When dreaming of what your children are going to be when they grow up do you ever find yourself wondering what if? What if I applied myself properly in university and ended up a visionary in my field? What if I didn’t listen to my mother and went to work in London at 21 rather than wait until 28? What if I decided to do what I want to do which could potentially crash and burn but will ultimately give me more time at home?
So many questions that fill your head during a clear 5 minutes. I think that all the guilt that you experience trying to split yourself into a million pieces to keep everyone happy often leads you do ponder the questions that have never given you a satisfactory answer in the past. I think one of my lessons from too many ‘what ifs’ is to let my children be who they want to be and do what they want to do (within reason – reality tv star or underground crime are not things I can get on board with). The one thing I will say to them is embrace love when you find it but do not let it dictate your dreams and ambitions. Too many boys and men have been the road block to ambition and I spent too many years in my twenties trying to convince the boyfriend of the moment with my dreams of running away and living the story book life. I think what causes you to think of these things in a melancholy haze is that you are no longer free to chase these dreams without consequences. There are people to think about, commitments to be honoured and whereas when we were younger we didn’t need a safety net now we need a safety net for the safety net.
In all honesty I no longer want to strive to be the business woman who has a closer relationship with the PC at work than her own family, I want to make jam and bunting, write beautiful stories and make bread and calorific cakes but in reality bills need to be paid and in order to live in both worlds time needs to be stretched. I’d love to take Evie away and see the world and explore new cultures and history but the constraints of work and life make this a segmented pipe dream. Time cannot be reversed but going forward my tales of chasing boys and making them the be-all to my romantic idealistic notion of growing up will serve to be reminders to Evie that there needs to be a balance in the world. Too much adulation and hanging on every word the pretty boy says is less time researching ways to make a difference in the world. Unless of course the pretty boy is the one to make history with and a whole new set of what ifs are created.