Why I’m quite happy being the odd one out

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Never one to follow a crowd, I have made it my life’s work to be the odd one out.

The contrarian in me dictates I will almost always take the counter-view, even if the argument before me is a reasonable one.

I am proud of the fact that I have never been at the forefront of any fashion craze and will almost always go out of my way to avoid the television programmes or bands that everybody else is raving about.

Why? Because being a sheep is never nearly as much fun as being a stubborn old goat. Which is why this autumn, unlike many others under the age of 40, I have no intention of giving up booze for this month or growing a moustache in November.

Fair play to all of those well- meaning folk who are laying off the sambuca and alcopops for 31 days in aid of a cause that is close to my heart, but it is not to me. I will put a fiver in your charity bucket if you are lucky, but give up my pint at a time when the nights draw in and most of my peer group seemingly succumbs to SADs? You must be joking.

There are some who would counter I am merely acting my age as apparently we are at our happiest until our mid-20s and then it all goes downhill when you reach your 30s and become burdened with life.

These findings by Australian academics are not the most earth-shattering ever. Yes, there are a lot of miserable middle-aged beggars out there but personally I am having much more fun than I did in my 20s.

Going back nearly 20 years, my home was a draughty bedsit. My diet was burnt toast for breakfast, super noodles for lunch and chips and a saveloy for tea – as far as my trainee reporter’s wage would stretch.

While I had just enough brass left for two nights out each week, these were far from the happiest days of my life. How could they be?

While 20-somethings today tend to have the constitution of a whole herd of oxes and a large disposable income due to the fact many still live at home, I would take the stresses that come with the responsibility of a life such as mine every time.

My early 20s were plagued with the self-doubt that often goes with immaturity and the fact that I hardly had a penny to scratch my rear end with. I have long since accepted that I will never have David Beckham’s good looks or his money but a bit of life experience teaches you to be grateful for what you have got.

Miserable? Not me, but you will still not convince me to stop boozing or grow facial hair in the name of a good cause.

I am happy how I am thanks.