I want to start by saying I try my best to be a positive person, but I, like many others, have days where everything just gets a bit much. The past few years have been difficult for me in general. I have experienced heartbreak, coped with anxiety as a result of said heartbreak and have generally had a tough time working out what I actually want to do with my life. I have struggled finding a career that I really want to stick to. At sixteen, I had the next 5 years all planned out. I would go to college to study production arts and technical theatre (lighting, sound, stage management and pretty much anything to do with theatre that didn’t include being in the spotlight) and then go to work in the theatre as a stage manager/technician. So thats what I did. Well, kind of…
I enrolled on the course and was absolutely buzzing to finally be learning exactly what I wanted to be learning. However, for many different reasons, by the middle of my final year, I’d had a change of heart. I felt I learned more going to work each night at the theatre (i started working at my local theatre when I was 14 and have been there ever since) rather than with assignments and theoretical work in the classroom. This was not down to the teaching. My tutors were all very wonderful and wise people who taught me a lot, It just wasn’t the right environment for me to stay focused, intrigued and learn to the best of my ability. As much as I enjoyed working as a theatre technician, those days, for the time being, are over for me. At the time, I was told by a lot of people that it wasn’t a very ladylike profession. I began to seriously doubt my abilities and decided that I should leave the heavy lifting and climbing ladders to the boys, Which I have come to learn I was, and still am, no less capable than them at doing.
Upon completing my qualification in production arts and technical theatre, I decided to embark on a Health and Social Care course to study for my new career of choice, Midwifery. Completely different, I know, but I was set on this career and nothing was going to stop me! Until.. 6 months into the course and my experience of heartbreak occurred. It completely threw me and I suffered a major shock to the system. As a result of my heart being broken I was eventually diagnosed with Anxiety, after having several panic attacks and not knowing what the hell they were. It was a scary experience and after a few months of counselling I’m thankful to say that I very rarely have them anymore! Yay!
Anyway, upon learning of my anxiety, I felt I was no longer in the right frame of mind to continue my healthcare studies, I would find myself having to walk out of lectures due to anxiety attacks brought on by the nature of the lessons, and the niggling worry I would have one in the first place. So, my studies discontinued and I was back to square one. 🙃
It has been over two years now since my heart was broken and I’m happy to say that I’ve got my anxiety under control! However, I do still have my down days, just not as often. This year has been one of my toughest years career-wise though. Mainly because I still don’t really know what I want to do, or rather, how to get doing what I want to do successfully without going back into education. I see all my friends on facebook are just finishing their last years at university and beginning their careers, and I can’t help but feel a little jealous! (I know, get over yourself Beth)
I think the problem starts at school really, the system is constantly putting pressure on young people to have their career goals figured out by the time they’re sixteen, go to college then university and jump straight into a job. But honestly, for the most part, that’s just not realistic. That isn’t to say that doesn’t actually happen for some people, My younger brother Alex has always known that he wants a career in music. He went to college and is currently studying at university. My older brother Sam was a bit like me in the sense that he has tried a few different things, but has finally found that a career in acting is what he wants to do. But me, I think I know what I want to do, I’m just not sure how to get there! The goal at the minute is to find a job that I really, really enjoy so that if writing doesn’t work out, then at least I’ll have something to fall back on!
I realise I’ve been rambling on and none of it probably makes any sense to you, but I’ve wanted to talk about university for a long time, and the reasons why I didn’t go. Also, mainly just to say that it’s okay to not know what you want to do. It’s really difficult to decide sometimes and it may seem like everyone else has it all figured out, but everyone, and I mean everyone, is completely winging it. I may not have the happiest working life at the moment but when I look at the positives, I have a flat that I share with my wonderful boyfriend, A loving, crazy family and lots of opportunities I’ve yet to uncover for myself, it makes the stresses of recent times all seem worth it. After all, I know it’s only for now!
So, I’m trying not to worry. Yes, I have good and bad days the same as everyone else. I have days where I feel like nothing is going right and that I’m a complete failure, but thats simply not true! If you try your hardest and find something you love doing, you are sure to succeed if you put in the effort.
And I certainly feel I enjoy nothing more than writing ✍🏻 📚