I’m ready for the future.

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)

Ah!

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 x

Rebecca’s 8 year old dreams

Save animals
Explore/discover
Be a scientist
Be happy. Laugh lots.

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We all have a hunger

I failed my final vet practical exam.

I’ll get that bit out of the way.

I passed everything else and am on track to qualifying in September rather than July now.

Results day was torture. It felt like I was being ripped apart. When you have looked forward to that day for over 6 years, and beyond that, well before university started it’s hard not to. I cried and I cried and I double-checked and I cried and I tried to find answers and I tried to find solutions.

Part of me didn’t mind. Part of me knew the feeling would pass, I would start working in my own time, I would become a vet just a month later than I had planned to. But that lack of choice, the lack of weight off your shoulders, the lack of celebration hurt, because I deserved to celebrate, deserved it all as much as any other student.

The overriding emotion for me was judgement which surprised me. I knew how people would react whether sympathetically or not, with good intentions or not and I didn’t want any of that. I felt well out of control.

People seem to judge a situation based on their opinions/views. I felt more upset because I could feel some of the other students so desperate to start work, to get a mortgage, to progress, to get as much money as possible and settle down would look down at me and my inability to get going, to do what they want to do. I could feel people counting the months I’d have to wait until my first piece of income, my first surgery, my first consult. That upset me most. Fed up of people looking down on me I suppose, not thinking I’m good enough, laughing at my ideas and suggestions. In my head everyone was saying they expected me to fail, the poor gay girl from a shit background and family who went to state school and got crap a-levels. No wonder she failed. It isn’t quite a rife as that at university but there’s an undercurrent of it.  And I’m not of minority race/ethnicity who do have a more visibly difficult time and I had/have to deal with that shit. There’s worse out there than I have had to deal with.

I felt resentful to all those who put me through the grief of telling me how worried they were that they would fail, telling how sick and anxious they felt and I who tried to calm them down and help and ended up absorbing some of their fear as well as my own was in fact the one that didn’t pass.

I went on Facebook for less than a minute. I only had about ten vet school friends all of whom passed and how they were celebrating. It made me choke and I started crying again. Not that I wasn’t happy for them, but I felt I should have been there with them. Maybe not being quite as boasty online but who knows, I’d like to think I woudn’t have lol.

I’ve spent this afternoon thinking about what I’d like, what I’d really really like;

I don’t want a mortgage, I don’t want to settle down. I don’t want to aim for another persons perception of success.

I’d like to be useful and I’d like to help. I’d like to live with Rosie and I’d like us to fumble through life happy but simply. I’d like to save so that we can do things, have some retirement money. I don’t care about things or houses or cars or clothes. I’d like to live the life I should have been living for the past six years but haven’t because of university. I’d like to enjoy the weekends, properly. I’d like to volunteer again, I’d like to meet people, I’d like to travel,I’d like to donate my time, not just money, I’d like to go for walks, I’d like to paint and I’d like to dance, I’d like to have my half finished paintings around our home, I’d like to write I’d like to smell the our fresh baking, I’d like the sound of having friends around for dinner.

I’d like to feel satisfied and happy and comfortable and excited about life again.

I’d like to help others to feel that too.

And I think the main thing I have taken from this is that It doesn’t matter that I didn’t pass in June. It wont matter if I don’t pass in September. There are so many other things I can do.

I’m not quite back to myself yet. It’s only been a couple of days after all. I still get irritated by little things and am still defensive and annoyed at my university. But that’s another story.

We all have a hunger. Each hunger is for something different. There are too many people in this world that are actually hungry.

I began writing the ‘I’d like’ as ‘I want’, but how greedy does it sound for someone in a privileged position saying they don’t want materialistic things, just happiness?  Ha. I will always be privileged even if not as privileged as others. I’ve always had some kind of opportunity.

I’m scared of losing myself. Of becoming someone different. I need a regular reminder of what I actually value and what I feel is success because it isn’t what society thinks and it isn’t what my friends think. I’m easily and subtley led astray by social media especially. For all it’s good points, it has a lot of negative. But I have a little buzzy feeling that once It all falls into place they will see how truly successful we have been, those that don’t stick to what we have been taught success is.

