It's the year 2000.
One of us is playing for QPR.
The other is working at Burger King.
I think it’s fairly obvious which story you’d prefer to read today. So only one question remains:
Do you want fries with that?
Twenty years ago I was a full time student with two jobs.
l would get up at 4am, go do a breakfast shift at good old BK.
Then go to class.
And round off the day with either a late shift back at the purveyor of fine meats, or over at my second job.
l honestly loved that job.
I loved being responsible and paying my bills. (My rent was £36 a week in a flat share, but it was still a big deal to me.)
That I was answerable to no one and was making my own little way in the world.
And I also knew it probably wasn’t forever.
My second job was teaching very sweet little children at a drama school.
And it was such a nice job.
But I did it because I knew I’d need something to fall back on, if I didn’t become a successful actress.
I did not become a successful actress.
For half of my twenties, I was a jobbing actress. Which pretty much meant I scraped a living out of it.
Then I got really sick for a few years, and tried to rush back into work again before I was ready.
It went horribly wrong, and I’ve never set foot on a theatre stage since that day.
The sensible choice was to go into teaching. So I did.
And it was a terrible idea to do that.
Because teaching is a calling, It’s a vocation.
Not something you do because you can longer do what you loved most.
I should honestly have gone back to grilling burgers instead.
I lasted a year as a Head of Drama at a very nice prep school.
Then l went into T.V. presenting instead.
And it turned out that I finally found where l was supposed to be, all along.
There's a difference between doing a job that pays the bills.
And giving up on your long term goals
All of us who found ourselves out of work this year, have applied for jobs.
Clarke and I did. We never got so much as a first interview for any of them, mind you.
But we certainly tried, for months.
What we didn’t do, was completely retrain, for careers we have absolutely no aptitude for.
Because the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and son-in-law of a billionaire, decided to give us advice on supporting the economy.
I don’t know anyone who has gone through the process of choosing a career path, without meeting some resistance from at least one family member.
Having to justify ourselves to a loved one, is horrible for anyone's self-esteem.
But having to do it to an entire government, and huge sections of society?
That is the perfect storm for a mental health crisis, if ever there was one.
Do not retrain for a career that makes you feel dead inside.
It is not conducive to optimal mental health.
Definitely do not let anyone around you bully you into believing otherwise.
You know what makes you the best version of yourself, feeling optimal
And society needs people like you.
Your family needs you to be the most authentic version of you.
So please; stick to your guns.
Stand your ground.
And stay as your are.
Because you’re worth it.