Is Growing Young The New Growing Old? Here’s What I Have Learnt Today…

I’d really love it if Stephen Hawking could concentrate on inventing a time machine, instead of spending his time focusing on the planet and God and all things like that. Specifically, I’d like it if he could invent a time machine that focused on the taking me back to the ages between about 4-20 years old because, the thing is, I do appear to have been regressing recently. Something which has come to the forefront of my mind today.

I have just emailed my boss to inform him that my contract is up. This is something I have known about for a bit and, rather than be upfront and ask in advance, I have been a bit reticent when it’s come to mentioning it. This isn’t because I don’t want a contract, I do very much want a contract (if you’re reading this, Mr Boss, I hope that last sentence grabs you). No, the reason for my hesitant state of mind has been in case he said he doesn’t want to renew my contract. It was this thought, as I hovered over the “send” button, that had me wishing I still had the mindset I had as a small child.

I can never recall wanting a biscuit, as a child, and delaying asking my parents for the best part of a week for fear of a denial. I can never recall not asking for sweets, as a child, in case the answer was “No”. Nor can I recall being incredibly chubby, as a child, because all I did was ask for biscuits and sweets! My memories of childhood seem to be that I, like most children, asked for something (politely, I may add) because that was what I wanted at the time. If I asked politely, I may well receive it. There was also a chance that I wouldn’t receive it but that never seemed to stop me asking. Not to the point that I’d delay emailing my parents for fear that they’d deny my request, anyway. That said, I didn’t actually have email as a child; which is good because if I didn’t even have to get up to ask for biscuits and sweets, I would be writing this from a re-enforced bed (I’m not; I’m writing it from a perfectly normal kitchen stool).

The other reason I have been thinking about the time travel topic is because of films. I went to see The A-Team last week at the pictures (I also used to call the cinema “the pictures” as a child. I miss that…) and completely escaped back into my youth. Talking to my friend, Phil, yesterday it was apparent that I wasn’t alone in this feeling. Phil told me that, during one scene, he’d leapt out of his seat and shouted “Yes!” when BA smashed onto the screen to “get a baddie”. When I tell you Phil is a 30-something father to two children and has a full on beard, I think that highlights the power of escaping into the fantasies of childhood. For me personally, it was the first time since I reached adulthood that I’d come out of the pictures and actually wanted to be one of the characters in the film (when I was a kid I always wanted to be Face; that hasn’t changed). I also made pretend machine gun noises. Unlike Face, I am very much a single man…movie Fifty Shades Darker 2017 download

Last night I drove back to my little cottage by the canal after being back home in Yorkshire. On the way back I put on a load of old skool R&B tunes from the 90s. Artists like Monica, Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight… that sort of thing. They took me back to when I was in my late teens/early 20s and I used to listen to those artists all the time. They also reminded me that, at that period in my life, I used to walk along the country lanes where I grew up (there isn’t much else for someone who age to do in little, Yorkshire villages) and just get lost in my music and thoughts (although, ironically, I never got lost geographically speaking). At this time in my life all I wanted to do was be creative, write, entertain and work in radio; not too much has changed. As I walked those lanes, only able to dream of a future career, I used to look up at the sky that sprawled above the views of fields and hills and think to myself:

“If everyone exists under that same sky – surely anything is possible. There is only me who can limit myself to what I can achieve”.

Admittedly, it probably wasn’t as succinct as the above sentence, but that was the gist. I really did believe that, because the sky was so huge, the possibilities underneath it were equally as big. I was a bit of a dreamer back then.

One final thing that has me thinking back to “the good old days” was that last night I watched the film Boomerang, from 1992. I remember first seeing that film when it came out and really wanting the lifestyle of the main character, Marcus Graham. He was successful, had an ace apartment, was funny and dated beautiful women. Plus, he dressed really well. Well, he did back in 1992. As I watched it last night, it took me back to when it was my favourite film and when ambition and dreams were very much a muddled affair. It also reminded me I had weird clothes in the 1990s.

So, what have I taken from all this? Well, it could be that, in an ideal world, I want to dress in v-shaped suit jackets with purple baggy trousers, saying things like “Hey cuteness” whilst driving a black van with a red stripe down the side, eating sweets and biscuits.

It isn’t, though. No, what I have taken from this, what I have remembered from this, is that there is nothing wrong with believing anything is possible. The happiest thoughts I have ever had were when I used to look up to the sky and think that I could achieve anything. Before I forgot to keep doing it. What I have taken from all this “regressing” is that, actually, maybe I’m not regressing at all. Maybe I am just getting back to a good way of thinking.

So, Here’s What I Have Learnt Today… I don’t need Stephen Hawking to build me a time machine after all (I hope he hasn’t read that first paragraph and already got started). In fact, he can spend more time concentrating on his “celebrity beef” with God about who is the most creative when it comes to the universe – I’ll just sit around and wait for the Youtube clips to appear – because all I need to do is to get back to enjoying the thought that anything is possible; and continue to believe it.

Right, I think I’ll go for a little walk now. Here’s to dreamers!

Al xx

PS – I haven’t actually received an email back from The Boss so if anyone needs a writer/presenter/producer/tea maker… let me know. I’ll bring biscuits and sweets.