Stay positive,

Rebecca xx

Love, Simon

Hey!

*contains spoilers*

Just been to see ‘Love, Simon’ at the cinema. I didn’t know the film existed until last night. Just another coming out story I thought!

Do hold onto your seat belts. Its a cringey film. But also a very good and very well portrayed coming out film. I definitely recommend it.

The main guy Simon, privileged guy with a perfect life etc. And he’s known for a while that he’s gay but too scared to come out.

I liked in this film that Simon was inspired to come out. If I hadn’t have met anyone special I don’t think I would have told anyone when I did. Because I suppose, I wasn’t sure? Or there wasn’t the motivation? What if it is just a phase. Why go through all the grief?

I also loved how the film made what Simon was going through a massive deal and we could to a degree appreciate the difficulty while also looking on the outside and understanding that actually…. things will probably be fine. A mixture of teenage angst but also actually this is difficult. I liked how they described Simon’s fear of change and being somehow a different person post coming out. And just how he was annoyed that he had to come out, how he wouldn’t have to if he was straight. There were some very good insights on the film. I’m impressed.

It was pretty classic cringe-y teenager film in that it had magically unrealistic love scenes. And Simon’s best friend turned out to fancy him. It all turned out totally fine in the end. obviously.

I had a bit of an incident earlier on. About a month ago. And I think I kinda thought I was done with coming out and hadn’t really done it in a long time.

I had just been offered a job at a vet practice I has really liked and the following weekend Rosie, my cousins and I went to visit the practice. To say I was slightly nervous would be an exaggeration. I hadn’t really slept that week because of the nerves of the vets finding out about Rosie. More the fact that I didn’t want them to know this about me before they know me otherwise. We all ended up at the vet’s house and I simply introduced them all by their names and not who they were. The vet’s wife was also around and in time Rosie and my cousins chatted to her. The vet took me to aside and we talked about things and he told me some bits!

I then drove down two weeks later for a meeting with some of the other vets. During the meeting the vet who I had visited at this house asked me to explain who the guest were. He thought my cousins were my parents. I could feel dread in my stomach and I felt pretty sick. I really wanted the job, i didn’t want this to affect it. But I wouldn’t lie about it, i couldn’t deny it, i’ll just avoid mentioning it. I explained that they were my cousins who I had been staying with. He said, right, and the other was their daughter?

I can’t remember quite what I said. something like, ‘Ah sorry, no, to put another spanner into the works, she is my partner.’

I couldn’t and still can’t believe how badly I came out. How nervous I felt. I suppose two older male vets who live in the countryside,, it’s just very far from the London tolerance I’m used to (in my mind). But he didn’t seem very surprised and I looked at the other guy who did look surprised but not bothered. They shrugged it off and asked me about Rosie.

I’m slightly kicking myself about it now. I hope they don’t think it’s a problem or a big deal in my life. I hope they don’t think it’s something that’s going to affect me in anyway from being a good vet.

I have had it very lucky, mostly the fear has been from within my head rather than on anything I have experienced.

I watched a video a while back from a gay guy who said that he has learned to love coming out to people. I’m not there yet, I still find it usually leads to a moments awkward silence, even if the person really couldn’t care less. It is probably because it takes them by surprise.

I casually came out to one girl at a vets when she asked if I had got up to much with my boyfriend at the weekend. I said, oh it’s girlfriend (in a light hearted way) and she went to apologise but I just said, ah you weren’t to know. I just carried on saying what we had got up to to avoid the awkward silence where the other person is deciding what to say.

It’s a strange world. But I’m very lucky to live in a more tolerant part of it.

Rebecca x

Loneliness

Hey,

Rosie’s been away into Japan for three days so far. Sounds like she’s having a great time!

