Not As Bad As It Looks

When you read articles which help you plan ahead for a successful future, they are very good at telling you hope for the best. That things are going be great, no matter what. Which is nice, hopeful, and a good thing to work towards. Obviously, as people get older, what makes them happy, doesn’t stay the same. And depending on what people go through, it can also be hard to settle on anything happy.

When I studied, back when I was younger, I had varying amounts of success. At the earlier years at school, those first exams, it was fairly straightforward, I studied and I got results. It was awesome. But over time, I found that I was getting dis-interested. I didn’t do completely bad, but it felt so much harder to sit down and work on what I needed to. Eventually, I just think I felt apathy towards all education. I forced myself to try and further my education and find that elusive ‘better life’, I had read about. It made everything so much harder, and when the results weren’t matching the effort I put in, I started to feel really discouraged. It has left me with a mindset, where I am set up to fail.

I work hard, but recently, it has become clear that if I want to get in a better paying job, I need to do something other than just work. So, I had think, about what I am interested in, and what field is always in need of workers. So, I signed up for a course with the Open University, which is in IT and Computing. And it is very interesting, and I am enjoying it. However, the last module I did, contained coding for creating programs, and I felt the mindset set in, as well as utter panic. I felt a little lost, and I panicked, because I was challenged, I assumed I was going to fail. The panic was bad, that I struggled to complete some of the questions that I needed to answer. I assumed that meant that everything was over. It wasn’t. I got my result back today, and out of a possible 90, I got 78, I only dropped 12 marks, which was such a shock.

It’s made me realise that a lot of what you experience, does have a lasting effect on you. I was so surprised to have done so much better than expected, and it was a nice surprise. Maybe, it would be better to try and live in the moment, and not mentally jumping 10 steps ahead. But, that is a major issue with my anxiety, but the more I realise it happening, the more I can try to change things.

Study Hard

The last time I tried to do education and work together, I kind of failed. I got very stressed, and struggled to do almost everything. It was the time in my life, when I really began to get effected by mental health issues. I think, the development of mental health issues, made it really hard to focus on stuff. So working full time, and studying full time did not work for me. It is no wonder, as I barely left myself with time to function.

Last month I started an IT course through the Open University. Something I was very scared to do, after the last time I did any proper education. The good thing about the Open University, is that you can study at a time more suitable to yourself. Which is handy, especially at this time of year. My work is focusing on the run-up to Christmas, which is always fun, but can also be stressful. Lots of temporary workers come in, so that we can meet customer demand, and it can get a little crazy. The good thing about it, is overtime. Which is really good, when I am trying to clear my feet, financially, before the end of the year. So, I end up working extra days, which means that I have to change when I study. The University information on the course, says I should have to spend 10 hours, or so, a week on studying. Which is perfectly manageable.

The good thing about doing this new course, is that it has given me a bit of focus. All the information you have to work through, is split into smaller chapters, which makes it a lot easier to work through. Like, tonight, I was able to relax, and then study a couple of sections. Because I can break everything down into steps, it is helping me keep on track in getting all necessary tasks completed on time.

It’s nice to feel like you are working towards something.

Hopes for the future

I remember leaving school. I remember preparing for leaving school. I remember waiting for my exam results. Visiting colleges. The dreaded fear as I counted down the final days.

My aim, was to be a Veterinary Nurse, as I wanted to help animals. I tried so hard. But whilst I was studying in Glasgow, I started to develop anxiety. Whilst I had an issue with depression at school, college is where it smashed me in the face. It got harder and harder to continue on. Eventually I failed an exam to get on the next year, and had to get a job in a shop. Which was okay, but I didn't get on with my manager. My anxiety lead to a fear of standing still. If I stood still, then the fact that I failed as a Vet Nurse would catch up.

So I thought about what I wanted to do, as a life. And even as a kid, I either wanted to do art or something with animals. So, I tried animals, so i thought I'd try something more arty. This time I went to a local college to try Art and then Graphic Design. To support this, I left the shop and went to work in a call centre in the evenings. The ambition was there, but at this stage (my 20s) I still hadn't got any help with my mental heal issues. I speak about them, because I can see they were there, when I am looking back. It was whilst I was at college and the call centre that i eventually sought out help. I struggled with college, so I eventually ended up just going full time at the call centre. But I struggled.

Eventually, I was paid off from the call centre for underperforming. Which was hard. But I was so anxious, that I felt I was a burden to everyone around me. I couldn't sleep before work, and I would frequently end up in tears during the shift. Although I was in despair at the time, I didn't realise how much I hated the job till I never had to go back. I spent about 6 months, whilst looking for jobs, learning how to look after myself. I was in the worst mental state I had been in through my whole life. I was self-harming and didn't want to live. I only saw what I had failed at, and wanted to give up.

I spent time with friends and family, made effort, found the things that made me happy again. And about 4 years ago, I applied for a job at a local warehouse. A job I was permanent in after 12 weeks, and that I am still at. I work long shifts, but short weeks, and this has enabled me the time I needed to continue to work on myself. And it helped. I like my job, I like the people I work with, but I still feel I could do more. So I applied to the Open University to do an IT course. I have always been interested in computers, so it would be interesting. And because I have healthier ways of dealing with any mental health issues, I think I am more prepared than before, to work on a course.

I guess that is my message of this post. What you may have in mind for your career might not pan out. But it is no reason to give up. There are so many pathways available to you, so try not to lose awareness of that. Not everyone gets lucky at their first career choice, but something is there for you. I mean, IT might hot be the thing for me, but life is too short to not try.