Tag Archives: Questions

I'm too young for this. No really, I am. In this world of accelerated living I have hit my Quarter Century Crisi prematurely (by-the-by who wants to live to be 100 anyway?).

[I also think I'm too young to start writing off every ache and pain as ‘old age.’ But as I can’t be bothered to register with a doctor's surgery in East London and trekking back to Croydon to see a doctor is too much hassle, I'm adopting the ‘old age’ excuse. So I'll just have to deal with limping to school everyday.]

I have everything I need. I live in a great place, in the greatest city in the world.  The kitchen fridge is only ever empty when we’re too lazy to buy anything. I have a job that I enjoy. I have a great family and great friends. God is good. I am blessed beyond measure. I have everything I need. And for the most part I am happy.

So why am I sitting on my bedroom floor, listening Kanye, eating Nutella with a spoon and staring blankly at the wall pondering my life trajectory? Why is it that I'm browsing the self help section of Amazon, wondering if “Twenty Something, Twenty Everything” or “Conquering Your Quarter Life Crisis” is the key to sorting my life out?

I can’t concentrate. I'm not eating properly. And if I think about it too much I can't sleep. One of my best friends thinks I have a secret boyfriend. My mother thinks I have an eating disorder. I think I should just pack my bags and become a missionary. In the Bahamas. Preferably on a beach. With a cocktail in hand.  People who hang out on the beach in the Bahamas need Jesus too you know. And a one way ticket is only £600 (not that I've been looking).

I want to go where God leads but I think He wants me to decide. Only I don’t know what I want (talk about a First World Problem).

School. GCSE’s. A-Levels. University. Travelling. Job.

So far, so predictable, so mundane. Where is the radical life I was planning? I moved to East London to change the world but it pretty much looks the same.

Friends are getting married, working up the career ladder and having babies. Not quite my shade of nail varnish but a comparison none-the-less.

When it comes to work I am (as always) thinking about what to do next. Bahamas anyone?

As for getting married and having kids. Too young. Too dependent on independence and freedom. And too easily bored. A good friend recently told me “If he’s not worth it, then shake the dust from your feet, Child of God.” Amen to that. One of my grandmothers (who is in good health) keeps trying to guilt trip me into having kids by saying that she only wishes she’ll live long enough to see her great grandchildren – I’m the oldest grandchild on that side.  Have you seen what they do to you? And to your clothes? Too many people think I'm into fashion for me to let a child wreck my wardrobe thank you very much (I'm totally on the lookout for an excellent mid length skirt at the mo. Holla if you find a good one).

So here I am. Sitting on my bedroom floor. Listening to Kanye (maybe that’s the problem). Eating Nutella from the jar. Staring blankly at the wall. Yearning for Narnia, because let’s face it; where else would you want to be (besides the Bahamas - obvs)?
But at the end of the day, when all is said and done I rest in a peace not of this world. I rest in a God who is constant despite my inconsistencies. I rest in a God of provision, healing, mercy, grace, forgiveness and above all – love. 

Anyone got some wisdom to share on surviving your Quarter Century Crisis?

P.S. I’m fine. Really I am. I have a life planning session with a friend tomorrow evening.

P.P.S. You youngsters who don’t understand – don't be too smug, it will catch you soon enough. Aches, pains an' all. You have been warned. 

3 Comments

So I wouldn't say I live in the 'hood exactly. I wouldn't say that I lived in a dodgy area. And if you knew how much our rent was you'd probably think that we lived in a 'gated-community' with a butler, en suite rooms, private gym, walk in wardrobes a la Princess Diaries (a girl can dream), roof-top garden, actual garden, and view of the Thames/Buckingham Palace/Eiffel Tower.
But we don't.

