This is a real ramble. It’s the thoughts that are running through my head as the next chapter of my life: the ‘responsible adult’ joining the real, scary world begins. Or the rat race as I have started to think of it (lol)
I have my final exam (hopefully) next Tuesday!
It’s been nearly three months since I got my exam results to say I would be resitting one of the exams in September. So much has happened. But I’m very ready to start the next chapter.
I am starting to be able to see the silver linings in it all. I was originally set on moving up to Scotland and starting my career up there with a practice. But the days after getting my results I had the overwhelming feeling that It was no longer right for me. I felt more vulnerable and valued being closer to home and family and Rosie! In a way I know I’ll regret not taking the job in Scotland, the wanderer in me will say i should have but I have a deep feeling I’m doing to right thing. It would have made it all so much tougher than it’s already going to be. I also know I have the rest of my career to move around. I know I’d like to live in and explore more of Scotland at some point.
I had a series of job interviews before and after my trip to India. Some were great, some not so great but there were plenty of jobs going which was great and made me less worried and more picky! While in India I got an email about a job going in the PDSA and an interview was organised. I had already been for an interview with them back in March to be placed in one of their hospitals. However, i wasn’t successful. I think I really wasn’t suited to the interview type and found it all a bit much but that’s another story!
But this interview suited me much better. It was one on one, I got to see the practice and meet the team. I got offered the job! So I’m moving to Gillingham in Kent! As long as I pass this exam!!
It’s exciting! It’s scary!
What i noticed with the different jobs advertised was how different the hours varied. I know actually working will be different but if the last year has taught me anything it is that i will need to pace myself well in my first year.
I’ll be under a lot of pressure this year particularly and so I know I’ll need to have a good bit of time off in between working. This job is 4 day working week with one day self study and mentoring which sounds fantastic. I wont have to work weekends for a long while. Although part of me thinks I must be lazy to want to a job that doesn’t involve long days and working weekends I also know and have seen how it affects other vets and how it would affect me.
I have seen vets so tired and deflated from the long hours and not having time to unwind and get away from it all.
There are a lot of vets leaving their jobs and the veterinary sector all together because the lifestyle just isn’t sustainable. A lot of older vets complain about the younger vets not being made of the same stuff or wanting too much but actually there are so many more demands on us these days. For one, in James Herriot’s time men were vets and their wives were generally stay at home wives, who’d look after the house and children. Now, vets today are largely women and they are also mothers, have homes to look after and just other things to bloody do. Other interests and commitments. Men do their bit somewhere in that too!! 😉
So basically careers have to take a step back when other responsibilities take a step forward. And that isn’t enough for some people but I think that’s having a healthy lifestyle and not something to be sniffed at all. Something to be recommended and understood.
I think my long term goal might be to take a job that is 4 days a week so that I can do some separate voluntary work on the 5th day or do something else like writing or painting! I wouldn’t mind working long hours on the 4 days. but having 3 days ‘off’ allows for life admin to be kept up – house stuff, commitments, emails as well as having wind down time.
I’d also really like to travel next year at some point again. spend a month maybe somewhere volunteering abroad.
I feel pressure on me from me and society to start saving lots. And I will when I can. Society tells me that having my own house is the best thing that will ever happen to me as well as getting married and having children. (hmmm…?!) And in many ways, yes, I do love the idea of Rosie and I having a little place somewhere, with a garden that we grow plants, fruits and veggies in. Somewhere we can have a dog. But actually, when I strip it all back and i remove societal pressures for a moment, I like the idea of the stability of owning a home but I’d equally be happy with a rented place if it felt secure and had a bit more leeway… Like pet ownership!
