THE BLOG

Am I Too Early for a Midlife Crisis?

24/11/2015 16:02 GMT | Updated 24/11/2016 10:12 GMT

I don't know when it was that I first noticed that I couldn't be bothered. I remember it at work, doing no more than 2-3 minutes worth of anything before feeling completely drained of motivation. I didn't really feel like doing anything, but most of all I didn't feel like doing any work. I'm not joking when I say it reminded me of being a teenager, which is not a feeling I miss. Certain that my depression was taking a nose dive I saw my doctor and changed my medication. That started, slowly, to help. As I got better, I started to think about why it was I'd gone downhill in the first place.

It doesn't take long for life to become littered with regrets, disappointments and missed opportunities. As young as 18 your academic choices have locked you on to a path, regardless of whether you have your future mapped out or not. I knew wanted to write and perform comedy (I still do) but I had no idea how to go about it. So I picked what seemed vaguely appropriate a levels and spent the next two years wasting vital time getting adequate grades and writing a terrible novel. The net result is that, 16 years later, I feel like I understand why those guys dye their hair and buy Ferraris. They want to restart their lives and have another crack at being 21.

Of course my life since then hasn't been a disaster, and you can't sift out and keep the good bits. I enjoyed my university education, despite being a long way from home and abjectly failing to make any friends. I'm happily married now, and I can't separate that from all the other choices that I've made.

What I can do is re-evaluate whether I'm in as much of a rut as I think I am. I've long since concluded that stand up comedy is not something I could have a second crack at. I tried it twice at the age of 16 with no success, because I had nothing I wanted to say. I persuaded myself (with some legitimacy) that I don't really want to do it anyway. I certainly don't want to be a touring comic, I like going home at the end of the day. But there's nothing much stopping me getting up in front of an audience to see if I can make them laugh.

Why are you talking about yourself Ben? Nobody cares about your stupid life. Your mother won't even read this far.

I know that. I'm just using my own experience to illustrate how other people can change their lives.

Change their lives now? Well you've got a bit above yourself. Alright then, on you go.

All I'm saying, really, is that your life is never over. Not only is it not over, but it's not necessary to dump your job and your family in order to reboot it. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, even if you're only doing it figuratively. Be realistic. Some things you secretly yearned to do aren't going to happen. Not only is it too late for you to play for England, you aren't good enough and you never will be. But you could probably join a local team or something. Life is like a box of chocolates. Within limits, you get to make choices.

That last bit ruined the whole blog.