Panic?

So, this leaving-the-course decision.. I’m really not good at this.

Case in point, yesterday there was a choice between 4 different trains from London to Gatwick airport, all spaced within 15 minutes of each other and I was completely paralysed by it. I just couldn’t understand why there were so many, or the differences between them and therefore couldn’t make a decision. I also wasn’t sure I was even booking enough or too much time, and maybe I should book a flexi ticket? But then I would just be delaying the problem. Anyway it turned out that they weren’t all going from Victoria station, so that whittled it down and I made a decision pretty quickly after that. 

Back to my point. I usually make a decision and then am pretty zen about the consequences of it, as I did my best and had considered all options and outcomes. With this … it’s not so easy. 

I go through periods (hours and hours..!) where I’m completely happy and relaxed about this, and know it’s the right thing to do. Then, I’ll read an account of some excellent care delivered by a neonatal nurse, or about the role of a school nurse and just freak. My heart rate goes up, and my brain starts shooting thoughts. The same happens when I remember that I’ve not told my parents, and I’m not doing so until next weekend (as my dad has a pretty important operation on Friday). The reason this concerns me more than normal is that back in May we made the decision together that I would stay on. I had been so sure I had to leave, but a few days later they’d changed my mind. Now I’m sure I’m going to leave (and it’s almost too late to go back now), but I’ve not had any kind of conversation with them about it. But I do think not telling them is the right thing to do, for a little while. 

It kind of whittles down to this, which I texted to my boyfriend earlier today; 

‘I’m making up my own role*, and I just have no idea if it’s going to work or fulfil me’ 

Being an adult, eh? It’s the worst. (And the best) 

 

* For those interested, I’m planning on building up being involved with a variety of projects/age groups/companies. This will hopefully include respite caring (during day time or overnight visits), Roots of EmpathyNightstop host for troubled teenagers, Befriender to teenagers leaving care. In the longer term, I hope to include a relationship with teenagers regarding relationships, consent, sexual health and mental health. I hope to do further training for all the previously mentioned schemes, but also with Kids Company, and Place2Be. I also want to start a family.

As far as I can tell- I don’t need a children’s nursing degree to do any of those things. Therefore I’m OK to leave- right? (What is it with me and needing permission..!)

Open Eyes

I’m in a strange place right now.

Throughout May, since my last blog post about it, I fretted and worried about my future on the course. It got to the point where I was sure I was going to leave. However I went to France for 4 days with my parents and little brother, intending to keep my doubts to myself, but ended up spilling the beans. I spoke to both my parents, individually, for hours. I made a decision to stay, and felt better for having made a decision. I decided to try to do many of the volunteering things I hadn’t signed up for due to the unpredictable nature of the course. I put the doubts to bed, and continued on to my second placement.

I hated it, in summary. Again. It was in fact slightly worse than my previous placement. I just thought to myself, ‘well – I’m obviously not destined for a hospital. This is a stepping stone to whatever it is I want to do, which I have yet to discover (but isn’t nursing).’  My mental health remained good this time, and I was able to live a slightly more normal life whilst doing the shifts.

I then organised a routine compulsory meeting with my personal tutor. I filled out the form beforehand, quickly summarising that I had had doubts but was now staying on the course- and the volunteering things I’d recently signed up to do, as well as a brief bit about my home life and interests.

The meeting was yesterday, and it was not what I expected. She was so lovely. In a nutshell, she said ‘why are you doing this? If you’re going to stay, you need a very good reason- someone specifically saying that you need a child nursing degree to do what you want to do. No one is making you do this, and it sounds like you hate it. I want you to be happy. For most students, the placements are what get them through the hard times- but they are your hard times’. She had a point (understatement), and over the course of the almost 2 hour chat (!) I realised I’d started speaking about the course in the past tense.

Since May, I’d put the decision to the back of my mind because I was so relieved to have made a decision. I was too hasty. If my tutor thinks that, then I shouldn’t ‘just wait until the community placements… just wait until you can choose your own placement in 3rd  year.. now you may as well finish’ which is the line I get from the other students on my course. In some ways, if I’m going to leave, it needs to be now- a dignified exit, not dropping out because my flimsy ‘decision’ doesn’t stand up to the pressures of constant placements and the academic work on top.

She also said that I should have children sooner rather than later, if that is what I want- there is nothing stopping me. And I should foster, if that’s what I want- again, there is nothing stopping me…Apart from my fears of what other people think; my parents, my boyfriend’s parents, my siblings, my friends from my school. She said I need to make decisions for myself, and for our future. I felt pretty empowered.

///

So I’m now in the curious position of still attending two tutorials today, but finding out the awesome local nannying job I applied for last night want to see my CV, and registering my interest with Barnardo’s to accept emergency teenager night placements, and with Leeds Council to begin the fostering process.

