Thanks to my main squeeze for providing this lovely post! Over to Oli for the goods…..
“You’re so lucky”
If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard that phrase over the last 2 years, then I would actually have some money. Sadly, as I write this, I do not have any money. In fact, I barely have an income. I pick up money working for my friend Harriet who owns a fantastic catering company. But it isn’t a career. It’s actually barely even a job. I find myself questioning the decision Lucy and I made quite a lot at the moment. Of course, we’ve had some fantastic experiences over the 2 years since we quit our office jobs and went away travelling. But that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to wonder what is going to happen, or maybe what could have happened.
I was on a fantastic trajectory in 2013. I was set to earn a decent salary, with my free healthcare and dental care, a bonus (as close to guaranteed as you can get), and the opportunity of a second promotion in 18 months which would have been somewhere near a 40% pay-rise. I had it made working for Disney. The biggest entertainment company in the world. Now, I face a struggle to get a job that I am over-qualified for. I genuinely worry that I may never get a job again. I worry that Lucy will have to continue to prioritise earning money over maximising her potential, if only I could earn my fair share.
I know that we both want to have children, and realistically we probably want one in the next couple of years. But how can one possibly look after a child and a wife when you earn less than £5,000 a year? How can I provide any kind of life for those around me when I could barely afford to eat if I carry on like this?
Sadly, I worry that I am not the anomaly here. I am but a blot on the landscape of young men and women who struggle with getting a job every day. I am well-educated, well-spoken and well-informed. I come from a middle-class family. I should be the one paying my taxes so that those less fortunate than myself can be cared for by the amazing welfare state we have in this country. So that they may be able to support their families, rather than worry where their food, heating and shelter is coming from.
Lucy and I have travelled, we have had a fantastic time, and we have shared two years of memories that we will never forget, and will not diminish over time. But at what cost? Will we, in the end, live to regret these two years? I hope not, and I hope that it will all come together in the end. I hope that I will soon be able to provide for Lucy. To allow her to do what she wants. To be able to say to her “It’s OK – I’ll get this”.
Because if you can’t hope, then you have to rely on luck. But I guess “I’m so lucky”, so maybe I should just do that instead.