Do you remember being ten?
Not just what was number one in the charts, but that slate-clean, wide-eyed child you were.
When I was ten I was boringly content because I was remarkably lucky. The worst I could say was that I never got that chopper bike I wanted because my mother thought they were dangerous.
As if she knew!
But there was something else I craved.
To be eleven. At eleven we were allowed to wear long trousers at school. (This was 1872)
The eagerness we all feel to get older when we are children is one of the greatest ironies in life. So much of our lives at that age is taken up with wanting the next thing.
And when you’re a child everything is sparkling new so it doesn’t even seem like change, it just seems like growing. Of course the creativity that all children have is fed by new experiences and learning and is maybe the reason so many artists and musicians do their best work at a young age.
All that creative fuel is just uncontainable, it has to diffuse somewhere.
As Picasso said ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.’
Despite Pablo’s advice I did grow up.
By 2007 I had a good job doing work I loved, with cool people and a good salary. Mrs C and I bought a house, had kids..the usual. The bothersome feeling of new challenges and opportunities became crushed by inertia.
Then 2008 happened and I was faced with growing again.
Freelancing for two years was like I was catching up on all the change I had been avoiding since 1988. It was a giddy and somewhat precarious period, but utterly rejuvenating.
In the last few years ‘change’ has proved itself a rather amusing traveling companion through life. A little like that visit to the gym that you dread but leaves you with a rush of endorphins and an inner sense of achievement.
And come November there will be more change at my agency.
Every bone in my body loves our offices in Hammersmith. My view is of the river, with it’s twinkling sunsets, rowing clubs and joggers. I have a parking space, and in summer with the top down I can be home in 40 minutes.
And in the time I’ve been here we’ve grown from about 12 people and countless empty desks to having to create ‘bunk desks’ and using one of the ladies toilets as a conference room.
Yes we’re moving offices, a skip and a whistle south of the Tate Modern.
In so doing we leave behind many memories, painful and happy, but I also know it could be a shot in the arm. (well, there had to be at least one pharma reference)
Because deep down I know change is the catalyst we all need to do great work and to keep ourselves fresh.
But change doesn’t have to be all consuming. It can just mean taking a few risks, trying something new, thinking from a different part of the building, trying a pencil not a mouse. Wearing a suit not jeans. Growing a beard, losing weight, gaining weight. Visiting Beirut. learning German.
All those things that shake up the routine and familiar and spark new connections and create new perspectives.
And ultimately help us think with the innocence of a ten year old.
Change? Bring it on.