April Fools’ Day. A day made for joking. A day made for pranks. I remember one year calling my father and telling him I got a speeding ticket. Let’s just say, he was not happy. I should’ve probably stuck with putting pepper in his coffee, or something like that.
According to our good friend Wikipedia, the origin of April Fools’ Day is unknown, but there are many theories on where it came from. Some are English, some are French and some are Spanish – one has to do with a fox tricking someone about it being “32 days since March began”, aka April 1st. Some even say that this day of jokes dates back to biblical times.
It’s certainly true that every country celebrates April Fools differently. The longer standing customs come from Europe and are mostly verbal jokes. My favourite custom is probably one that is attributed to Italy, France, Belgium and French-speaking areas. Their prank is to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed. They also refer to April Fools as “April Fish”. Many newspapers spread false stories on “April Fish Day” and a subtle reference to a fish is sometimes given as a clue to the fact that it is an April Fools’ prank.
April Fools’ has become somewhat of a metaphor for me, mainly because, and not to be dramatic, but my life has been one big April Fool. Why? Because I am doing the complete opposite of what I thought I’d be doing as a kid. If you spoke to 10 year old Liv, she’d say she’d be doing something outside, with animals. The fact I am currently sitting at a desk in London at a corporate job is the biggest April Fools’ joke and plot twist on my younger self.
Now, you are probably thinking “Liv you are so dramatic” or “this girl, she has no idea how lucky she is”. Trust me, I know. I worked out my priorities after university. I figured out that what I truly wanted to do would not be a sustainable occupation and I would certainly not be able to afford the life I wanted. Happily, I absolutely LOVE what I do now and where I live. I wouldn’t give up London for anything and I have met the most amazing people during this journey. I have also found a job that I truly enjoy – a job that has allowed me to meet amazing people, learn life-long lessons and build an incredible network.
When we are younger, we all have an idea of what we are going to be when we grow up. And let’s be real, none of them involved an office, let alone the re/insurance industry. Personally, I wanted to be working with horses day in and day out. I wanted to be outside constantly, rain or shine. My university degree was originally equine science. I was very interested in working with high value horses – racehorses or showjumpers – on the genetics side. And then I began the first year of the degree, and April Fool! It was nothing like I thought it would be. The base knowledge for this was biology and chemistry, which weren’t my strong suits. I put effort into it, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t for me, and so I switched to communications.
I realised that the dream I had as a child was just that: a childhood dream. It was not sustainable. And so I pose a question to you all: have you ended up in the dream job you had as a child? The likely answer is no. We recognise that these jobs are not entirely possible: Astronaut? Long shot at best, years of training, expensive. Doctor? More achievable, but very expensive and debt is almost always a factor. Firefighter? Amazing pension, but aggressive hours particularly early on in your career.
This blog is probably far from what you were expecting when reading a blog on April Fools’ Day, but the point of this day got me thinking about jokes, and the biggest joke of all is how different our lives have probably turned out from what we imagined. For me, it has turned out for the better. I wouldn’t change it for anything. But I might still put pepper in my dad’s coffee, or perhaps pull the speeding ticket thing again – just to bring out the inner child in me.