This tantalising sense of desire for something hard to achieve often takes a surprising but insistent hold as we get older. Although it is easy to remember youth as a time of glorious irresponsibility, the reality for many of us – certainly for me – was that it held a multitude of insecurities and worries.
Would I get a good job? Would I be able to afford a home? Would I ever be happy? Would I ever get married? Would I become a mother? How could I work and be a parent?
The reality of my youth was that it held a multitude of insecurities and worries’
And now, as I look at the young people who work with me, it’s clear that they are more than ever driven by these questions, especially in a more economically precarious existence than we were allowed 30 or 40 years ago.
They have little time for searching for die blaue blume – they are too busy trying to earn enough money for a deposit on a home, or rushing to collect their child from nursery school.
No, it’s my lot in their fifties who are dying their non-shiny hair pink, trading in the Prius for a vintage petrol-guzzling Porsche Carrera, and leaving their marriages in a spectacular fashion, convinced that it’s now or never. With less time in front of us than behind us, it’s possible to argue that there’s less to lose if we lean too far over the edge.