Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Quarter Life Crisis

I've been having a bit of a crisis of confidence lately. Something I'm told many 25 year olds go through - a quarter life crisis if you like!

For almost two years I worked in the land of TV! I was a Production Runner at the BBC, and was lucky enough to work on some amazing shows with some great people. But then I stopped enjoying it. It's crazy really (as I'm constantly reminded) as it was a fantastic opportunity, that I worked so hard to get, and then I just gave it all up. I could over analyse the reasons, but it was down to a few contributing factors.

Firstly, I didn't particularly like living in London. I didn't like myself in London.  I'd become a bad person everytime I stepped onto the tube - taking satisfaction from walking slowly in front of people, or being furious when someone walked slowly in front of me even if I was in no hurry to get anywhere. And it never really felt like my home. Yes, its fantastic having everything available to me on a tube ride - but that was just it, nothing was readily available. I lived in Ealing - way out in Zone 3 in West London. All of my friends, however, lived in East and North London, a good hour away on the tube. This meant that if I ever wanted to go out past midnight I'd either have to stay over, get 3 buses home on my own, or pay upwards of £50 for a taxi home. I missed the days of a 10 minute bus journey or an £8 taxi ride. I could of moved to East or North but it felt too cool, and very unsafe! It also didn't help that the majority of time I was in London I lived alone. I technically lived with Jack, but as he was travelling for work, and out of the country most of the time, I was living alone Monday to Friday. That combined with almost zero social life didn't really set me up for a fun time.

Secondly, I just couldn't see a future in TV. I always thought I wanted to 'live to work' but after a year I realised that I did actually want a fulfilling home life. Sadly, it seems that women in TV who want to have a life outside of work, i.e. have children, either employ a full time Nanny, or move out of Production roles and into PA and Talent Manager roles. I also felt like I wasn't cut out for a life of constantly looking for the next role, and worrying about being unemployed every few months. Plus the roles that I was doing were never that fulfilling. Although, like I said the roles were interesting, it was always clear to me that if I didn't accept the long hours, the rare days off and the mediocre pay, there are a few hundred people waiting to take my job. I didn't exactly feel valued. I also felt like I was doing it for the wrong reasons - mainly so I could brag about all the celebrities I've met and the exciting life I lead. I still see people's facebook updates about this person they met, or this show their working on. What they fail to mention is their lack of sleep, non existent social life, and the resentment of being made to work 14 hour days. Don't get me wrong, I do understand why people do it and why they enjoy it, but perhaps I'm just not one of those people.

I actually had a bit of a panic attack tonight. After admitting to yet another person today about what I used to do, and them reacting the same way as everyone else - "What are you doing here?" I felt a pang of regret. The first time I've felt that since leaving 9 months ago. I always go on to explain why I left, but I always feel that I'm trying to justify it to myself rather than to them. I had a bit of a cry and explained all to Jack who said he wished he could have recorded our conversations from a year ago and played them back to me. Its so easy to remember the good parts and forget the bad.

I actually just posted my facebook status as "for the first time in 9 months is missing the land of TV..." and my Production Co-ordinator just commented on it with "Don't!!! It's still rubbish!" and I feel instantly better!

But hey, I've got some fantastic memories, and my name will forever be immortalised on IMDB and on DVD copies of Miranda and Twenty Twelve. I even made a couple of appearances! Plus I got to hold the Strictly Come Dancing trophy!

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