From MasterChef last night:
To change your career at 27 takes great courage.
Sorry, Marco Pierre White, I beg to differ.
This isn’t because I think the young man you were talking to isn’t an outstanding individual. It’s not because I’m well over 27, and have changed career a number of times.
It’s because I seen even greater courage daily among the mental health community.
You think it’s hard to change your career, Mr White? What about adapting to a completely new way of being in the world? What about suddenly realizing that what you’ve done all your life isn’t going to work for you any more – and may, in fact, be the end of you?
These are the questions mental health patients come up against, at precisely the time in their life when they’re least equipped to deal with them.
I enjoyed a long “phone date” with one of my best friends yesterday afternoon. Her schedule is busy, and we don’t get to talk often these days, but I always enjoy our chats. It was really great to be able to say that – finally! – I’m beginning to feel different, to feel better again, to be able to think differently and constructively about my future. I haven’t been able to tell her that in a long time.
She asked me what I thought was the biggest factor in overcoming my mental illnesses. I gave her an honest answer: “My attitude.”
I believe that I will lead a happier, smoother, healthier and more hopeful life again, and I work hard towards that goal, even when it’s difficult. I still have a way to go, but I’m fortunate to be inspired and supported by those who walk alongside me.
Byron (the young man Mr. White was addressing) did leave the show last night. Among his parting comments were this:
Being 27 and finding out what you want to do in life – it seems so late.
I’m truly happy for you, Byron, I really am; it is a wonderful thing to discover what you want to do in life: but imagine what it must be like, at any age, to try and re-learn what you have to be in life, in order to survive.