Fear has always held me back – fear of change, fear of the unknown but most of all fear that I’m not good enough.
I look at what my family have achieved – cousins with masters degrees, with artistic and musical talent; Agent Whisky earning a fortune before he’s 25; Agent Echo has been an amazing army nurse, is incredibly fit and has a TEFL qualification despite being severely dyslexic; Agent Tango is managing to raise her children in difficult circumstances but still giving them the best chances she and they are happy and healthy to prove it. I see all that and I fear that I am a failure. I feel like a failure compared to my family, compared to my friends, compared to my potential.
That dichotomy: the fear that I am not good enough but the knowledge that I am more than I currently appear..
My job is not stimulating me. It took a while to accept that the training and progression I was lead to anticipate was not going to appear, and by then apathy had bitten deep. The spur to action has come from a realisation that my low job satisfaction is largely the cause of my constant tiredness and my lack of interest in life beyond work. It has also come from reading somewhere that Iain Dickhead Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has claimed that the benefit cuts will encourage people back into work “we need to build a society where people are defined by their jobs”. I have no desire to be defined by my job. If I were defined by my job, I might as well give up now – end game and restart. And I thought, is that so crazy? I can’t end the game, but it’s not too late to restart, not really. I’m heading for 30 and still childless so I feel like it is, but I’m childless because we can’t afford to move somewhere big enough to raise a child, and we can’t afford that because we don’t earn enough and part of restarting is to earn more. I should have restarted before, when it felt like I couldn’t.
So here goes. I’ve tried being a teacher and found I couldn’t, but a desk job does not suit me: I need to have a job that makes a difference to people, a job that I feel matters. When at uni, I toyed with the idea of becoming a midwife, but felt it should wait until after I’ve had a baby so I could understand what I was asking of the women in my care. But the more I’ve thought about it over the last few months, the more it’s appealed and the more I’ve realised that maybe having my own baby first isn’t necessary – if I find birth as easy as my broad hips, hypermobility and chronic period pains suggest, I won’t be as sympathetic to women with less forgiving bodies as I’ll need to be – so maybe I should just do it.
I thought it’d be a simple course, maybe 6 months. When you think about it, that’s crazy. It’s a 3 year uni course and that should have been obvious to me, but there you go. To study at my local uni requires a further qualification I don’t have – biology or human biology A level. I didn’t bother with biology A level because the GCSE was too easy and I thought I’d be bored. I can substitute this with an OU module that I think may require a different module as a prerequisite because I don’t have the A level – I’ve emailed them to ask.
I’m leaping feet first. I’m taking this risk. It will take time and it will take money (the midwifery course is paid for by the NHS, but I won’t be earning a wage for the duration), but I truly think that this is the person I not only can be, but want to be. And Husbit is offering his support the whole way.