Saturday, 28 January 2017

Progressive Thoughts - Day 28

Today’s song is another from the brilliant Porcupine Tree called Sentimental.

This is a rather sad song about young kids not wanting to grow old and somehow stay as young as they are but with the added feeling of having wasted their life so far.

I remember when I was a kid that I really wanted to stay young and play forever, but the overriding issue that I realised would remain was the lack of money. As far as I was concerned, with money came freedom and if I had that money I could do what I wanted.

Sadly, a thirteen year old can’t always get the money they want. My parents looked after us but we weren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately I went to, what was considered, the best school in Walsall, and consequently a lot of kids with rich parents also attended. The big difference was that a lot of them were pampered by their parents who gave them enough money to buy all the latest gear, whereas I missed out. I could see the unfairness of life and I think that this shaped me politically and certainly changed my outlook.

What I saw was that my own parents immensely proud of what I had achieved but some of the other kids I knew were pushed by already successful parents and really struggled to cope.

I was happy with where I was going but I didn’t like the environment I found myself in, particularly when I was at the mercy of rich kids who showed off their treasures and mocked me for not having the same wealth.

My only option was to get a job to get extra cash and it was the best thing I ever did. It was a simple job, in a newsagent but I was able to buy stuff and fight back against the more privileged kids. I worked at the newsagent from thirteen to eighteen, assisting the manager with delivering newspapers, setting up all the paper rounds, collecting money, stock taking, shelf-stacking and, towards the end, selling stuff from behind the counter.

It was all menial work but I thoroughly enjoyed the job, so much so that the manager of the shop tried to persuade me to ditch the idea of university and consider a career as a manager in the chain of shops.

Sadly that wasn’t for me and I had to disappoint him.

However, what all of this taught me was that working for money was a good thing and while it interfered with my social life a little, it meant that I did have some freedom and the ability to laugh in the faces of the pompous arseholes at school who flashed their daddy’s cash around without having earned it.

The job prepared me for a real career and when I actually started work after university, I embraced it with gusto.

Regular readers will know that I am now sick of the rat race but the truth is that I am not a kid anymore and, having worked in IT for over thirty years, I want a change. Whether I achieve my new goals in the years to come is questionable but at least I am happy being the age I am and looking towards the future as an old man with some pleasure – as long as I am physically able to cope of course.

But that thirteen year old kid is still in my head and occasionally surfaces.

I love that and don't ever want that to change.


joeh said...

A thirteen year-old still in your immature! The kid in my head is at least 15.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Well, you are older then me Joe.