What we do have is a bunch (gang?) of guys who like to hang around in the courtyard  between the building where I live and the one opposite - and they do lower the tone rather. Here's us trendy hipsters trying (well not really trying because that wouldn't be ironic) to raise standards to oversized glasses frames, good coffee and creative alternatives but our efforts seem to be in vain - they do not care for such things. *sigh*

One or two will usually surface around lunchtime and by 8/9pm there's at least ten guys smoking, eating chicken, dropping litter and riding around on Boris Bikes until the early hours of the morning. I'm not sure of half of what they do, but the half I am sure of fo' sure ain't legal. Sometimes leaving the flat or coming home can be stressful when you know that you might have to walk past them, which is kinda ridiculous because they rarely say anything to you. And sometimes they do share useful security facts about how they watched some guy stealing bikes from the building - but didn't bother to stop him.

Whether I like it or not they are part of my community. They are literally on my doorstep, quite often blocking the way to the door - but when they realise you want to get into the building they generally move out the way without you even having to ask - see, they're nice boys really I'm sure.

Which poses the question of how to solve the problem of the dealers at your door? We've (flatmates and I) been wondering about this alot lately. Do we:

A. Ignore them? Fix your eyes on the floor/anywhere but them and purposefully walk past as if they're not there? Which is just ridiculous because it's obvious that you've seen them. 

B. Befriend them? I'm not even sure if this is possible.

C. Report them? The Police come every now and again, sometimes they search them and other times they don't. Not gonna lie - it can actually be quite entertaining, especially when they start complaining to the police about other people who 'lower the tone' but other times it's hard to watch.

D. Make them a cake - my standard solution to everything.

>E. Other. Suggestions on a postcard please.

So far we've gone for a mixture or A and B, depending on how brave we're feeling and how much weed we can smell. Not gonna lie I mostly go for A - ignore them. But braver flatmates than me have got them to carry heavy suitcases of groceries up two flights of stairs to the flat. And another one has had a long enough chat to discover that one of them really loves his girlfriend and would do anything for her but because their families are from different countries no-one wants them to be together or get married - you see, I'm sure they're nice boys really.

Apart from the noise they don't give us much trouble (although remind me to tell you about the Great Litter and Chicken Wing Debates) but it would be nice if any guest who arrives or leaves after 7pm didn't have to pass some Iron-man Bravery Contest just to get to our door.

Any ideas?

2 Comments

So where I live (the Shoreditch end of Bethnal Green. Or the Bethnal Green end of Shoreditch, depending on which direction you’re coming from) there are heaps of homeless people. Any main road seems to have at least two guys sitting outside The-Supermarket-That-Shall-Not-Named or next to the cash point asking for any spare change. And I don’t know what to do about it. This is the conversation I have with myself every time I am asked if I have any spare change:

You can’t give money – it’ll only be used for alcohol and drugs. Do you really want your money to support  the local drug dealers?
Who says he’s gonna spend it on drugs? And why is it your business what he does with the money you give? Jesus asked you to help those in need and clearly he is in need.  God has entrusted you with that money – it’s not yours.
But I don’t think God wants his money to be used to support the local drug dealers either. And there are plenty of services out there to help. Maybe this guy prefers a life on the streets and so why should I support him in something that clearly isn’t healthy?
You know it’s rarely as simple as that - no one dreams of a life on the streets. You might be right; he might be most comfortable with living on the streets but it never should have come to that. And who are you to judge?
He’s here every day. He must be getting enough to survive on. So why should I give him anything?   

But you can’t just ignore him – how is that loving your neighbour?
So I could give him food. But he didn’t ask for food. He’s asking for money. Seems a bit cold to stop for a chat but not offer him anything. So what do I do?

I don’t even agree with all these arguments. But, for one reason or another this is what runs through my head and affects the way I act. Most days I hurriedly say ‘Hi’ as I walk past. But on the days when I’m feeling braver/more generous/more loving I stop for a brief chat. And sometimes give money.
But when I walk away I never know if I’ve done the right thing. Or if there even is a right thing?
And then I wonder 'Am I sheep? Am I a goat?' *
And how can I pray for a solution to his problems if I’m not willing to at least be a small part of it?
Answers anyone?
*For those of you wondering how a farm animal metaphor got thrown in check Matthew 25 v 31-46