Week 25: Therapy

Well it might not be as much fun as hula hooping (which is on my list), but this was a good week.

Over the last 18 months I’d been involved in more and more conversations that included someone speaking to a therapist and having really good results. Whether it was after a break up or a big transition in life, or just because, my friends and acquaintances were glad they had gone to therapy to talk through their lives.

I guess you could say that I’ve had some stresses this year – transitioning to a new (and unknown) career and being constantly nervous about income hasn’t created the soft and cushy environment I so crave. I also went through a really low period just before I left my full time position, and wanted to prevent that from happening again.

I found a therapist who is a 3 minute walk from home, and made an appointment (after confirming it would be covered by extended healthcare, because who just has that kind of money floating around? Not me, thus the need).  I was a little nervous going into the appointment, but only because it was something new. I don’t know if nervous is the right word: what’s a good word for less than nervous, but also mildly excited? Anticipatory!

Anyway, it was nice to go; it was good to talk with someone who listened and analyzed and gave good advice in a non-judgmental and unbiased setting. It was also pretty cool that it could all be about me – how often do you get to talk for an hour just about yourself?

She pointed out that an “ideal” job is not realistic for anyone: you’re never going to find a job where you love every single aspect of it and it fulfills every single one of your interests and skills. So she suggested making 3 lists – things that I must have in a job, things that I would like to have in a job, and things I would hate in a job. Stuff like location, co-workers, hours, flexibility, team environment, etc. If a job doesn’t involve one aspect of my interests/skills, I could always have a part-time job or volunteer role on the side.

So I’m making my list. It’s pretty challenging. There are a lot of things to think about when selecting a career, and a lot of things I hadn’t thought of before. It’s a lot of work to think about work! But at least it’s making me consider things I never had, like the fact that getting a career in a field that doesn’t check all the boxes, isn’t really settling.

When I quit my full time position I gave myself a deadline. I would do this part-time patchwork for one year (since modified to 13 months because I basically took October off), and then find a career path. That means I have six months left to sort out my life. Start the clock.




Goodbye 2015!

It’s been quite a year for me. I’ve tried lots of new things, learned a bunch about myself, and had some fun along the way. Here are some of the highlights of my 2015:

  • Moved in with my boyfriend. This was a biggie because neither of us have killed each other in the almost 11 months we’ve been living together (because yes, I’m writing this blog post mid-January). Good thing too because I gave my bed away so I’m pretty committed now.
  • Started an herb garden. And kept it mostly alive. They don’t look great and occasionally they go through a prolonged drought, but they’ve been alive since the summer, which is really good for me. (Let’s just turn a blind eye to the orchid I killed.)
  • Got a full time job. And then left said full time job. Sometimes I’ll be doing something and I’ll just stop and think, “I’m so glad I quit my job!” If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have the opportunities and the time that I do to enjoy myself and do things that make me happy and fulfill me.
  • Got into and out of a funk. I got really unhappy toward the end of my full time job and I didn’t realize how unhappy I was until I left that job. All of a sudden it was like a weight had been lifted off of me. I felt more confident, happier, and lighter. A few people commented that they noticed a difference in me. But more importantly, I noticed a difference in me.
  • Started a series of part-time jobs. These part-time are mostly in fields that interest me, and at the very least provide adequate income and don’t take up too much of my time – this allows me to continue doing things that I love, even if they don’t pay.
  • Travelled to Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Montreal, but not on a bike. Vacationing is fun! And it had been quite some time since I had taken a vacation that wasn’t also an epic journey across a country. So that was fun.
  • Started my challenges challenge. Even though this sort of fell off the tracks at the end of the year (I was busy!), it’s back on track now. The challenges challenge has opened me up to new things, and forced me to try things I’d always wanted to try because I have a deadline! Deadlines rock.
  • Found a better balance between saving and spending. I’ve always been a good saver. My credit score is ballin’ (bet that’s the first time anyone’s ever used ballin’ to describe their credit score). This year though, I started spending a bit more money on things I would enjoy – like the occasional nice dinner or new clothes so I don’t look like a homeless person.  I still have a budget and savings and RSPs and all of those fun things, but I also have the memories of the experiences I spent the money on.
  • Bought a stove. OK, half of a stove. And we’re still paying it off. But this is a big showing of commitment for me. A few years ago I had a lot of trouble signing a two year phone contract because I didn’t know where I’d be in two years. At least now, wherever I go, I’ll be bringing half a stove.
  • And of course I had a birthday and matured as a human being and met a bunch of cool people yada yada yada.

All in all, it was an amazing year. Thanks to everyone who made it so special.