you feel like the world is at your feet, even when it isn’t. Does the world really want people fresh out of university or do they want people with experience? It seems that nobody can make their mind up.
How do you end up struggling when you have two degrees and (hopefully) something to offer the world? We are told that if we are determined enough, we can achieve our dreams. Yet I don’t see people out there supporting each other and encouraging each other to find their calling. It’s all about ‘me, me, me’ and everyone for themselves. I think that is the feel of our times, really, and maybe what is causing so many problems in the world. A lack of community spirit and a lack of trust between people.
It’s going to places away from the city where I can find community spirit. My Gran is happy where she is because she has a community there to support her, and she knows these people. I’m not likely to be able to say that when I’m older because I may end up living in London – not much community spirit here, really, even though where I live has a sort of little village atmosphere. I would love to live by the seaside when I retire, someday.
There is a stillness where we went that I’ve never found anywhere else, really. You notice little things that you don’t normally notice in your everyday life, like the whisper of the wind in the trees or dandelion heads floating away in the breeze. Once, we were leaving my Grans and stepped outside her door, only to notice this prickly thing which we thought was a shoe thing for scraping mud off. Happily, none of us attempted to rub our shoes on it as it then decided to move slowly into the bushes by the door. I’ve never been that close to a hedgehog before – it was literally inches from my feet! There’s something magic about encounters like that, completely unexpected.
It’s interesting how writing about things relieves you, lets a weight off your shoulders. I’ve been carrying around all sorts of stresses and worries – most of them irrational. As humans, we have a wonderful capacity for creating phantom worries. Not content to just relax and take it easy, sometimes we go out and create more difficulty for ourselves…