Friday, 6 June 2014

{Dear Diary} Aliens, Hot Wax and Mutant Kittens

The other day I was lying on a treatment bed and thinking about Life (as you do when pain is imminent). I was about to embark on my first week off since Xmas; after having a minor breakdown in front of my manager, it was finally agreed that I should take some time to chill the f out. Since some redundancies in the department, my workload had doubled and although I enjoy being busy, the strain was beginning to take effect.

But wow a whole 10 days to do what I want? They don't pay me enough to go anywhere nice, so I've retreated to Mum's in sleepy Dorset, where the only demands put upon me will be those from the new boyfriend (good demands). Some body maintenance was due - I went onto and got a cracking deal on a hot wax. I also accidentally dyed my hair orange.

The problem is that even escaping work I cannot avoid the other big, scary black-hole in my head, sucking away all sense of hope and zest for life. I am talking about the day in mid-August when my contract ends and I could be unemployed.

My friends and colleagues are also aboard this sinking ship, which is comforting in the sense that I'm not alone and have people to moan to. But on the other hand it means when a life-raft or wardrobe-door comes along we are all fighting each other for it. The lucky ones amongst us will get the job and sail on off into the sunset; what if I don't? I want my friends to be successful, but I have to pay rent too, ya know? It's a conundrum.

Do you know what else is a conundrum? The fact that there is an estimated 100 billion (that's 100,000,000,000 - look at all those zeros!!!) Earth-like planets in the universe and we are yet to meet any aliens. This was brought to my attention by my friend Beth who stumbled upon this blog post about the Fermi Paradox. It basically points out that there is NO way we are alone in the universe and if we aren't bezzie mates with E.T yet, it's likely for one of the following reasons:
  1. We are the most highly-evolved species in existence and all others are not yet intelligent enough to make contact.  
  2. All other species have been wiped out and it's only a matter of time before we are also extinct. 
  3. The other species in the universe are so evolved that humans are but tiny ants to them, so they don't bother to communicate with us. Or if they do, our comparatively tiny human brains simply can't understand or even perceive them. 
Mind-boggling right? Now let me explain why this is relevant to my ramblings about mundane career choices.

Because, in the history of the universe, my short life on Earth is completely insignificant. I haven't yet decided if this is a depressing or liberating angle to take; my friends seemed to agree that this took the pressure off and gave them perspective. Personally, it has made me want to fight even harder for the life I want. If not just I but the whole Earth is potentially so unimportant, this amazing accident of atoms we call "life" is more precious than we can realise. The years I get as a conscious, breathing and moving lump of bones and muscle are not to be wasted and I need to make the most of it. It won't make a difference to or be remembered by anyone but myself - so screw the universe.

It solidifies in my mind the idea that nothing is guaranteed: there's no karma, no fate, no destined outcomes. I knew this already, but when shit hit the fan I would still do that most human thing of comforting myself with the idea that "what will be will be". No, it won't. It's scary and a lot of people will disagree, but we're just weird fleshy cells bumbling around on a rock and doing things that would probably appear totally and utterly bizarre to any other species.

Things like hollywood waxes. All of this was going round in my brain while a small asian lady poked about my nether-regions and made small-talk in broken English about her commute (in London we talk about public transport woes before the weather). She had no idea I was contemplating the relevance of every choice I had ever made. Or in fact, the terrible decision to attempt "balayage" and consequently make myself look like an embarrassing Hayley Williams fangirl.

Having now had a week off work, I am feeling more relaxed, but no less panicked about finding a job. Because it may not matter to the universe if I choose to quit the film and TV industry in favour of becoming a prize-winning cat breeder, but it sure as hell matters to me and my bank account.

Who knows, maybe I'll breed a cat so superior that felines become the ruling species on our planet and go on to invade and conquer galaxies? Then the universe might give a shit.

Don't worry - I'm clearly too bonkers to ever consider a sensible career path, so I won't be quitting the industry for kittens. You can sleep soundly and forget you ever read this mad blog post.

And also because I'm a big fan of Edward Monkton and his super cool website told me this:

It's all right Ed, I would never strangle kittens.