Until I was about 17, I appeared to have a purpose in life. Academic achievement.
Since that’s been off the board – chiefly, in retrospect, because I had minus zero interest in academic achievement and managed to shoot myself in the foot every time it looked possible – I have bumbled about doing things I never imagined I’d do, until here I am in old age with nothing noteworthy to show for it (unless you count four adult children).
This used to bother me, back when I was still of an age to agonise over ‘achievement’ and the meaning of life. Now it doesn’t. Life is what it is. You do your best, and in the final analysis, who’s going to care what I did as long as it was harmless?
A lot of people will disagree with me there, of course: those desperate to have their name in lights, real or metaphorical; those desperate to change the course of the world; those desperate to have lots and lots of lovely money. But the way I see it, we’re all links in the chain, and everyone changes the world in ways we may never know, simply by being in it.
So maybe in my bumble through life I actually did some good, or maybe I was just human filler.
But even filler has its uses, doesn’t it.