Life Dilemmas, Emotions & New Adventures
Have you ever felt under pressure because everyone around you seems to be ahead of you in life? I bet you did! It’s like having this deep, void feeling that you’re at a loss and have to wait for something or someone to show you the way and tell you what’s next. Or even trying to come up with a really plausible reason why you’re feeling that way, to no avail. Your younger siblings, friends and ex-class mates have already married (some even divorced!) and everyone is getting physical in their own bedroom, producing one baby after the other, some popping two at the same time. Your Facebook and Twitter feeds are bursting with photos of Cinderella wedding dreams, alien-look-alike new borns; all of whom miraculously blossom into beautiful creatures, people cheering at their local marathon finishing line and others embarking on a world tour. You switch the TV on and see beautiful and amazing Meghan taking the last, good-looking prince within your reach and wonder whether your “prince” has drowned in the Sahara desert while searching for your fairy tale-designed shoe in all the wrong places. Wherever my prince is, he seems to be pretty useless! Hoyyy you *waves hands vigorously*… I’m here for God’s sake!
Yep, here I am, putting on a brave face for my very-soon-gorgeous-bride-to-be-five-years-younger sister, having all of these mixed emotions between being mega-happy for her and feeling somehow sorry for myself but also relieved at the same time because it’s not like I’ve grown up to see that Disney-like marriage with your typical “happily ever after” ending. My understanding of marriage from where I’m coming from, (unfortunately) has only showered me with negativity, anxiety and diarrhoea. I do hope that my sister and her fiancé will be showered with love, health and prosperity though... and whilst we’re at it, add 50kg of rainbows and unicorns, mix well and let the marriage blossom.
As the English say, “the grass is always greener on the other side”. You think maybe I am destined for bigger things, maybe that’s why I am blessed with so many talents which I am so grateful for. Maybe that’s just me, I get bored quickly. I embark on an adventure, I reach a high and then come tumbling right back down to boredom-ville. Maybe I’m too ambitious; I achieve success and feel so encouraged that I’m ready to embark on the next challenge so instantaneously that I don’t even give myself the chance to savour my numerous triumphs. I’m thankful, I am. It’s just that as lovely and as full-of-opportunities London is, it gives someone like me this overwhelming feeling of having to decide between having a family or doing what you love because the latter takes all of your time already and realistically, as much as I’d love to meet someone right now, I’d struggle to “fit him in my schedule” and that’s not how it should be. I mean, I’m currently working 7 days a week with overlaps of more than one job on some days: 5 days in the office and a minimum of 2/3 gigs a week all around London and the UK (meaning lots of time travelling too, but not to an exotic island!), hence my Saturdays and Sundays are always booked with singing and that’s my social life because when else would it be?
And with all of that, plus working on a new album, plus joining a couple of new bands, rehearsals for the bigger gigs, emailing setlists and keys to musicians, providing entertainment contracts to my clients, doing my invoices,dealing with my Accountant, doing the official paperwork and tax returns, song-writing time, blogging, etc., I still feel like I’m not doing enough. Time is really a problem. Then I raise my concerns with other fellow musicians and they tell me how well I am doing because it took them 6/7 years to get to where I am now in London, whereas I’m only in my 4th year in the big city and bless me, I don’t stop! I give myself a pat on the shoulder for that but not only. An even bigger pat on the shoulder for surviving in London for so long, honestly, when they say it’s a rat race, they’re not lying! It’s like living in a ‘survival for the fittest’ game show, except it’s the reality. Wake up at 06/06:30hrs (depending on how many snoozes and swearing my poor mobile gets), get ready for a jam-packed day, rush out of the door, take a bus or a tube to work, 45 minutes to 1 hour travelling, work your ass off for 8 long hours, speedy-gonzales-it-out of the office at 5pm sharp if you’re lucky, go to rehearsal or gig or producer, one more hour travel back home and before you know it, it’s past 22:00/23:00hrs and you still have to cook for yourself, take a shower (I take minimum one daily yes, cause it appears it's not such an obvious thing here!), then wonder when you’re going to do the laundry, let alone the ironing and the gym! Then you need to find the energy and the time to deal with people taking it personally for my very late replies to their not-so-very-important messages, you lose relationships and then also feel guilty because precious days are passing by and you genuinely still haven’t had time to Skype with your mum, dad and sister, for which you also get a ‘spanking’! And then you wonder why I haven’t at all replied to a “Hey baby are u single?..” nonsense message on Facebook from strangers who think the platform is a dating site? Pffffttt… it’s madness and then you brush your teeth, kiss yourself goodnight, sleep for a maximum of 5/6 hours and wake up for a repeat / sequel of the previous day’s episode.
Sounds miserable but I actually enjoy it. I love my life. No, it’s not perfect but it does make me feel like a super-human sometimes, which, as crazy as it may sound, is quite satisfying. Do I feel lonely sometimes? Yes. But often in life, I learned that you have to choose between living where you’d like to live and doing what you’d like to do. I chose the latter because I worked out that if I lived in my ideal away-from-everyone-amidst-the-mountains scenery, I’d have to travel for so long to get to where it all happens on a daily basis, that I’d end up with less time for myself than I have now anyway. Or even worse, I would have to be stuck in a job I totally hate, which would be the end of me!
The “I’d like to have my own family” problem is always there though because living in the big city means 3 things: 1) you have no time to meet new people; 2) people are too focused on their careers to open themselves to romance; and 3) there’s 10.5 million people in London alone = too much choice out there = no interest to settle with one person/commit. Then there’s the age thing. People in my culture settle down quite early so the pressure hits you when your family members start throwing not-so-very-subtle-hints about when the bloomin’ hell you’re going to settle down, like excelling in your career in big ‘competition-city’ is some kind of embarrassment! Small country mentality though because I know my parents are very proud of me, they tell me so and they support me all the way, as long as I’m happy! Love you my flowers and I can’t thank you enough!
In such a gender-equal age though, it pains me how for very real, biological reasons, women can never be equal to men when it comes to age matters. The clock is ticking and your fertility is like a time-bomb waiting to explode as the years go by until POOF, it’s gone! So believe us when we say that we have no more time to waste as we reach our 30s and beyond. It’s not because we are desperate or because we want to put you under pressure, believe us, we’d love it if we didn’t have to! It’s just a real issue for us and it does affect how we deal with relationships and how much more it hurts when we make these things very clear and people still waste our time. You fall in love at 30, you spend a good two/three/four years together and he decides to cheat on you! Result, you have to start all over again with someone else when (and IF) you find the new person, and if you don’t, you might have lost your chance at ever having your own child. It’s quite unfair if you ask me, especially when men can take their time and still conceive but that’s one thing we can’t change: Science. Luckily, there’s been some improvements though and in case a woman doesn’t find her man up to a certain age, she can always IVF, although then the ‘single-parent’ complications come to mind but let’s just be thankful that we have some options, including egg-freezing! I don't even want to think of not having kids after all the monthly suffering and money spent on sanitary towels, it would all be in vain, but that's another issue!
So what will my next adventure be? A new country, take a sabbatical to travel the world, a new man, new friends, a new job, take a singing contract on some quirky cruise liner? Whatever it is, bring it on! Life is short and I won't take it for granted. I want to live like I've never lived before and then if true love happens, we shall welcome it. If not, we shall be happy anyway because our own true happiness happens within us, not within our partners! What mostly matters is being grateful about what you are and have in the present moment. Past and future shouldn't be worried about!