Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Can I phone a friend?

Thanks Allison; I had no idea that the questions 'who am I?' and 'what am I doing with my life?' would be so difficult to answer.

My name is Tom, I'm 25 and live on the outskirts of London. I am the Brit. I enjoy reading, walks on the beach and drinking too much. Ten months ago I started a blog as a place to record the thoughts I have that would make my friends and colleagues think I was a complete oddball if spoken aloud (at the moment, they think I'm only part oddball, which I can live with). Over the course of the following months I discovered a host of other blogs and the weird and wonderful writers behind them. I'm an incredibly nosey person, so having the opportunity to read what is in many cases an online diary was like catnip to me. But it became more than that; I read blogs from all over the world and soon found myself following the trials and tribulations of 20-somethings in New York, Manila and Kolkata, as well as the highs-and-lows of post-grads in Norway, Canada and South Africa. Some were funny, some thought-provoking, some shocking. All were interesting, different, unique.

And then came autumn, bringing with it a wailing and a gnashing of teeth. Bloggers everywhere succumbed to bad moods, intense nostalgia and identity crises, as if a huge raincloud was hovering menacingly over the Blogosphere, refusing to move away. It was then that the TSG was born, as Allison has already described, as a defence against 20-something angst, the lure of Radiohead and the feeling that everyone else is moving faster than you.

And that brings me to what I'm doing with my life. By day I work in International Sales for a children's book publisher. It's not quite as dull as it sounds, but after 2 years I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm actually going anywhere. Have I become complacent? Will I sit at this desk for the rest of my working life? Of course, I realise that I'm lucky to be employed - if the recession has done anything it's woken me up to the fact that I have been lucky. But I moan nonetheless. I moan because when I was growing up, I expected to have my own home and high-flying, high-paying career by the time I was 25. Maybe even a personal trainer so that I could fight the effects of the wonderful food and fine wine I'd gorge myself on at expensive restaurants every night of the week. I expected, in brief, far too much. Instead I'm still at home, feeling like an eternal teenager, struggling at the bottom of the career ladder and budgeting down to the last penny to make sure that I can actually, once in a blue moon, afford to go out with my friends. Even if the hangovers are getting worse.

So this is what I need the TASG for. To stop me being such a miserable sod and to remind me that though life can be a struggle, it can, and should, also be a laugh. That there's a blue sky behind the rain clouds and a lot to be grateful for. So Allison, Lauren and anyone who reads, comments or follows this blog, prepare yourselves for a tough job. In return, I'll try to limit my grumpiness and lend a transatlantic shoulder to cry on, some helpful advise or an ear to listen, whenever necessary. It will be like the kids in Captain Planet, you know - the ones with the rings. Together, we are more powerful. I hope someone knows what I'm talking about.

Lauren; this is Major Tom to Ground Control. Over to you. Over and out.


  1. Yay - post #2 is finally up! I hope Germany is being kind to you Tom!

    You are not a miserable sod! But I do love that you bring all your Britishness to this blog - it's quite nice.

    And holy crap - we are totally like Captain Planet!

    Can't wait to read Lauren's on Friday. This is shaping up to be an awesome week one guys!

  2. Oh, and I love the photo of you & Buddha.

  3. I agree with Allison - you are so not a miserable sod. Loved your post. I can totally relate to feeling like an eternal teenager.

    As I was typing that sentence, an old hippy came into my kitchen (yes, I am typing from the kitchen of a commune) and told me how much he hated being a grown-up. I feel like the universe timed that moment just right.

    Anyway, this is ground control to Major Tom. Commencing count down engines on. Check ignition and may god's love be with youuuuuuuuuu...

    I will have my post up on Friday :D

  4. Oh! I almost forgot! Tom + Buddha = adorable

  5. I feel like a follower for the Captain Planet group, and it feels awesome.

    I think we can all relate to this, but especially the part about Autumn. I hadn't thought about that before, but summer was so full of good vibes and promise and then fall comes and BAM - life comes back.

    I think these posts, and issues I can relate to, will be my support group as well

  6. Mr. O - You just pinpointed exactly why we created this blog. We realized that it wasn't just us that felt this way - many, many other bloggers that we read felt the same as us.

    You are right - autumn is when everything goes back to reality. For me it's like a New Years - you feel like something new is starting and you'd better get moving towards your goals or else you'll be a huge failure in life.

    Lauren's post will be up sometime today...and next week's theme,...well all I can say Mr. O is that I think it will be right up your alley.

  7. Allison - I am miserable, you don't have to try and convince me otherwise. At least I am acknowledging my...addiction to misery, and taking steps to combat it though. And if we're choosing Captain Planet powers, I'd really like to control water, if that's ok.

    Lauren - when you said the universe timed that perfectly, do you mean the universe who you talk to sometimes? Did he say hi? I mean it's fine if he didn't, but I thought he might.

    Thank you both for the compliments of the buddha photo, I thought it was an accurate depiction of the emotional peace I'm striving for.

    Mr O - I know right, awesome. I'm so pleased everyone's on board the Captain Planet metaphor. As Allison said, in a much more timely fashion (I've been away! I'll reply sooner in future!), that's when we first mentioned this idea. It seemed like it was happening to all sorts of people, all over the place, at once. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd blame UFOs. I'm not, so I joined a collaborative blog instead.

  8. You can have fire, I'm ok with that. So Lauren's what, earth or wind? OR HEART. The least impressive of all the rings.