I always thought I’d end up a writer. That washed out, unshaven neurotic prick on the convention circuit scribbling hollow words on the blank first page of a trashy fiction. What came with that fantastical lifestyle was a total lack of responsibility and a serious limp that would explain away the incredible chip on my shoulder while the truth would be it was an injury sustained during one of the many sexual escapades that I would have had.
The real truth is that writing a novel requires excessive patience and an incredible sense commitment – two qualities I don’t have which has led to the downfall of many friendships and relationships, as well as the reason I have a blog and not a trashy novel about a violent murder in university halls. Based on absolutely no evidence and experience, I whole heartedly expect authors to prove to be excellent partners and parental figures: patient, committed and full of that sweet shit that got them published. Not me, however; I much prefer the idea of drifting from place to place before disappearing entirely like a less talented and a far more drunken J.D. Salinger.
Surprisingly despite my own self-disgust for coming to the resolution, the most stable occupation for me seems set on being the thing I hate the most: an educator. For years my poor mother who, like any stereotypical Italian mother, has worried deeply about where my lack of talent and abundance of dry wit will take me. Yet she, and my equally worried grandmother, have always said ‘you hate kids enough to be a great teacher’. It’s true, I do despise children and the thought of having them so much that the pot of spare change for laundry has a quaint label: ‘Sterilisation Fund’. Naturally I would be eating my words the day a condom fails me. Who knows, maybe my entire outlook on the topic will change drastically if I ever have some of my own.
It’s become such a viable option to professionally dislike children, that it has become the most realistic career prospect after being taken on the glorious financially and emotionally expensive roller coaster that is higher education. If I had have been actually intelligent I would, like many of my peers, have picked a far more useful vocation rather than a subject which has become the joke of many school-based dramas: media. The realisation that the skills that I am acquiring for existential art films are being practised by thousands of famous thirteen-year-old YouTube ‘stars’ without them having to pay the nine-thousand-pound per year – for the lectures alone – fee cuts deep. I (like thousands of equally stupid media students across the world) am working in 720p while some squeaky American middle-schooler is flying high in 4K visuals with trimmings and all. The idea of breaking into the media industry and making a film or series that I want to make is far more fanciful than my dreams of being that smooth-talking, roaming novelist.
Education seems the way to go yet the idea of the travel has lingered too long not to look for work internationally. I’ll be holding out for that opening in Hong Kong for an inexplicably disgruntled, British media teacher. The only downside of the experience would be the kids and the responsibility which unfortunately, are the key elements of the occupation.