I know I shouldn’t keep looking back, but too bad, here’s another “then and now” post, somewhere between my last one and my next (planned) one. I’ve been through a lot this year, and now that things are picking up, it’s interesting to see how much improvement there’s been.
Anyway: ten years ago (2005, in case you’re reading this years after I’ve written it), I was living in the Wood Green area with two of my Astrophysics classmates (the people I now refer to as “good housemate” and “female best friend”), an Irishman born on the same day of the same year as me, and the latter’s live-in Australian girlfriend. In September I started a temp job at Camden council that would ultimately lead to me becoming permanent there for almost exactly eight years; this followed admin work earlier in the year in an office where I was underused but got on well with my cheerful colleagues.
And now look where I am: living with an Irishman and three others (two of them female and the other a wacky guy who mocks me for being a vegetarian), commuting to work on the Tube, watching the Japanese anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (but getting rather further than I did when I only had the first 36 episodes) and doing a job that started out temporary (and quite stressful for that reason) but which has now become permanent. The differences, of course, are that my Irish housemate is rather more cheerful and less irritable than your man from 2005, that my job is what I want to be doing rather than just something to pay the bills, and that (apart from the occasional issue) my morning commute is bearable… dare I say, almost enjoyable?
(And for your information, sometimes I get the Victoria and Piccadilly Lines to the Castle after work — almost the same journey as my homeward commutes in 2005-6 — and the service hasn’t improved on either line! If anything, it’s even worse…)
Moreover, I’m still in touch with the nice ladies at the admin job I did earlier this year to tide me over; I think I sorted my head out there a lot more than I did at Haringey council in 2005, and in all probability owe them my life… so I’m having lunch with them on Friday (when, shock horror, I’ll be taking a half-day from my job!). I spent far less time unemployed this year between the two jobs than I did back in 2005, when “female best friend” had to swing something for me at her workplace for a few days, and I got fired from an audio-typing job at a hospital because the obnoxious lady in charge took a personal dislike to me!
Another improvement on 2005 began this weekend: I’m watching Doctor Who. No, not the new Peter Capaldi episodes… well, yes, I am watching those, but that’s not the remarkable thing — I’ve begun rewatching the first series of the show’s revival, with Chris Eccleston as the Doctor, and I’m enjoying it a lot more than I did back in 2005! I didn’t like him back then as I found him too uncouth and “northern” (but not Scottish like Sylvester McCoy), and the fact that he ditched the role after the first episode was broadcast didn’t endear him to me; I also didn’t like the show going to a 45-minute episodic format instead of the weekly 25-minute episodes that built into serials, as it seemed like dumbing down.
Now, however, I find I actually like the episodic format (hey, Star Trek did the same and I never complained about that!), instead of being all “they changed it, now it sucks!” — and I like Eccleston’s portrayal, perhaps because his impish grin and sticky-out ears remind me of my good friend, the yoga teacher who’s helped me feel more spiritual the past couple of years (his is the Meetup.com group I’ve attended by far the most). It’s a shame he only lasted one season and then turned his back on the show entirely, even refusing guest appearances…
(And yes, I watched the Paul McGann TV movie first — and yes, I do wonder if his claim to be “half-human on his mother’s side” is in any way significant regarding last week’s Capaldi episode…)
Ten years is a nice round number, and it’s also significant to me somehow: I keep saying I feel way younger than the 38 years my birth certificate claims I have (I don’t doubt it, I have memories of the early 1980s — including, yes, Doctor Who). I sometimes feel like I lost ten years of my life (three in 2000-3 living in Worthing with my folks, and seven in 2005-11 existing but not really feeling), so it’s not entirely delusional for me to claim to be 28; it seems like a more appropriate age for me to be, considering my emotional maturity level. Also note how physically fit I am now that I eat well and exercise regularly, instead of sitting home each and every night (I wasn’t even going to Japanese night classes back then).
Yeah, maybe I’d really like to be 18, but only because then no-one would object if I tried to sleep around with college girls…