I’ve known for a long time that I shouldn’t really be watching Made In Chelsea. That I’m nowhere near E4’s target demographic. But it wasn’t until one of the characters, Jess, said something about not yet being 21, that I thought, ‘S***, I REALLY shouldn’t be watching Made In Chelsea.’
My vicarious life
The thing is, I can’t drag myself away from it.
And I know why. It’s not because the storylines are gripping. They’re pretty much ALL about Jamie’s inability to commit to anything more lasting than a Werther’s Original.
It’s because, amidst the nappies and often stifling sense of responsibility that constitutes my life these days, these crazy, rich 20 something year olds are my escape. My guilty pleasure.
My vicarious life.
‘Youth is wasted on the young.’
Youth really is wasted on the young.
Because when I was 20 something like them (except for the shed load of cash), I didn’t really know what to do with being young either.
You have the world at your feet but mostly you don’t realise you have the world at your feet. Also, you don’t usually have the skills or wisdom to make the most it. Irony at its best, yes? There’s some real sense in that film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where Benjamin lives his life backwards.
What I would do NOW, if I was 20 again.
I wish older people had said THIS to me instead.
When you’re young, older people churn out a load of cliches, like ‘life is short’ and ‘these are the best years of your life.’ But they mean nothing.
Because when you’re young, life isn’t that short. You’re at the beginning of it. It feels like you have decades in front of you. You do. And you have all the major milestones to reach. Career. Mortgage and marriage. Kids.
Also, the years don’t always feel like the best of your life. Because you have all the major milestones to reach. Career. Mortgage and marriage. Kids. And if you don’t have a little black book and a trust fund, this stuff doesn’t necessarily come easily.
You’re always striving for something. There’s desire at every corner you turn. You have it all to come but you wish it would hurry up and arrive.
It’s only when you look back, that you realise how much watching it come was part of the enjoyment.
Relish the moment.
Mindfulness is such a buzz word these days that it’s in danger of losing its meaning.
But, of course, we should all live in the moment a bit more. Especially when we’re young and those moments are, more often than not, filled with fun, freedom and opportunity. Why on earth would you let those pass you by unnoticed?
Because forget the career, mortgage and marriage. Once you have kids? Those moments evaporate. You never again feel freedom in the same way. And my oh my, does life become short. You desperately wish it would slow down. Just for a minute.
But those children you love so much suck up the weeks and years like an errant Dyson on the rampage. As you suddenly become aware of time in a way like never before, marking every milestone, every school term, every passing year. Existing in a world of calendar dates and routine.
Until one day, you’ve blinked and you’re 55.
(And still watching Made in Chelsea.)
To my kids.
So. When my kids are older, I shan’t dish out the cliches.
But I will tell them, at every opportunity, that being young is a temporary gift. That it doesn’t last forever. That they should enjoy it. For whatever it is. Whilst it is.
Because there is something about being young and still having it all to come that is so incredibly exciting.
What will YOU do with it 20 something year old?
(Remember. There’s a whole load of us out there living vicariously through you. So, please. Do something cool.)