Marriage and children on the other hand (haha). Rosie and I like the idea of having some sort of a wedding at some point. We’ve talked about having a ten year anniversary and just having a big party. But meh, not the be all and end all. And children, again, never been majorly on my radar. Sometimes, i get broody. i like children but never felt keen enough to have my own, I’d prefer adoption if that was ever something I was in a position to do. When i was around 16 I got very caught up in how overpopulated the world is and I said to my 16 year old self that i would never have my own children. I’m not quite so strict about it now but I still hold on to it. I look at it more that there are already so many children on this planet that need love and support and I’d rather put my energy into them than creating more. (If I was to go down that path at all)
I also feel pressure from myself to save for retirement. I don’t like the idea of being retired and not able to do the things I couldn’t do while working because of financial restrictions. And i just mean going traveling and hobbies and just being able to fund it all. One of my friends burst my bubble a little the other day when I mentioned my emphasis on retirement over say saving to buy a house. And she said, “well, that’s if you live long enough.” And It was a pretty big downer for a moment but then I realised in many ways she was right. You do need to be prepared for the future but also don’t just save, save and save for future plans. Do things now, while you really can.
The job I have just accepted is a charity and means I’ll be earning a decent bit less than my other vet friends. To be honest, money didn’t come into it all in making my decision. I knew the scheme would be ideal for me so it was a no brainer. I knew that that did actually put off a fair few people from applying for it though.
But in a way I am quite proud that I didn’t give the salary a seconds thought. I think it is so easy to be caught up in money and having ‘things’. I’m finding it difficult even now that I’m off of Facebook and Instagram that a lot of people i know around my age group are beginning to buy a house/flat etc. I have to remind myself that this isn’t actually something I’m ready for or want. But naturally it makes you feel that they are more successful than you. It does make you feel small and it’s silly.
I have only ever really wanted to have enough money to not have to worry about money too often. And so for a young person with very few responsibilities I will have a really good income. I’ll be able to pay rent and food and all the rest and still have money to save for holidays, a house/retirement etc and have a rainy day fund (because 1) my wonderful car wont be fault free forever!) 😦
But i just wont have as much as other people. And i do have to remind myself not to let it bother me.
Rosie struggles with it as well. Being freelance can be difficult in terms of income because it’s so sporadic and she does ask me whether she should go and get a more reliable job. And I say no. Especially now. We have few responsibilities and are lucky enough to have family that could support us to an extent if ever we were really struggling. Therefore we should absolutely make the most of the position and see where the careers we want could lead us. She manages really well i think and gets by well on her current income and to pack it all in for just a bit more cash at the end of the month to me isn’t worth losing the happiness she gets when she plays. It’s a clear answer for me but I understand how it can make you feel guilty or doubt if it’s the right path to be taking.
And yes, It is very different if you are supporting other people, if you have children or elderly relatives or if in fact you have a mortgage and things to pay off. And I think that in a way is what worries me about buying and having things. You suddenly have more to lose and lots more to worry about!
I mentioned the term rat-race at the beginning of this blog and it’s been going through my head recently because of all of the societal pressures that are suddenly becoming more focused.
This need to work hard to save loads of money to buy a house and then to marry and then to have 2.3 children and a yearly holiday and a nice car…Then to work even harder to pay for it all and to look successful in every aspect of your life and would you know the cycle keeps continuing.
The ‘working hard’ is key – what is that ? Is it busting a gut for the largest salary possible? That’s what i think people mean by it. Is it spending all of your time trying to network and finish emails and just needing to look busy constantly so that you look successful?
I find myself just resisting all of it. I will work hard in whatever job I do, but I wont bust a gut. I am sure I will go above and beyond to help and do my bit but I will also find time for myself to enjoy myself and not feel under pressure to look good and successful to other people.
I feel like I just want to have done my bit, contributed and have felt like I left a positive mark on the world.
It isn’t having a nice house a nice car, lots of money that’s the problem, it’s the sacrifices made to have them. And the pressure we’re under to feel that we need or should have them to be successful.
Success. ? Making it to birth, making it through childhood, living a life is successful. It took a lot of evolution and competition to get here. Appreciating that and doing what you can to make way for the next generation of successors sounds more successful than competing with a neighbour for the biggest car, most Instagram likes. Well that’s what I think anyway 😉
I reckon we should listen to our natural default setting more. Go back to the dreams of our 8 year old selves and ask if behind the masks and sociatal pressure’s we actually want anything different now?
Rebecca’s 8 year old dreams
Be a scientist
Be happy. Laugh lots.