The worst thing about getting older is other people’s expectation for compromise, and realising how far away you are from accepting any sort of compromise at all and then trying to work out which bit of the hedge to attempt to climb through and never finding the right size hole even though you continually think you keep seeing one. You don’t. There are no holes. And this is what you start to realise, as life progresses, that you might not have known before. I didn’t. But I realise that most people who I know, who are around me in some shape or form, did always realise this was an inevitable in life. The compromise. And compromise tends, I think, to be based on achieving success but perhaps also for avoiding madness. There are a lot of us, so inevitably some of us have got to give. That should be true but it strikes me that despite being a lot of us, we tend to mass in to huge groups of middle ground, as if we all give too much and so come to form the sticky treacle with muesli goo and then cannot escape. Have you ever tried to pull a raisin clean out of Golden Syrup? It’s impossible. What surprises me is the number of times I have pondered the compromise and yet how, each time, it seems like something new, as if I’ve only just learned that most accept compromise as the best way forward. From this perspective, refusing to compromise is about remaining in a childlike state, sulking and stamping feet and refusing to see the world as it is. I cannot deny that. I am that child. And even when I try to compromise, it never works. I do it really badly, so those at the receiving end recognise instantly the insincerity. And then the compromise has failed because it’s fake and false. And noone wants that. You have to at least be able to act as if you believe in it, even if you don’t. Which is why I come back to my own refusal: I am unable to pretend so I stick to my original plans, which leads to great anxiety and misunderstanding on my part. Which is, simply, hard.