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  • Writer's pictureSatire

Ponderings on Growing Up and the Loss of Whimsey

This Feeling of Dread is Actually Really Cool When You Get to Know Her!

By Maeve Topliff

Image Credit: jump1987 via Pixabay


Armed with my arts degree that half of Britain has nowadays I venture into ‘the real world’ and I have to say, I’m loving this new feeling of dread that has made a home in my belly. Apparently, my real life is supposed to be starting now and yet… I’ve never done less with my days or felt more sure that the next four years are likely to leave me with more baggage than the last four. But I’m being dramatic; how hard can it all be!? Of course, putting aside the current recession, insufferable Tory government, eye watering house prices, minimum wage that is stuck in the 1990’s and the continual march of fascism into our society… apart from that what have I really got to whine about?


My favourite part of the violent slingshot into reality has to be the hours I spend resubmitting my CV into application portals so the omnipotent AI can pick out the magical words I was supposed to use that will get me the coveted minimum wage job. What are these magical words you ask? Well, it would be no fun if they told you would it!? You might have a chance of getting the job! This regularly encourages me to reminisce about a CV I once received at my work which had been beautifully crafted; cartoons detailing references, ornate green font and a whimsical tone that made me desperately root for him but predictably, he did not get the job. This is the sad thing, I think, about growing up. Your whimsey is slowly squeezed from you in favour of Times New Roman. The second my life hit the pages of my CV all the brilliant experiences I had and all the passion I hold is held to the microscope and suddenly… I’ve never done anything in my entire life.


You have no way of knowing how it feels until you’re in the middle of it, spinning around like you just got thrown off a play park roundabout while people clap and tell you how excited you are as you swallow the sick in the back of your throat. They’re right, I am excited, but I am much more excited for the part where I’ve carved the path for myself and I can relax on furniture that I own, in a place I chose to be. I reckon that’ll only take about six months so I won’t be cohabiting with this dread for long… surely?


Either way, she makes a good companion. Filling my belly so I’m never hungry and keeping me company as I lie awake forecasting dissatisfaction for the rest of my days. I think it would be disloyal to cite her as the cause of these sleepless nights and missed meals, after all she is only keeping me cautious. What if I was to go and achieve everything I dreamed of!? She’d be practically redundant, and in this political and financial climate who am I to put someone out of a job!? 


I know we will have to part ways eventually, after all I have been told she tends to leave you when you become more successful than her so in many ways it’s a doomed relationship, that of a twisted Nanny McPhee perhaps. When she does, I wonder if I will look back and, with my rose-tinted glasses removed, realise perhaps the constant belittlement and restriction was a bit toxic, but for now she’s keeping me frozen exactly where I am, unable to move forward or project joy into my future… and I’m loving it!



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