Here I am sitting in a pub in Shepherds Bush, purposefully isolating myself in my own thoughts intoxicated by an overpriced pint of Peroni and smelling, what probably is like a chimney, from smoking what is already my second box of sovereigns for the day.
Reflection is the result of my scarcity of friends here in London, reflection of the past year and the choices I have made.
Let me tell you dear reader about my unusually eventful year. In all of the events that transpired there is a common theme between all the bold choices I have made which led me to the current state my life is in right now; I yearned for independence.
Independence from my parents and their control over how I spent my free time, from their financial ties with the hope of an escape and wanting to be free from the relentless repetition of the phrase: “as you live under our roof, you’ll live by our rules”, that always guilted me into doing their bidding. Freedom from control, like most coming of age teenagers, is what I wanted more than anything on God’s green earth.
The world was my oyster – arrogant is what I was, thinking I could bend the world into my image and have the future that I wanted, if I was only free from my loving parents and the system that I thought at the time subjugated my potential; the education system.
By May I was no longer having it – it was time for a change I thought – there I began to make choices that contradicted the expectations, not only of my parents, but of my friends too.
Maybe I was just a late bloomer, the rebellious attitude that people expected of teenagers didn’t really start for me until then. Before I was a yes man, a golden boy or the teachers pet. But I had a yearning, another desire for independence – from the expectations of others. My attitude changed I wanted to act badly, then come home pretending that I was good. Although that was a secret I couldn’t keep for long.
I didn’t attend lessons, acted out of character in college parties. My desire to explore the recreational became all the more prevalent. I had discovered a side of my character that I thought never had existed. My friends saw it and still do. I had changed. I was different. For the better or the worse, for the first time, I acted first and thought of the consequences later. As irresponsible as that may sound it’s an attitude I still keep today as it’s garnered me more success than it had failures.
This new daring attitude of mine became the driving force to me leaving College. I no longer had hope for the institution that I was in and thought that it was no longer working for me. Having low grades, poor attendance and pessimistic teachers, at the time I questioned if I should stay.
So I left, beginning of July, just after my exams, which I actually thought, went well (surpassing not only my own expectations but that of my teachers too). This gave me more free time than I knew what to do with. Inevitably, I spent most of that freedom to create hazy, puke-filled summer memories with my friends. Creating hundreds of regretful moments that I have not the audacity to recall.
Eventually the parties had to stop, people had to sober up. Summer was over and I began to question the point of my freedom with my friends having to spend more time in College and I was left alone: Directionless.
One thing I have to admit is that when I left College, I did not think about what would happen next – at least in terms of my career.
I started an endeavour to find an industry that combined all things I enjoyed from past work experience: marketing. This was the time to prove myself I thought. At the start my parents were obviously very critical of my choice, to the point where I was kicked out of the house, but that only taught me self-motivation like no other.
I suited and sobered up. I taught myself the intricacies of marketing from SEO to PPC using an online course and applying everywhere I could to make any form of income. Eventually I got contracts online to now working for one of the biggest conglomerates on the planet: Amazon.
After September the state of my life juxtaposed what I had before my friends went back to College. Long hours, late nights and more than a dozen interviews all to get where I am now. It may have only taken me a couple of months but I sacrificed my social life in the process and shut down all my relationships temporarily.
One must not let themselves become a victim of their circumstance – a lesson I truly had to learn if I was to survive in the modern world without a College or University degree.
This isn’t me boasting that I made it through it all because once I had made my choice to rebel and gain my independence I became inconsiderate, arrogant and lied to many. I became a person I did not want to become only realising it when I stopped to think before my 13th shot of straight Vodka.
I caused controversy amongst friends, ruined my relationship with my parents. Now I have a big enough pay check to finance my independence. Was it worth it? Did I make use of my independence correctly? These are questions I still wonder about, maybe I’ll find the answer when I get to the bottom of this pint…