It’s a bit like Marmite, but I am a lover: Dawson’s Creek. That’s right I said it out loud. Oh I know, it was ridiculous: teenagers using multi-syllable words as well as cynically debating things like ever changing lives, ambitions and high-school crushes (Basically everyone wanted to sleep with Joey played by Katie Holmes and it proved that buying a brick wall as romantic.) Yet that was kind of who I was at 15: multi syllabic and cynical, though I didn’t need to sleep with Joey. If ever I was confused as a teenager- not that confused.
Although I guess she might have been my first girl crush, when the show launched I was the same age as the characters. I used to watch it and discuss it with one of my friends at school: I can only imagine that he identified with Dawson. Dawson passionately wanted to be a film maker, my friend passionately wanted to be an actor. He tried out for theater school, got to the second round, took a year out to prep and didn’t get through. Then he studied Film/Television/Theatre science -yes it is a science- but he is currently working in IT to pay his mortgage. Funny, the things that life throws at you.
In one of our conversations I said that I wanted to change the world, to which my friend replied: ” Ha! How do you know what you need to change if you don’t know how it works?” Fair point. So I changed my ambition to experiencing the world. I wanted to see the world, live it, breathe it and make it a better place. Who on earth would ever want to have a 9-5 job? What ever I was going to do ( and at that point in my life, it was a close call between a gyneacologist for a charity in a Third World country or an actress. Yes, imagine the look on my parents face when I told them I thought med-school wouldn’t work out for me…) it was going to be amazing!
A decade on and my flatmate has a week off and started to watch the complete series now. I have to pull myself away to prevent myself from getting suckered into it. (Bye bye half-marathon!) Still, it is pure nostalgia. It makes me smile and a little sad: I am less cynical but also less ambitious. Some mornings I find it hard to get myself to the Tube, let alone taking on the world and its problems. God at the time, 25 wasn’t even on my radar: that’s how old it was.
It is easy to forget how passionate and how arrogant you once were, when one morning you wake up and you find yourself working in IT or realise that the high-light of your day is going to be the Sweetcorn soup for lunch they have every Wednesday. Worse even, that you find yourself looking forward to lunch time. (In the first office job I had, a guy who had started around the same time as me, came back from lunch one day. He had sat next to an older guy in a suit who commented with glee on the massive sandwich he had. My poor colleague just shook his head and sadly said: “One day it might be me.” Bless him, it was too much for a graduate of Italian and philosophy.)
So there is comfort in the fact, something is still stirring when I hear the theme tune again from the living room: I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over. I want to know right know. What will it be?