I got to thinking about compromise. From a young age, our generation has been encouraged to express our passions and follow our dreams, yet at the grand almost-old-age of twenty, I'm now being told I need the very clichéd "back-up plan", y'know, just in case all this Dreaming Big may be, in fact, too big. What am I supposed to do, when I'm torn between following my passions, and actually being realistic? There aren't many people surrounding me who actually truly, hand-on-heart, believe that I'm going to make it as some big, hot-shot writer, and earn millions and live such a lux lifestyle that I'll never have to worry about being crippled with my fourty grand of student debt. I know I'm a dreamer, I always have been. But if I don't try, I'll spend my entire life wondering. Like your uncle, who after a few-too-many pints, tells everyone "I could've been the next Beckham" and wonders why the dinner table is filled with an awkward combination of laughs and knowing glances. Unfulfilled passions are, it seems, as taboo as following your dreams sometimes. I've seen the way my grandparents sometimes look at me when I talk about University life. I'm waiting for my grandad to say "that would never happen in my day" or something equally as stereotypical. Sometimes, I'm made to feel like a pariah, a disappointment, because I chose a degree I'm passionate about over something that will get me a steady job at the end of the three years.
"Teaching, what about teaching?!" If I had a pound for every time I'd been asked that from a relative, friend or mere acquaintance when talking about that foreign territory, after university. I'm not entirely sure what they're waiting for me to say. I mean, there's nothing wrong with being a teacher, don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting here, slagging off someone else's choice of career path, I just know it's not for me. I had the most amazing group of English teachers at school, and one or two of them in particular probably inspired me to write, rather than to teach. Maybe that's backwards, I don't know, but however good they were at their job, I knew that while everyone else was discussing the significance of the green light in Gatsby, it wasn't the exam I was thinking of. I was sitting, less-than-comfortably in those hard, ugly, plastic school chairs, thinking "this is what I want to do. I want to write something like this." It just hit me. Like a train. I wanted to write, I wanted, in sixty years time, for students to be sitting down, at what are hopefully more comfortable chairs, in what I'll assume will be more developed classrooms, discussing my book.
Ambitious? Of course, but I'd be lying if I said I was willing to compromise. Even though, it seems to be banded about all over the place. It seems such a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I want to scream and throw a four-year-old style temper tantrum. It's like "this is what I want, and I'm sure as hell going to get it." I just shrugged my shoulders writing this, because I don't know if it's possible that I can be any more true.
But maybe, life is just one big compromise. That's a shocker. Tell me your face isn't really super straight now. Or are you wearing a downturned smile? Yes. That one. Perched huffily on your mouth. I understand that. I get what you feel right now. You don't want to hear it any more than I want to write it, but compromise is a big part of life, and we all, at some point, need to learn how to do it. Sometimes, it might not turn out so bad after all. Just because life doesn't turn out exactly like you expected, it doesn't mean it's wrong. I mean, didn't you see Sex and the City? Charlotte spends almost the entire series pin-pointing her ideal man; tall, dark, handsome, ambitious. Someone she can raise a family with. Someone polite, kind and very much like her. However, we see something miraculous happen. Our lovely, prim-and-proper Charlotte, ends up with Harry. Harry is short and bald and sarcastic, and bad-mannered and lazy and not at all what Charlotte set out to, I suppose, "achieve." Oh, and the last worm in the woodwork, he's Jewish. See, at this point, viewers are kind of torn. Is Charlotte going to run for the hills, because Harry isn't who she thought she'd end up with, or, against all odds, is she going to find happiness with someone other than her dreamed-up ideal? Well, I don't want to spoil it, but if you haven't seen it, where the hell have you been hiding?! You must live under a very large rock, because everyone knows what happens in Sex and the City. So, our lovely Charlotte ends up with Harry. Every glitch she encounters, she shrugs her shoulders at, and deals with it. Even if that means simply converting to Judaism.
Things don't always work out how you expected. Sometimes, compromise can be the best thing that's ever happened to you.
Charlotte: I'm seeing someone . . . sort of. It's ridiculous—he's soooo not my type. He's bald. And short. And he talks with his mouth full, and . . . it's the best sex of my life.