I sat on a foot stool in Spotlight, exhausted and in a not inconsiderable amount of pain, waiting for my mother to extricate herself from the yarn department. I had bought two balls of lovely soft cotton and was contemplating what to do with them when my thoughts moved to when I would be able to do anything with them.
You see I have this week off, then a week of work experience, then I’m back at uni, which just sort of continues until December of next year as we go straight from this year into our final year, do not pass go, do not collect $100. I have very limited time to do things that I enjoy, and usually by the time I get to them, I’m too exhausted to do them. I don’t like this life that I lead.
But I’m sucking it up and doing it because it will get me into a career I am infinitely passionate about and absolutely what I should be doing with my life. Unfortunately it’s also a career where overtime and overwork is just par for the course and rather expected of you. Especially in our final year of university. We’re not ’employees’, so there is no legislation preventing them from requiring us to be in clinic from 7am to 7pm, or later, or from going straight from that to an overnight shift.
I really don’t like the life I’m headed into.
But like all things, there’s the ability to mould that life into something you want. In my case, being stern about in clinic hours and my own requirements, and ensuring that I will not be failed on the basis of only being able to be in clinic for reasonable hours. And after university is finished, setting up alternative income streams (I almost feel gross saying those three words, they sound so … smarmy and corporatey) so that I can work part time, and find a place that will allow me to work part time.
It was a sad realisation, though, in that shop. It’s the career I’ve worked most of my life towards, and my own body is making it so much more difficult than it needs to be. My body is preventing me from doing what I want to do to the fullness I want to do it, and I’ve had to seriously adjust what I want to do to compensate that.
It seriously sucks.
So I’m going to allow myself to be a sad sack of potatoes about it for a little while, then grab myself a cuppa tea and start plotting an easier future. My life won’t give me exactly what I want, so I will make a suitable compromise – one where I can still pursue the career I want, without exhausting myself to the point where I can’t do the other things I want to do.