IMG-20180406-WA0032

I’m struggling a bit with the hour difference. Japan is 8hrs ahead of the UK. By 3pm in the UK she’s pretty much in bed and asleep. I’m used to our evening phone calls before bed. Knowing that she wont be there to reply to my messages and send me more of her photos until I’m up the following morning, it makes me feel quite isolated and lonely. There’s too much time and too much to try and catch up with! It has surprised me, I thought I would deal with it better. I’m going to blame it slightly on the exams coming up and say I’m just more anxious and worried than normal… ish.

I was quite a lonely kid growing up. Not bullied and not without friends at all but I always felt different to those Ii knew, how ever much I loved them. I never really found anyone that I really connected with or even just a decent amount in common with. When Rosie’s away I realise how I haven’t felt that kind of loneliness really since we met, over 2 years ago now. I remember going to sleep at night and that feeling of an empty heart and the feeling that no one around you really understands or ‘gets’ you. I remember it really upsetting me at times. And I remember that feeling all through growing up. And I think that’s why Rosie means so much to me, though it’s difficult to explain it.

It was little things when I was younger. I was naturally quite a nerdy kid but one totally desperate to fit in and I actually found myself among the ‘cool’ kids for the first couple of years in secondary school. But I remember feeling (but not understanding it at the time) pretty unsatisfied and unhappy hanging around with those people and feeling like a bit of a fraud just going along with what others wanted and not really saying anything. I played up a lot around that point too, was regularly in trouble for being a nuisance and a distraction in class. I think I wanted to be liked.

When I decided that I wanted to be a vet, It really tuned things around for me. I was motivated and I needed to make time for myself for my grades to be better. I found myself leaning and wanting to sit closer to the quieter students. They in time (begrudgingly) became my friends.

Then A-levels in a way were better. I had a nice bunch of friends who were motivated and opinionated and liked reading and being nerdy. I can remember enjoying spending time during the break and lunch with them. But we never had enough really in common  to spend any time out of school with them. Or it was always complicated for  some reason. There was an obstacle. But they were a nice bunch. I’ve lost a lot of contact with them since going to university. Mostly my fault.

University was a bit disappointing in many ways. It wasn’t how I expected it to be Thought there would be more like-minded people. Naively thought everyone would be in it for the same reason and everyone would be out to save the world and make amazing discoveries haha.  Not quite. But I have made a great bunch of friends that I’m likely to stay in touch with for the future.

There’s a bit of controversy about the Myers-Briggs personality test. For me, It explained a lot. Although i don’t understand the science behind it and it can be used in ridiculous ways it does help one come to terms with different personalities and why there are different reactions to the same situations. So i’m apparently an INFJ. They are supposedly one of the more extroverted introverts. And even that helps me understand why I’m not great around louder extroverted people for a long amount of time. Because although i’m happy to chat to them and have a good time I feel uncomfortable explaining that I’d now like my own space for a bit. An INFJ is a character that is just a bit of everything and so isn’t quite much of anything.

https://introvertdear.com/ This is a beautiful website for introverts.

loneliness BibleI was going to use this image as my featured image. I can remember myself thinking this to myself some nights in bed when I let my mind wander. But not in a religious way, more an exasperation.

I’m pretty certain loneliness played a part in the depression I felt as an older teenager. There were other factors certainly but I think it has the power to overwhelm you and really decapitate you when you don’t expect it. I wasn’t confident in myself, I was hesitant to say things and give my opinion. (I was also pretty shy) but even among-st friends. When you’re the only one rooting for yourself it gets tough and I definitely doubted myself more.

And although I miss Rosie a little bit now, I know I mostly just wish I was there with her. I don’t feel lonely in the same way. Because in meeting Rosie It told me that actually I’m not an odd one out I had just been unfortunate to not meet people on my wavelength. It’s given me confidence that I don’t think I can quite appreciate. But to know there is someone out there that will likely back you in what you do and be a subtle cheerleader as you go along has changed me in so many ways. And I don’t think Rosie has seen the change in me, because I think it happened pretty much as soon as I met her.

