I've been reminded of my twenty-one year old self over the last week, not just because of the anniversary of 911, but because I have a student in one of my classes who is clearly in that early twenties 'I have found myself and I know everything about life' phase. It was quite amusing actually as all the other students in the class are hovering around the 30-35 mark (as am I), and clearly found his youthful know-it-all attitude both amusing and irritating in equal measure. Hopefully like me they took it as an opportunity to look back and cringe a little at their young selves.
At twenty-one I thought I knew everything. At twenty-five I thought I knew even more. Now I am at the ripe old age of thirty-one I believe quite firmly that I know very little about the world and life. If I met myself back then I know I would not like myself much.
So many things have changed in the last ten years:
- I have changed careers and am in one that while it is not my dream job I am relatively good at it and I work for a well respected company. If I wanted I could travel to many different places in the world.
- I am with a different man than I was ten years ago. When that relationship ended in 2004 I thought I would never get over it, and it took a while, but I did. I've now been very happily married for two and a bit years.
- I left London in 2003 because I hated the place. It was too busy, too dirty, too big. I know live in a much bigger, more crowded city, and I love it. I realise now that I was the problem, not London.
- Above all, I'm happy. Despite our fertility issues, I am happy. I can't say that I was in 2001.
I know some people may find it a little distasteful to be using the anniversary of terrorist attacks to talk about myself, but as I said, I don't feel I know enough about the world to comment intelligently on anything except for myself. And this is a blog, if you want an in depth analysis of world event, read The Economist website or something.
Today I am in a time-zone where I will be going to bed by the time the 911 memorials start, but my thoughts are still with everyone who lost friends and family in the attacks, and all the countless, nameless, faceless people who have died in the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.