I can see this. 3 days a week nannying, which would be making more than my current allowance. The remaining 4 days a week filled with training with various organisations, occasionally hosting a teenager, and soon fostering; respite placements, arranged short breaks or support care.

Living my life- not just waiting. (sidenote- We could also arrange a wedding without me being a ball of stress..)

As my tutor said- staying would be the easy option, as it would mean no changes, but it’s an incredibly difficult ‘easy option’ to put myself through, and doesn’t make a lot of sense. So I guess I’m saying goodbye to the course.

But really, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Doubt, again.

Just writing this on my phone in our living room.

Boyfriend is away this weekend so I’ve had a thoughtful day, with 2 more days to go.
I’m watching a programme called ‘wanted: a family of my own’ about adopting, and therefore also fostering. I know it’s an idealised tv version of the truth. But. The doubts are back.
Should I be doing this course? I know I don’t want to do much nursing work once qualified but I also do enjoy the course, and I’m learning so much useful stuff. But. I just know that adoption and/or fostering is in my future, as well as children of my own if we can.
There was a tick box exercise where they had to say yes or no to certain problems and conditions and they’re (potential adopters) sitting there saying no and I’m saying yes and maybe. I’m thinking through my answers for the panel when they go there. I’m wondering what it would be like to go to one of the adoption activity days they go to. I’m thinking how there are so many little boys not placed purely on gender- and I’d love a little boy. I’m thinking about what age groups I’d consider.
These thoughts come in waves- sometimes I can’t stop thinking about it and sometimes I put it aside for a while.
This is coupled with the fact that although he is supportive of any choices, Boyfriend doubts I’ll want to go right the way through this course. That if his business is highly successful still by this time next year say, will I still want to keep writing pointless essays when we can have a family of our own- one of the few reasons I’m staying on, to learn more for them.
Sometimes I think of this, and my nannying experience, as a parenting internship.
I just know that I have no real idea what being a foster carer, or adoptive parent is like but then no one finds out if you’re suitable to be a birth mother either. There’s no test. I can do all the research I want but I’ll never truly know until it’s happening, and then I’ll learn on the job. I know it will some days feel impossible and some days feel the best and most important thing I’ve ever done. Or both, every minute.
I of course wish to parent alongside Boyfriend, but these feelings have been present from before he was in my life, and I don’t want to speak for his feelings. All I know is that he’d like a biological child first if we can, which is something I can happily agree to!
So hard to know. I guess I’ll put it aside for a little longer. But I don’t know what I’m waiting for.

Hello

it’s been a little while, I’m not going to apologise because erm I’m not sorry? This is a space I’m going to continue to use, when the mood strikes but has been slightly overtaken by my own daily journalling on the Day One app, and my university course. I’m in a place now where I absorb, via bloglovin’ and instagram but don’t make any/much public content myself. Like all the other blogs that are closing down, or slowing up, at the moment.

I’d love to see you over on the gram, where I’ll be updating a little more frequently, and at the same time keeping things a little less anonymous.

