One of my Paths so Far

Next week will be my last therapy session. These 5 weeks have flown by. No doubt the next week will do the same. I’m glad I’ve attended the sessions. It’s given me the awareness that having a conversation does help.

Neither I or the counsellor went into the room with an agenda. Conversation flowed, obviously the topic was me.

In tonight’s session, we got onto me finding a sense of purpose and satisfaction in my job, the nature of my job anyway. That it’s my first time feeling like this is what I wanna do with my life. We spoke about why I didn’t feel this way about my other jobs or career routes.

Growing up, like any other kid I imagine has: I wanna be…. when I get older. I believe mine were: dancer or a vet. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was good at ICT, so I went down that route. I got into my third month at university, I withdrew myself. I was bored.

I’ve always had a love for animals, so I started volunteering around paid work. After a while, I decided I’d like to work with animals. I applied for an Animal Management and Welfare degree. I got in.

Got working at kennels, volunteered when I could. Past first year. Did my placement year, all still while working. Around this time my mental health declined. The first time I was affected. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I didn’t understand myself. Saw doctors, had telephone counselling, getting towards my final year at university.

I was beginning to get excited again. I also was having this unsettling feeling I couldn’t explain. I just ignored it and carried on. At Christmas, in my final year, I withdrew myself. I left with a Higher Certificate of Education in the degree topic and experience, working with different kinds of animals.

I just wanted to work and get my mental health back. Still working at the kennels. Still had unsettled days. A point came where I believed I needed to take the next step in my career. I got a job within a veterinary practice as a Trainee Veterinary Nurse.

I was nervous. Always. I was terrified. I was emotional. I couldn’t stay in a couple of surgeries. I had to walk out, have a sit-down. Otherwise, they’d have to clean me off the floor too.

That unsettled feeling was telling me that this isn’t it. This isn’t what I should be doing. I felt a failure. I love animals. I wanna make a difference to them. A part of me felt that if I carried on I’d lose that love for them I’ve had my whole life.

I basically took the first thing I could find job wise and ran. Into pretty much a job that wasn’t a job.

It’s been a year and nearly a half since then. I’ve been beating myself up about it periodically since. Everyone plus myself knew the animal path was for me. That was where I was supposed to be.

I’m sure if I knew now, then, I wouldn’t have beaten myself up about it. I would have been able to tell my loved ones how I felt.

Talking about this in today’s session got me to realise I’m in the right place now. Helping people is what I wanna do. Make a difference to others. That doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for animals. Far from it. I still love animals. I still volunteer at the same place I started out at after my first university withdrawal.

I get to help and be around animals on my terms.

Having this conversation has led me to the path of forgiving myself. That I didn’t run away at that point in my life. I just wasn’t on the right path.


Watched: Atlantis: The Lost Empire > 3 out of 5

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