"She asked me what my five year plan was, and I said 'I don't know.'" Amelia came over for a dirty curry and to set the world to rights on Friday night, and relayed a conversation she'd had with a particularly successful artist friend. She looked slightly wide eyed when she said it.
And with that, I realised that I've never had a plan.
Certainly I plan on a small scale. "Today I MUST push the hoover 'round", or "tomorrow I'm meeting Cat for breakfast", or "next weekend Kelly and Nathan are coming to stay". Even as far away as "my parents are coming for Christmas" (which, I suspect, will be another post, another time).
But the real stuff? The big things? Nothing.
I did a pretty vocational degree. We were all, apart from an astute few, who noticed what what was happening to them, going to be fed out of the education system and into the non-glamorous world of property, conveyor belt style. I went to a series of interviews and had an offer of a job which was conditional on a certain result in my finals. Which I got. So I went there. Not so much a plan, as a solution.
My next job was secured in a bar during the December Christmas Party Rush. The one after that I was head-hunted for, just at a time when I was feeling a smidge disillusioned. And now this job move - the result of a chance conversation at an opportune time. All of my career moves have been based on good luck rather than good management.
As for accommodation, I lived in a house share which was, in retrospect comedically dreadful (again ... for another time, I think) and which came to a mercifully swift end. I had two weeks to find somewhere to live. I walked past an estate agent's window as he was putting a new ad in the window, asked him if I could look at it, took it, and moved in within the week. I lived there for four years. Then one day an email about a flat to rent nearby was accidentally sent to me, so I moved there.
Buying my current home wasn't even something that I entirely planned to do. There was an incident relating to a drunk and slightly pervy landlord outside my front door in the wee-small hours, looking for a bed for the night. It was a one bed flat. I started looking for somewhere to buy the next day.
Even Loulou Workshop wasn't so much planned, as fallen upon. After a particularly miserable couple of weeks (work trouble, boy trouble, ill health, wallowing, self pity, woe, woe ...) a friend suggested that I could work part time and try to bring a little balance to my life. That was on the Sunday. On the Monday I spoke to my boss and asked if I could stop working on Fridays.
Friends can tell you about boyfriends that I've accidentally dumped. I once went for a drink at Kings Cross, and ended up in Lille. Just this weekend I went into the hairdressers for a trim and came out with a whole new look.
So no. I don't have a five year plan. I don't even have a one year plan. To quote a popular American sitcom, I don't even have a "pl". I have got this far though my life reasonably successfully, without ever having any purpose or direction. I bowl from one project to the next. From one opportunity to the next. From one chance happening to the next.
I just can't decide if that's beautifully impulsive, or dangerously reckless.
house of eels: july 2017*
1 week ago