WHAT would you do if you woke up as somebody else?
Would you scream?
Would you panic?
Would you cry?
Or would you rejoice?
After watching Suddenly 30 (or 13 Going On 30 in some countries) again recently and seeing how badly 13-year-old Jenna Rink wanted to be a cooler, older version of herself to be popular, it made me realise how much some people wish they weren’t themselves.
Then there’s Big and The Change-Up, and even though they are funny movies to watch – kids trapped in the adult world and bachelors trading their pads for people-movers – they touch on the fact people aren’t always happy with their lot in life.
That’s actually pretty heartbreaking.
I’ll be the first to admit that after high school, I was a broken record of whinging about my life.
I’m not going to deny that.
I would say that I didn’t like my job, that I worked annoying hours, that I never saw my friends and that I didn’t like living under my parents’ rules.
The usual post-high school crap.
But I was convinced that I wasn’t living the life I was meant to.
I thought I was supposed to go to uni and live the life of a typical uni student, going out every other night and cramming with 100 others in a massive library and sitting under the trees in the uni gardens while reading textbooks.
I thought I was meant to have a cool job that tied-in well with study and a social life, and make heaps of cool new friends, and walk under the city lights on Saturday nights, and live the ultimate young adult life in the city.
But, hey presto, it didn’t turn out like that.
And boy, did I whinge.
I want to take this opportunity to apologise to my beautiful Mum and my wonderful Dad, who copped a lot of this whinging and whom I unintentionally guilt-tripped on a regular basis for about two years, complaining about life in Albany and that it sucked.
Pretty sure I re-triggered a few arguments between the two of them about our initial move away from Perth to Albany too, so, sorry Mum and Dad.
The thing is, I so desperately wanted to be someone else.
Someone who didn’t get a sinking feeling in their gut when they felt the tendrils of anxiety start to wrap around their brain; someone who was surrounded by socialites and was always invited to parties; someone who wasn’t plagued with backaches and who could keep awake to party all night long.
It took me a really, really, reeeeeeally long time, but I eventually realised that I was trying to be someone I didn’t 100 per cent want to be, nor was.
So when I look at what my life is right now, I’m happy at how it’s turned out.
And yes, this sounds like the neat, conventional ending to all those movies I mentioned earlier, but it’s not far from the truth.
Sure, I’ve had a few hiccups along the way, but that’s the human condition, I think.
What I have gained far outweighs what I’ve lost.
I work with the most amazing team in a job I think is pretty cool (just don’t tell my boss that I think he’s cool), I’ve found my true match, I have made some incredible friends, and my bond with my family, even though I strain it sometimes, is ultimately stronger than what it was a few years ago.
The moral of the story today, boys and girls, is stop and smell the roses.
Don’t forget to appreciate what you do have, before you complain about what you don’t.