Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Career and Studies: Where to from here?

Dear friends in the computer and friends in my life.  I once again find myself at a fork in the road and seem unable to decide which path to take.  I know once the choice is made that becomes my path and essentially the life that I then live.

When I started studying 4 years ago I had just turned 40 and my midlife crises was in full throttle.  At that point I did not have Dystonia and all the challenges that it has brought with it.  I wish I had chosen shorter courses instead of a frikking honors degree.  I started and I told myself if it gets too hectic or I no longer love it then I can always stop.  The problem is I have written 23 of the 40 modules I need to do.  I have loved learning new things and the challenge it brings.  The growth of my mind and intellect.   At the end of the year I will have the last 10 to go which makes giving up harder.  When I thought I could do all 10 in one year I was OK.   Now after researching the workload I know managing 3 children and my home and husband and annoying dogs (not you Goose) and then the daily toll my Dystonia takes, I just cannot.  It would require 3 full days at welfare institution, 1 workshop a week and then the vast volume of report writing, research and regular studying.  I spoke to a lady with NO kids who does not work and has a husband who is away a lot and she said studies Monday to Sunday.  No weekend, no holidays.   She is seeing a psyche as its just cracksville mode.  So, that means 2 more years.  OR, and here is where the fork comes in:  I finish this year and convert my degree to a BA Health & Social Science.  I qualify as an auxiliary social worker and not a full social worker.  I would still do some short courses next year and volunteer somewhere to gain some experience. 

The point, I suppose, is what I actually want to DO with my degree.  Where do I want to work, why do I want to work?   Adoptions and fostering is one area but I am pretty sure I need my full SW degree for that.  Working for Nurture screening donors and surrogates and counseling commissioning parents is also something I would love to do but once again is my auxiliary social work degree enough?  And then my other choice I would LOVE to do is family counseling and child and adolescent counseling.  The problem with that one is my speech.  Because the movements of my tongue and palate are involuntary and 24-7 the constant deliberate speaking against that movement is f*cking hard and as the day goes on more and more painful.  I have to take a deep breath when my girls ask me to ask them their work in the evening.  I don't want this to impact my family.  Gary must be so super sick of it by now, feeling helpless.  I really try and not say anything but I probably mention how sore my mouth is more often then I think I do

So what do I do?   Stick it out for another 2 years?  Take a year off and then decide although I am not sure if can start again from a motivation point?   Finish now and add some courses and see where I can work?  I need a flexible job as 8 hours of speech a day is unrealistic for me.  I also need to know on a very bad day I can rather do admin.  This week at hockey I sat next to a little girl of 11 for 10 minutes.  She chatted away about her new stepmom and baby sister and how she lived with them and all sorts of things.  She was lovely and I thought to myself, I am good at this.  Talking to kids and getting them to open up.  I respect kids and connect with them.  I want to help.  I just don't know what to do at this point although luckily I have until November to decide when I would need to register for next year.  I am seeing a Unisa career counselor next week for some more info.   I really want to earn my own money, I want the security that independence brings, I want to make a difference like we all do and make an impact.  I want to use my gifts and talents.  I also need to manage my Dystonia though and be realistic.  The energy is takes to be positive and put a smile on my literal spastic face is sometimes so huge I am unsure if I can do it all again tomorrow.  God, family, friends and exercise keep me going but I need to find some balance and acceptance and dial things down a notch so I can recover each day to build up for the next day.  

Bugger, I should be studying.  I write on the 4th and 5th.  Thanks for listening/reading to my rambles.  I will work through my options and think about it but outside perspective always helps so get out your Agony Auntie hats and pour out your wisdom.  Go!