Went to K’s place in Vauxhall last night for dinner. K and I go back a few years, we met in Greece when we were both teaching English out there and, for a time, our lives mirrored each other’s – until I met the animator and she took a year out to go travelling. During her year away my life changed dramatically: the animator lost his well-paid job and with it his work visa; I finished my masters; we got married; he became a student; we moved house…
Now, K’s back into the London rat race and doing really well for herself: lovely boyfriend, good job that she enjoys, new clothes, lots of holidays – the young urban thing. And, frankly, it made me really sad for the animator and for myself.
We had that life for a little while. He was working for an Austrian merchant bank, I was working here – but so wrapped up in new romance that I didn’t care. We went to the theatre, we ate out at great restaurants, the animator introduced me to the joys of shopping and fine wine. It was such a whirlwind. And I miss it.
After seeing K I got a major attack of the ‘what ifs’ . What if I hadn’t met the animator and had gone travelling with K (as we’d planned)? What if the animator hadn’t lost his job – would we have got married, would we still be together? What if we’d moved to Australia with his redundancy payout? Essentially, I was trying to work out if I had made the wrong choices and – as tough as things are right now and as scary as that is – I don’t think I made the wrong choices, just that sometimes my choices were made for me.
I tried to discuss this with the animator, but didn't express myself too well. I just wish things could be a bit easier. I miss the freedom of knowing I can pack my bags and leave anytime I want to, this period of our lives really sucks.