I look back now and I think it must have been a matter of time before I did come across a group of people/ or one person that I got along with. I find it so weird to think I might not have met Rosie though. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t. If one of us hadn’t of swiped right 😉 And I’m sure I’ll meet others that I click with at some point. I’m also lucky I fell in love with Rosie too. Shooting two birds with one stone and all that. haha.

Loneliness is a horrible horrible situation to be in. It should never be taken lightly. And equally it’s so common too! I know when I went away to Scotland, Rosie really struggled for the first couple of weeks and I totally understand it now. I was so distracted by the vet practice I didn’t give her the normal kind of attention and time. It’s similar now. But I’m reminding myself it’s only because the internet connection is pretty crappy and she’s having a good time. You’d think you’d get used to be apart! Though being apart is okay, it’s the separating that’s the hardest bit.

I really feel and want to support the charities that help older people who have lost their loved ones and are lonely. And for those that are lonely, apart from getting yourself out there and giving yourself every opportunity to find people you can connect with i can’t think of much else to suggest! I also think, it’s very very easy to take for granted those you do have around you. They probably aren’t perfect and may do your nut in some of the time but if they have your interests in their interests that’s a good start! Xx

My plants! They’re starting to grow!

The lettuce and the Marigolds have ‘hatched’ from their little seeds and are great! Yay, nawww. I’m feeling very proud and excited xD

Rebecca x

Developments.

Hey!

It’s late o’clock and I’m up and writing because I have been reading other blogs about India and I’m very excited. My flights are all booked for summer, accommodation sorted and the rest is in progress! I have been offered a great job and I feel like things are just getting started!

I can’t say I have been up to much. Exam season is starting and so even now I feel guilty writing this rather than studying. Meh, you gotta live!

I feel like my wanderlust has returned. It’s been in hiding for the past while because of all the terrible things happening in the world.

I discovered a number of Indian travel writers and have been reading about their journeys in India and elsewhere. It was interesting reading about experiences in the UK and great to get a more local opinion on areas in India.

http://www.shalusharma.com/10-books-to-read-before-travelling-to-india/

https://www.inditales.com/street-food-in-jaipur/

https://the-shooting-star.com/travels/india/

https://lakshmisharath.com/

http://www.arnabmaity.com/

I have an exam in about a week and a half. It’s a practical exam and there isn’t a huge amount I can do between now and then. So I’m working on mostly theory. However having had so much time on my feet in veterinary practices it’s v hard getting back into just book work and then also taking it all in. But we’re getting there.

After that, my written exams are in June. I have some extra lectures in between the two exams too.

I was offered a job at the first placement I did in this block of placements. I really enjoyed my time there and I sent my CV to one of the partners of the practice indicating my interest. I really advocate this kind of putting yourself forward. I wouldn’t have dreamt of such a thing not too long ago. But you can put yourself forward without being or coming across arrogant. A couple of weeks later once there was time for a discussion between partners I was offered the job! I was and am so excited.

I have since not signed anything as everything is being rewritten. It is now not exactly the job I thought it was going to be. I started off thinking I would be working with both large and pet animals. Taking this job means I’ll just be doing small (pretty much). I have done a lot of soul searching and I’m still trying to be as open as possible. But I think I have a gut feeling what the best thing for me is.

So we will see. But it’s v exciting.

If i take the job it’s a set in a beautiful part of Scotland. And for all the greatness of England, Scotland just does some things so much better and I love the idea of living there for some time.

India! I am booked for a month at a spay and neuter clinic in Jaipur and then Rosie is going to join me for a tourist spectacular 12 days around the golden triangle. It was a pretty difficult decision in the sense that I like to do things other than the just straight touristy stuff but I think for our first trip to India this makes most sense. And I’ll get to live amongst the locals in Jaipur for a month anyway! I never really appreciated how vast India is. One naively assumes that the golden triangle must give a good taste of India, when actually it doesn’t touch the surface. It’s exciting, but i definitely have the sense of want to see more and do everything. But of course, just means we’ll have to go back.

 

Yours excitedly,

Rebecca x