I can’t remember the last weekend I had an entire 48 hour slot to myself. Nobody to see (and/or let down), no promises to keep and no f*cking launderette duty – thank Uncle Buck for spring. Perhaps that makes me fortunate. In fact, I know it does, what am I talking about? Seeing friends and family is just what I want to be doing. But it also means there’s little to no time left to rest up, to recharge your batteries for the week ahead and to do all the things you were meant to do before the sun showed up and tempted you away from cleaning the fridge and told you to slip into your flip flops instead. If I feel like there’s not enough of me to go round now, how on earth am I gonna feel when I have another little person to take responsibility for? When I’ve not only got to make memories for my children but I’ve got to plan the memory making before we can even make the memories in the first place. At this point in my life, I’m the least busy I’m ever going to be and yet I still feel like there’s not enough hours in the day. Weekends come and go and someone somewhere is always going to be left disappointed. First world problems? Hmm maybe, but I feel like this is more than that. I feel like this is the curse of the millennials.
I rarely sit and do nothing. I’m on my phone too much – not satisfied with just sitting and watching videos of a sassy old lady punk her boyfriend with water bottle trickery or peeling a banana. I’ve got to be watching a sassy old lady punk her boyfriend with a water bottle, peeling a banana, doing a spinning class, sticking a broom up my arse and sweeping the floor while I’m at it in order to feel like I’m being remotely productive. I feel an overwhelming pressure to make the most of the weekends and to see everyone I care about but the reality is there just isn’t enough time. Quality time doesn’t exist, it’s quantity or nothing. It becomes a game of, ‘how many people can I squeeze in this weekend to make sure I’m solidifying the relationships I hold dear to me or else, die a lonely old cat lady with a conservatory full of dusty succulents and nothing but a taxidermy owl for company. What. A. Hoot. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating. But does anyone else just feel swamped by the pressure to be, I don’t know, available?
I appreciate there could be worse problems and I’m not saying I don’t want busy, people-packed weekends but, no matter how hard I try I still feel like I’m letting someone down, I’m falling behind and forever in the red – I owe people my time and am forever racking up the interest because I haven’t been able to contribute more than the minimal payment. Even when I’ve seen someone, I can still walk away feeling sad because I think, I didn’t give enough of myself today. I feel guilty for the time I haven’t spent with them, rather than feeling good about the time I have spent with them. Man, I wish I was some kind of time-freezing octopus. Then again, apparently they only live for 3-5 years so the extra arms don’t really help at all. Plus, controlling myself around pizza would be even harder with a hand for every slice. Scrap that, I want to be a time-freezing elephant. They live for ages and I can carry all my friends and family on my back and my best friend can ride up front on my trunk and pass me snacks.
Of course, other people are equally as busy as you are and that can make planning a window to meet up pretty darn impossible. Dad’s boxing, mum’s moving house, the sister’s trying to soothe your lactose intolerant niece and your friends are somewhere playing scrabble in a beer garden near you, but without you ‘cos you’re an outta towner. I too feel like I’m not getting enough of some people occasionally. I wish I was more of a priority to some but they’ve got memory making to do too, along with anniversaries, dogs to walk, walls to paint and bbqs with the in-laws. I mean, forget making new friends! We can’t make new friends, our schedules won’t allow it.
Is this just a millennial problem or does everyone feel like this and we’re just not speaking about it enough? I remember all those times at school I would see my friends every single day – and I want to know what it feels like to have that much of them again (by the way, who also misses holding their life possessions in a pink plastic River Island bag? More on that nostalgia here). We could finish off each other’s sentences we’d been around each other so much – but now, we’re lucky if we get to finish a quick latte before the egg timer called ‘le weekend’ runs out and summons us back to our cubby holes to mentally prepare for Monday. We’ll never have friendships like we did at school ever again. They were solid and intense in all the best ways, because we had the time to make them that way – topping them up every day with another 7.5 hours of bundling on each other in the corridor for lols or losing your sh*t so bad in a science class that you were sick in a cup. Not me (for once) btw – apparently my best friend ate too many cakes at the cake sale that day and laughed a little too hard. Looking back, people always said don’t wish your school days away and now I know why. It’s been 10 years since I left school and I’m still yet to find memories that compare to that period of my life. No matter what new experiences we have or what we go through together, we’ll always reminisce on that time in year 9 when we wrapped our Spanish teacher in a blanket or the time we filmed our R.E teacher dancing to Smack That. I wish deciding what we were gonna wear on Mufti Day was as hard as our planning ahead got, but a gal’s gotta grow up sometime right? I just didn’t realise how much growing up would mean growing apart…
Well that was a very dramatic, Carrie Bradshaw-sat-at-her-laptop-in-her-ridiculous-New-York-apartment type ending wasn’t it? Which, by the way, no real journalist could ever afford. Plus Manolos? Please, I can just about afford Nandos. So anyway, talking of chicken, I’ve got some skewers I need to load up with some rubbery halloumi and peppers and stuff so I’ll be catching you lot soon. I do love you, love you, bye. Bye. I’m really going now. Bye. No you close the tab. Ok I’ll close the tab. Ok 3-2-1. Bye.
You still there, or is that ma halloumi squeakin’?
Photography by Olivia Foley