“It’s only been three months! It hasn’t been that long. You can’t expect to be ok so soon”. I’ve been telling myself this for the past three weeks or so. Half way through July things started to look up, I wasn’t crying anymore and I really enjoyed hanging out with friends, old and new. I felt confident and had so much energy. The world didn’t seem like such a dark place all of a sudden.
And then that oh so familiar long, heavy, black cape is tied around your neck, too tight, making it hard to breath and dragging you down. You tell yourself that you’re not supposed to be going backwards, you were doing so well, but it’s impossible to take it off and so you sit in your room, you lock yourself away from everyone else and think too much or not at all.
Sometimes you feel so blank, like you’re surrounded by nothingness and it’s a scary feeling, one you’ve felt before. A sense of despair hangs over you, you feel low, you have no energy, no willpower, and while you know that the only way out is to get up, out of bed and do something, you really just can’t be f*cked.
While I’m not one for being negative, I also don’t like to sweep things under the carpet and pretend they’re not there. Actually the best advice I’ve been given over the last couple months is to acknowledge how you feel and that it’s ok to cry and feel shit. You’re allowed to sing sad Sam Smith songs all alone in your room and feel sorry for yourself, just try not to hang in it for too long. (That second part is something I’m not so good at yet, but I’m working on it).
Writing this all down, these feelings and emotions, and sounding quite depressed is actually a little scary and not something I’m used to, at least not the putting-it-out-there-for-everyone-to-read-part, but I figured that by being honest and open, and sharing these raw moments, I might help at least one person realize that they’re not alone, that we all have our own story and that no one is perfect, we’re just trying to figure out who we are and what we’re here for.
Apart from the obvious crap a break up brings with it, I’ve been confused about what to do with myself and life. I like having clear goals to move towards, it gives you a purpose, so when that goal isn’t very clear, or not visible at all, it makes sense that the willpower to get out of bed in the morning is pretty much non-existent (add that to fact that I like sleeping in anyway).
Do I want to be a teacher? Primary or Secondary? Do I want to be a counselor? Or maybe a social worker? What about a youth worker? There’s so many ideas going round in my head and I feel pressured about making the right decision. What DO I want to do with my life?
It was about 5 years ago, when I was watching a program called: “If you really knew me”, that my purpose in life became clear: I needed to work with young people who had trouble getting through school and/or life. I remember sitting in front of the TV, tears rolling down my face, thinking that if I had had someone come to my school and make me realize that I wasn’t alone, I probably wouldn’t have been as depressed as I was. And from that moment on I knew that was what I had to do in life.
There’s just one little thing…. What exactly is that job called and how do I go about becoming a workshop giving – public speaking – counselling – social work – teacher?
That brings me to Friday the 29th of August. After no more than 2 hours of sleep due to an over-thinking brain, the alarm goes off at 5.55AM. I get dressed, hop in the car to pick up a friend and the two of us set off for a day in Wellington, visiting the Open Day at Victoria University. After a 45 min drive we pull up to the train station at the exact same moment the train to Wellington decides to head off. Luckily the next train leaves only 20 minutes later, which means I only miss the first session. We hop on and an hour later we arrive in the capital. We grab some breakfast and start looking for a bus to take us to our destination. Wellington is buzzing with young people and I can’t wait to move here and explore the city with my camera one day. The University is packed with people, some by themselves, some with parents, others with friends, but all trying to gain a little more insight on what they will be doing in 2015. I’m excited and hopeful that today will give me that little nudge in the back and reassurance that Primary Teaching is the way to go.
The first seminar I had planned to attend starts at 10AM. We find the right building and walk into a lecture theatre full of people. A lady hands out pens and paper and I pick the pretty pink one. At this stage I should have looked at the writing on the pen, but instead I sit back and wait for the lecture to begin. Looking around me I think to myself (not making any judgements of course…) “these people don’t look like they would want to be teachers”. I turn around and ask the guy behind me what this lecture is about. As he says the words: “School of Accounting and Commercial Law” I look at the pen I’ve been given and mutter a quiet “Ah damn!” We quietly sneak out, trying not to laugh as we’d just been talking about how boring that degree would be, and manage to find our way to the right room just in time for the seminar to begin.
A man with a goatee, probably in his late thirties, early forties, stands in front of us. I immediately like how he looks a little alternative, not your typical lecturer. He comes across as extremely passionate about what he does and I feel like this is exactly what I want to study. The 45 minutes fly by and at the end I go up to him to see if I could ask him some questions later on and find out if he thinks this is the right way to go for a future workshop giving – public speaking – counseling – social work – teacher.
After another seminar, lunch, music and a whole lot of people watching I catch up with him and try to explain what it is that I want to do in life, which isn’t the easiest thing to do when you don’t really know yourself. He listens and eventually asks me why I REALLY want to be a teacher. “Well, because I want to work with children and help them when they need it and be that person they can talk to and feel safe with” I say. “So you want to be a social worker or a counselor?” “Well I don’t know…maybe…I guess, but I’ve always thought I wanted to be a teacher”. “No you don’t” he replies and deep down I know he has a point. Teaching Maths and English isn’t what I had envisioned myself doing, it’s the 20 minutes at the start of each day where we sit on the floor talking about what we’re grateful for and the inspirational quotes I have all over my classroom walls. It’s the dealing with bullying and teaching equality and respect. It’s the visual diaries I hand out at the start of each year that we use to envision our dreams and goals in life. Those are the things I want to do.
I thank him for his time and end the day feeling a whole lot more confused about what to do than when I came here this morning. I had hoped to be ready to enroll that same day and start planning accommodation and finances, but now I feel like I’m back to square one.
Things don’t always work out the way you had hoped, but it’s important to try and see the positives. At least now I knew I needed to put some more thought into what I wanted to study instead of making a decision I might regret later, plus, I’d had a great day, the sun had been shining and I felt lucky to even have the opportunity to go back to school and work on a career of my choosing.
And yes, I had been feeling pretty low for th1 last weeks, but accepting it and knowing that things would get better were the first step forward.
Everything happens for a reason and as long as you believe that something good will come out of it you’ll be ok. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or the week after that, but eventually.
In fact, my day got a little better today, but I will save that for the next blogpost