When we both turned 26 this summer, we suddenly felt like we were on the wrong side of 25. Like, now we're nearer 30 than 20, and we still live in our tiny wee flat with no garden in London and we don't have a dog and we can't afford a house and I think we'd both like different jobs. It doesn't help when you see all your friends in Scotland seemingly growing up, buying houses, getting married etc... it makes you feel a tiny bit left-behind, then you remember that because you live in London you have no money for any of that and actually in London your lifestyle is quite normal. In fact it maybe even makes more sense.
I was glad to have it confirmed to me by this Time magazine article.
("Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week." - insightful stuff from Allen Ginsberg, but yes, dammit, if they continue to make this much sense I'll totally let them run my emotional life).
Good to know that not many people our age are buying cars, houses, weddings or kids (wait..) It does seem to be pretty localised to Scotland. Which I guess brings me to my next worry - the Referendum (or the neverendum, as it is called in our house, because it has. been. going. on. forever. And poor James' work heavily involves the No campaign, so it is a constant for us).
I am just going to come out and say it - I hate how divisive it has been already. My Facebook is wall-to-wall with yes/no statuses and so many of them come across as really vitriolic. I'm not sure what everyone is so upset about. Like, no one ever talked about it or even suggested it for years, then all of a sudden in the last six months - BOOM. Mega-opinions everywhere. Part of me thinks, yes, it's a lovely idea. The other part is like, WOAH, what does it mean for the economy? The NHS? Our currency? Border control? The EU? Work permits? The short answer is, no-one knows yet. It's quite unprecedented, and I don't like rules so I guess that appeals to me, but the uncertainty is scary too.
A selfish part of me already feels like I'm far from home and I don't want it to be a separate country because then it will almost feel even further away. There is also a large part of me that worries about everyone who does live there. Some things in Scotland are undeniably way too expensive (train fares were always my number one grudge). But as soon as you live anywhere else, you start to appreciate all the things we do have - free prescriptions, no tuition fees, small class sizes in schools, lovely cheap flats to rent/buy, really nice areas to live in (seriously. I miss Scottish crime after working in Newham for so long - I mean jeeeez look at this. I'll take a Glaswegian jakey in his Reebok classics over this any day).
I worry that a yes vote might one day mean moving back to a Scotland that has no free tuition for our kids, and where life is a little bit more of a struggle. I mean, it might turn out great, but it's all supposition at the moment. James and I don't get to vote, so we can be pretty objective about it (also something I kind of disagree with - I'm Scottish, and lived there for 22 years, and I don't get a vote? It's hardly fair).
I know a lot of people are anti-Westminster, and think that no-one there earns their salary, but I suppose going out with James has given me a bit of a different perspective. James' boss' diary is back to back most days from about 8am until 10pm. He sees his wife and kids (who live up in Orkney) for one day a week if he's lucky, and sometimes not at all. I'm sure there are some lazy MPs, as there are lazy people in every company, but I don't think we're all that disproportionately represented and we certainly get more than our fair share of public money (see this article). I like the idea of Scotland as an independent country, and goodness knows it's good to take risks - I'd just hate to see people I love disadvantaged because suddenly the UK government decides to cut all ties out of sheer spite.
My friend Richie (who incidentally is yes voter) is also an economist, and he says his company's European clients are not too bothered about the impact of a potential Yes vote, but their American clients are. So that's my view - if I was voting, it would probably be no, in an effort to preserve what we do have, because bloody hell guys, it's pretty good. Even if it is a yes, though, and whichever way my friends vote, they're still going to be my friends. I don't believe in telling people how to vote - I just hope people take time to find out as much information as they can, so they make the decision that is right for them and their family, and then I guess may the best side win.
What else am I worried about? Oh yeah... I want to start the Whole 30 challenge. I started going to the gym recently and it really makes you think about what you're putting into your body. This is all about only eating natural stuff, and sounds like it will make me feel really healthy and full of energy. It also looks as though it will take a lot of prep, and a lot of willpower - but hey, it's only 30 days, right? And I definitely have a dormant sugar addiction that overwhelms me whenever I'm stressed (so, like, every two days) so I want to see if I can kick it. Watch this space...