I said goodnight to my parents and put down the phone. I took a breath, and let the realisation sink in. This is my life. So the decision — whether I return to study this year — can’t be made by anyone else but me.
I’d done my research — read inspirational books about “finding my passion” and the career pages detailing all the key industry facts. I’d even reached out to people with similar qualifications who were generous enough to reply… But there was still a residual element of risk that had me stuck in place.
Then I broke free.
It was becoming aware of a different type of risk that kicked me into making my move.
“There’s the risk of things getting worse… But also of things staying exactly the same.”
I shuddered at the idea of this year being a repeat of the last. I didn’t want to waste anymore energy just staying afloat. It was time to pick a direction and swim.
So a few days before the first trimester started, I enrolled to study a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Not only starting a new chapter in my life, but also giving new meaning to everything that had happened up to this point. How “wrong” could those turns be if they got me here? (Like getting fired six years ago)
And what a journey it has been…
That’s not just since attending the college open day two years ago where I first became aware of this course. Or since I opened this blog six years ago. This started more than eight years ago when it was just me in my childhood bedroom with a blue-lined journal and a black biro — attempting to answer the big question about the meaning of life, and the bigger question of the meaning of mine.
(Although I’ve just started this course, I help but feel a bit f**ing proud of myself when I look over these previous writings.)
I debated quitting work and moving back to that childhood home in Brisbane to focus on studying. But I ultimately decided to stay in Melbourne and take everything on — also keeping the life I’d worked hard to build over the last three years.
Juggling multiple commitments is not easy feat. But given what’s a stake (a new life, identify and purpose), I’m willing to make sacrifices and cut into time reserved for friends, fitness, hobbies — including my favourite: day dreaming on public transport.
I might be asked to give even more… As I wrote in a recent post following a rather difficult week:
“Being passionate about something does’t make it easier. It just makes the goal, and the struggle, more meaningful.”
I’m about to enter my fourth week. But still occasionally pinch myself to make sure this is actually happening. I often wake up and think: “Wow. I’m actually doing this.” Moments like these put a bit more spring in my step. At other times, the thought is psychologically paralysing. What if this doesn’t work out? What if this turns out to be another “wrong turn…”
Well, then I’ll shed some tears, binge me some ice-cream, roll me a j, write me a blog, and move on with my life. Walking away proudly, knowing that I stepped up to the plate and had a swing at something I deemed truly meaningful to myself, and of benefit to others. That’s all we can really ask of ourselves.
I’m not sure what’s ahead of me — or who I’ll be. But in the words of Slim Dusty, “I look forward to looking back.”
Catch me in two years. How bow dat. (The words of that annoying brat off Dr Phil.)
Chasing Career – Tips + My Story
If you’re interested in my mindset around the change and the practical elements of it, check out this video. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a comment if you want to see this brown boy blush.