• Quitters

    This month T sat his final test for his course. Depending on his results, he may or may not be guaranteed entry to university. Whether he decides to carry on with that… well, that’s another matter.

    They’ll have a graduation ceremony in late November – exactly a month from now for friends and family. Obviously I’ll be going. But I asked him who else he was going to invite… and he said no one. Not even his mum? No, not even her.

    Apparently, he said, she doesn’t think he’ll end up going to uni.

    “Why not?” I asked

    “She thinks I’ve quit too many things before.”

    Now, I think that’s a little hasty. I think that’s completely unfair, actually. What has he started and not completed? He didn’t finish out school, and joined the army, which he decided wasn’t for him. So there’s that. Then he got into a good line of work, and got laid off after two years. (No dropping out there). Then with some prodding from me, he enrolled in a foundation course so he would have the option of going to university. Even if he doesn’t, it’s a fantastic thing to have under his belt. And it’s a darn sight more than any of his siblings have.

    Even going further back, what else has he started and not finished? He decided not to carry on with high-level athletics. That’s not uncommon. And let’s be honest, a career in sports is not the best of career plans anyway. I can think of so many activities I did throughout my school years and never carried on with… violin, badminton, debating, tennis, soccer… I got a kick out of all those while I did them, sure, but I didn’t want to keep going with any of them on a regular basis.

    Sure, he’s messed up a lot of things. Some of it is due to being naturally carefree, or careless, even. He’s never relied on his family to bail him out, although they have helped him out on countless occasions. And yes, he’s 21 now, and it’s time to start getting serious about something, especially with people bleating about the recession ending and things picking up. But he certainly isn’t the first, nor will he be the last, 21 year old to be drifting, to not have their shit together. Maybe more is expected of him, because he has possibly the most potential out of anyone in the family.

  • Flashbacks

    Memories. They’re funny things, aren’t they? For me at least, I don’t actually have many memories at all, and they tend to be pretty vague. And the things I’d rather forget, well, they tend to be the ones that linger and crop at the most random times – like today at the BK drive thru.

    I guess by now it’s obvious my relationship with the parentals is uneasy. I’m sure it will ease as I get older. For now, I still get flashbacks to certain things, like being called (not quite in so many words, she couldn’t quite bring herself to say “prostitute”) a prostitute for hugging my (x)BF in public. Or being chastised for choosing photography as a subject “what will you do when he dumps you, eh?” Or in an effort to get me away from perceived bad influences and sort me out, suggesting a trip to the Gold Coast (which never materialised, incidentally) – “but can you be away from a boy for a day?” You might think this implied I was boycrazy but no, this referred to x(BF), whose name would not be uttered in the house. Yes, that’s how crazy my parents were, and how little they thought of me – I still cannot believe she thought that, oh, I don’t know, I might combust or have a breakdown or something should I be parted from him for longer than 24 hours. Sure, we spent pretty much everyday together. But why not? What do school age couples do? If we had been unable to for whatever reason, then we wouldn’t have. Like on days one of us was sick. Whatever.

    And being chastised for dating someone I ‘wasn’t sure I wanted to marry’. And having plans to travel in life which I may or may not have shared. Leading him on. And this all somehow implying that I had suddenly lost all ambition and would droo out, never go to uni, get married by 20 and presumably pop out some sprogs and go on the DPB.

    Time has dimmed those memories, but I guess I still hold a trace of bitterness.