Round Up

Written in early January.
So, my initial thoughts (as always) is that 2013 was a good year- just fine you know? But let’s sum it up and see if I have anything more to say by the end..
// January.
[Bad start to this post, hazy already.] Boyfriend was working hard at his job, and I was just going with the flow.
// February
Ditto? Set up this blog, here on wordpress rather than on tumblr. I gave up chocolate, which lasted for 6 months. Boyfriend bought me a huge bunch of roses for valentines day. He bought a fish tank, and began collecting strange things in it; Shrimp and snails etc. We did some yoga together.
// March
It was still snowing. His job was hard. I learnt and wrote about unschooling. I beat everyone at bowling at my neice and mum’s joint birthday party.
// April
He got fired/left his crappy/well paid job, and started working as a courier. Cue, crazy month where I was adjusting to him being home so much, and he was adjusting to being free. He turned 24. We considered the idea of him getting a job in London and me skipping Uni but decided to go with the original plan. He set up a business renting our marquees with a couple of friends. I reached 1000 views and 100 likes here on the blog.
// May
He bought a new van. We signed the lease for a new flat, closer into town. Was at the birth of my third niece in London. Boyfriend was still sleep talking. I confirmed my place at University. Boyfriend’s family bought some land in Canada!
// June
We moved house, and realised that it really is the nightmare that people have described it as.
My sister came to visit me. I started working full days with the eldest boy; bad times. Had to stop working at a local special needs nursery, where I had fallen in love with a little boy who was up for adoption. I did a collaboration on the blog, which I got very excited over. The middle girl had a traumatic violin lesson, that really affected me. I bought a rice cooker.
// July
My parents came to visit 2 weeks after we’d moved into our new place. My nannying job ended and I hung around for a while. Bit of an identity crisis- that continued for a while. I watched lots of Nip/Tuck and Vikings. He began applying for more jobs; train driver, for a charity, etc.
// August
Went to France to my family’s house; Boyfriend there for the first week and by myself the second week. Don’t like being by myself! Lots of interesting discussions with my eldest sister about life and love, etc. Doubts about upping sticks to very rural Canada. Began daily journalling, first on Oh Life. Caught a bit of carnival in London, woop.
// September
Progressive nerves about big changes. Apparently I had dreams about my teeth cracking. Started University, and it wasn’t quite what I’d expected, but slowly got into the swing of things. Sold my old car. We celebrated 2 years, minus the actual celebration. Began journalling on evernote instead. Boyfriend did the important exam for his personal pilot’s license. Gave up on alphabet project. The noisy neighbour saga began.
// October
My brother came to stay with us. I had my first student rep meeting. Went to dinner with my old family. I got obsessed with listening to podcasts.
// November
I met his extended family down near London. We had a lovely fireworks night. My first placement, on a tiny baby ward. Nerve wracking, and unpleasant. Made me doubt the course in general. Tried Days app for photo journal but didn’t like it. Boyfriend had a very important job interview- we’ll hear the results before end of Jan! Celebrated birthdays in London with a family brunch. I realised I’ve made a real university friend.
// December
Boyfriend made a new flying friend. Bought a new car, fiat 500! Signed on to a new flat. I turned 21, with my best birthday in memory. Chauffeur, hotel, trampolining, decadent if slightly strange carrot cake, dressed up frozen pizza living room picnic. We moved house, and it was pretty stressful but not as bad. I went France to see my family, queue more life crisis. Switched daily journal to Day One app.
So, lots happened. 3 different houses, 4 different vehicles between us. Start of Uni, end of both of our jobs, many job applications.
Some Goals
/ This year is going to be the year I grow my hair back. No more donating blood (big sad face for that) and gotta take my iron supplements every day. Had blood tests last week to rule anything super bad out, and at the doctors a few days before that he informed me I had had an iron level of 14 in October 2012; normal range being 10 to 100 (but some doctors say 20 to 100)- so thanks for that, GP surgery- you were supposed to call me if anything looked strange.
I will grow this hair back, I want it thick and lucious like it was when I was a kid- and like all my siblings.
/ I want to stay active- not slip back into passive like I was while Boyfriend was at his tough job. It was necessary for survival at that time, but now I need to make sure I represent myself and make my choices, not let them happen.
/ I want to keep working on widening our list of meals, making them more veg-heavy.
/ Who knows what 2014 will bring?
Potentially; essays and placements for me- lots of learning and discovering, engagement, total life gear change & happiness if he gets this pilot job (though it wouldn’t start till 2015)  Fingers crossed no more house moves this year, and no babies just yet,

Stock

Making : the mistake of eating sugar, creating an endless crave consume cycle that may never end. 
Cooking : nothing yet, but later hot dogs and tomorrow broccoli frittatas for my January new recipe. 
Drinking : nothing – but you’ve inspired me to dig out my bottle of water
Reading: blogs- what else! 
Wanting: my headache to go away 
Looking: into quitting sugar- one day a week or cold turkey for a bit? 
Playing: Milky Chance remixes from the fantastic soundtrack of the youth blog. 
Wasting: Nothing really. I have nowhere I need to be, nothing I need to be doing. Tomorrow there are things to do but not right now. 
Wishing: we knew the answer to this endless job application opportunity 
Enjoying: this song 
Waiting: always waiting – though doing my best to appreciate the every day, don’t want to be a wait-er. I said that exact sentence last night, when I realised the joke but it was too serious a time to point it out. I also don’t want to be a waiter, but doubt I’ll ever be one. 
Liking: a funny text 
Wondering: about this course, and my future involvement with it.. 
Loving: my boyfriend 
Hoping: he’ll be back soon, and be a whirlwind of happiness not grump. 
Marvelling: at how one blog post breeds more. 
Needing: the last instalment of a trilogy I’m into 
Smelling: nothing. my conditioner a little 
Wearing: jeans and a black cashmere jumper (ultra lux) 
Following: this music blog in future more closely 
Noticing: I shouldn’t have sat for so long on this kitchen bench at my laptop
Knowing: that all is well      
Thinking: today is better than yesterday. concious effort. 
Feeling: more calm, more pleasant, more happy. 
Opening: up my tablet for some netflix time 
Giggling: I hope so 
Feeling; this improved my mood, or maybe that was the music.
 
18.38 30.01.14 it’s code!