The Shawshank Redemption was on TV last night. I didn’t watch it though; as it’s my joint-favourite film (along with Gattaca) I could probably recite the dialogue verbatim, and besides, I was playing FIFA 09…
However, there’s a scene in both the film and the magnificent Stephen King novella on which it’s based, where the notional protagonist Andy Dufresne escapes the eponymous prison in which he’s incarcerated by crawling through a sewage pipe, crawling “to freedom through five hundred yards of shit-smelling foulness I can’t even imagine. Or maybe I just don’t want to”.
I can’t help but look upon Andy’s effluence-based egress from prison as a metaphor for my own life at the present time; I’m moving, finally, from childhood to adulthood, and the process is as painful and as demoralising as puberty was. Perhaps I should gotten both out of the way at the same time…
Up until the age of 27, I had no clear idea of what I was going to do with my life; I had acquired a degree in photography and was engaged in the Thesean task of working my way into the industry, in hope rather than expectation. The number of individuals employed in journalistic photography has dwindled as the industry has atrophied in recent years, and after three solid years of rejection letters, and of being in fact completely ignored, I had begun to wonder where my life was going. I had been without a job for two years and was struggling to identify any employable qualities in myself.
And then I found a job, with an organisation that were willing to fund further study, leading to a more useful vocational qualification. And I took them up on their offer.
Of course, I’m grateful to my employer for sponsoring me, and I appreciate it. But there has been a certain amount of sacrifice on my part, and it is beginning to wear me down a little; this is the river of shit I alluded to previously. I have no social life, due to work, college and revision, not knowing too many people round here, not getting the chance to meet anyone new and so on.
The last year putting a quarter of my wages aside to invest in the props I feel I need to fully achieve adulthood; I’ve already bought a new digital SLR (Nikon D300), new laptop and Photoshop Elements, finally paid off my outstanding credit card balance (never rose to more than £300, but you know), and I’m currently saving towards a car, a deposit for a house, and less importantly, a digital piano.
I’ve been living with my mother since my return from five years in the West Midlands; it’ll be five years come July. I’m not sure how much longer I can take it; I’m faintly aware how pathetic it is (while also observing how it’s more prevalent these days). I think it’s having an adverse impact on my sex life, as there’s no way I could bring a woman back here, to this house, to have my mother talk shit at her.
I feel the lack of a car is impinging my social life as well; there are a certain amount of things I’ve wanted to do in the last few years, and found it would be quicker and more efficient for me to buy a camel than try and get to where I need to go using public transport.
And so, all that considered, I feel as if I’m in a sewage pipe, crawling through x number of years of shit, pish and who knows what else. I’m not sure how much longer I have to go; the outline timetable suggests I should have achieved my goal of car and house deposit by mid 2011. Perhaps by that point I’ll be nearly finished my first year of the BArch course at GSA, or will be just about to start. Maybe I won’t be going on to a further course at all, but will be safely ensconced in a proper job.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I have plans, and contingencies for those plans failing set in place, and hopefully someday sooner than later I’ll escape, and this will be me.