Ah yes...the infamous Rachel Hunter Pantene shampoo jingle: "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen."
Don't you feel old when you remember things like that? For those not in the know, that wee jingle is 25 years old. I know, hard to believe isn't it? I was thinking the same thing as I watched Rachel interviewed on TV this morning - sitting alongside her daughter, the latest shampoo advocate, and smiling fondly as the "old" advertisement replayed for all to see.
Rachel still has nice hair. She's still got really nice fingernails. She's still....Rachel Hunter. But she's 25 years older, and that, my dear friends, is about where any similarity stops.
Unlike Rachel, I don't look back at myself and smile coyly. I don't reflect on my past with even a hint of pride or accomplishment and I certainly would bore the pants off anyone if interviewed on the telli. I don't even have a husband let alone an (ex) famous one. In fact, I don't even own a stereo if I were ever to find the urge to sing-along with Rod Stewart. I know, I know - we shouldn't compare ourselves to others but natural fact is, we do. It's like a God given barometer of success - checking in on people's lives to see, not how they are doing, but how well we have done.
I didn't check into the Rachel Hunter interview for a sense of accomplishment. I got too hooked on the words "25 years." Where has all that time gone? What on earth consumed a quarter of century? Surely, back then, I had dreams and ambitions, wanted to be somebody, anybody - surely.
Well, the sad fact of the matter is, I didn't.
My only goal, back then, was to run. To run as fast as I could to anywhere my legs (or wallet) would take me. I was convinced that it was where my feet were that made me feel the way I did and logic said, keep moving if it still feels bad. I was like a wild fire-horse, well equipped to jump high fences for those moments in life that called me to maintain a level of normality - things like marriage, kids, keeping a job. Oddly enough, all the 'things' I now consider trophies of success. And it was my friends, the ones I left behind, that looked to me through eyes of envy: "Oh to be footloose and fancy free," they would say. "Wish I was like that."
I have stopped running now. Not because some mammoth wonderment anchored my feet to the floor but because I've crippled myself with regret. Everything I was running from merely waited for my return and I didn't come back armed with answers, just overwhelming lethagy. These 'things' still need to be addressed, all 25 years worth and the thought that it could take that long again to resolve them is simply, terrifying.
Sometimes, that dread is so overwhelming, so overbearing, so incredibly loud that I swear, I'd do just about anything to make it stop. I say "just about anything" because whilst suicide has crossed my mind, the truth of the matter is - I do want to live. I can say that and I mean it. I do want to live. It's just...anything else after that sentence hinders me. I want to live but... [enter list of failings].
So, if suicide isn't the answer, what is?
You know, once upon a time, things were that simple for me - ask a question and get an answer. Nowadays, I have questions and even though I still get answers, something new has happened. I can't seem to summon the energy to do anything about it. Now I think the only way things will change is if some manic intervention group, managed by some crazed army lieutenant, storms my home and orders me to shower, dress, brush my teeth. Oddly enough, it's only when I get so annoyed with myself that I actually do any of these things myself and I sound worse than any crazed army dude: "Move it, god-dammit!"
Looking back at the Rachel Hunter interview this morning, I now realise what it is I envy the most: No, it's not her beautiful hair or stunning fingernails. It's not even the fact that she married my first heart throb. It's knowing she's never had to bark self-inflicted army orders to simply shower and look presentable. I envy that.
Sure, Rachel Hunter probably never had a reason to run away so hard and so fast that it took 25 years to find her way home, but I did. It's not an excuse for having not achieved as much - it's a reason. I just need to find "my" way home and once there, plant my feet so firmly in the ground that not even depression can uproot me - it's a goal. It's a start.
"It won't happen overnight...but it will happen."