And they all lived happily ever after?   

Because that’s where the story ends with Disney but really last weekend was about new beginnings. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge face starting married life under the spotlight regardless of the fact they’re excusing themselves from official duties for a couple of years. I hope they make it because I like them. I like despite stepping into the role of breeding stock for an heir to the throne, Kate got married in a garden. I like that William kissed her twice and that the second time they both blushed the littlest bit. And I love that they attached balloons and a Just Wed number plate to Charles’ Aston Martin (which runs on bioethanol fuel distilled from wine, a detail I love!). I think they’re “furreals” as Jelly says.   

I was born less than three months after my future King and have spent my life seeing my milestones in the media. From university applications to career choices, it has been strange to see my personal decisions speculated upon. It has made me feel lucky to be out of the spotlight, for beyond my immediate family nobody really cared what I did. I don’t imagine even the fiancé is terribly bothered which university I went to. And while it won’t be the first time for me, I think part of my interest in the Royal Wedding lay in the fact that 2011 will be a wedding year for me also; as always, a few months behind William. It was a beautiful wedding but I’m very glad that rather than marrying a prince, I’m marrying a nice man whose importance and fascination is largely missed by people. I feel very lucky that sharing him means having his kids in my life and not the paparazzi.  

But if not the big white dress and the crowds cheering the royal couple then surely the bad guy dying is clear cut? After all, nothing is quite so finite as death. Except perhaps when you’re creating martyrs and when the guy in question is only a mere cog in a machine and well, when a nation is stupid enough to celebrate a death in such a way than even I feel a certain sense that they need cutting down to size. Given that I’m a pretty peaceful type unaffiliated to any brand of sky pixie or extreme political standpoint (today Torygirl voted YES), that has to say something about how those that do must be feeling!  

So really it hasn’t been very Disney. Our couple disappeared in order to have some time to themselves and the world waits for retaliation on our dead terrorist. We’re merely onto a new chapter. Such is life.  

At least it is for my life. I live in distinct chapters and have never really ambled along. I left home at 19 and am at my 12th address (although my plan is to live here for at least a decade and with a view to all of my decades). It’s not so much that I move as that I start again. I started out in the Northeast of England, headed to the Far East and am now in the Southwest of England. I was an academic then I worked in the museum industry and now with my feet all itchy, I’m looking to what’s next.  

I like the idea of synthesis. Take an idea, take an opposing idea then move forward with something new borne from the balance between the two. At any rate it can console me when I’m wondering whether I’m actually rather aimless instead of passionate and uncompromising. Feckless is another word I’d like to avoid but it seems I’m determined on casting myself in a nasty light. As though I need to defend my actions. 

Seriously, do I think I’m a princess? Nobody cares! I can write whatever I like in my book. More than that, I set out to create a life that would allow me to twirly twirl* my way through life. I all but got the fiancé to sign a contract saying I was allowed to go places and have experiences independent of him. So what was holding me back? The notion that a nine to five would validate me in some way? 

So yet again I’m working my notice and sat on the precipice of a new beginning. Stupid? Yeah maybe but life is too bloody short not to be. As Natasha says, ‘We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes but I can’t live that way.’
 

So what’s the plan?  

In March I submitted my PhD thesis and what would come next has been something I’ve been fighting. Because I knew that if I gave in it would become all consuming and I’d never get my doctorate. What comes next is what I suppose would be my post doc if I hadn’t turned my back on academia. As Alain de Botton allegedly said, I might have been an academic in a university, if the university system had been different. It is the system and not myself that set me on a different path.

The next path starts with books (oh there’s a plan for income but that’s not something I want to talk about here) and a trip. I’m going to Istanbul to write about nihilism. Ooh happy shiver, I’ll say it again! I’m going to Istanbul to write about nihilism.  

Some of this month’s salary bought the flights and I’m planning to stay in an £8/night hostel jobby when I head out in September. I’ve lived on tiny money before and I find it pushes me to widen my horizons. I’ve four months to do my background reading (and keep earning) but my next chapter is out there waiting to be written!   I tell you, it beats a Disney story hands down!  
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My first few books to get me started

* I came across The Goddess Experience in TK Maxx by chance and Gisèle Scanlon is my new favourite person whose idioms I am eager to adopt; cakey bakey especially. See linky to her fabulous site.




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