Sunday, September 29, 2013

Epiphanies and my future career

Sometimes it only takes a second, you have a revelation, an epiphany, and BAM you know what you want. And sometimes it takes months, even years, to find out.

Personally I find it very ironic.

Tonight, as most nights, I was surfing online, looking at jobs and courses related to psychology.
I was reading "The Psychologist" as well, a magazine published by the British Psychological Society and sent to the members every month. Interesting piece of paper, if you ask me. Usually it has ads for seminars, courses, and jobs, so I am always eager to browse through it.

So as I was reading it tonight, (it came in the mail yesterday), I found out about these seminars for CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy). Now, CBT is something that I wanted to learn how to do, in the way of becoming a Clinical Psychologist. However, this goal of mine, realistically seems distant. So I thought, why not learn some skills that a Clinical Psychologist has, from a different route, and maybe focus more on Counselling? (since it might be easier to actually obtain that degree).
The total cost of this diploma is a rather large amount, but since you need to pay for each seminar separately, in the end, it doesn't seem so much. Hmm..

Tonight's blog post though, is not about my CBT seminars.
It's about the fact that STILL after years spent in higher education, pursuing a career in the field of Psychology, it is difficult for me to be 100% sure of exactly what is it that I want to do.
How is this even possible, you say?
Because having a theory based degree with general knowledge about this discipline, didn't help me decide on a particular division. I know I liked research. I know I like Clinical. But I also know that it is the hardest division to get into. The second best for me is Counselling.
So I'll go for that. BUT STILL after all these years, I don't know exactly what target group I want to help.
Do I go for alcohol and substance abuse?
Do I go for post-traumatic stress?
Sexual abuse?
Dementia, stroke, Alzheimer's disease?
Eating disorders?
and the list goes on!!!!

All these problems are in between Clinical and Counselling psychology, and the lines are blurred. I think that's why I can cope with this.

The weird thing is, that even after all this time, I still can't decide.
And I don't know what to do, to help me decide.
This is something that I want to do for the rest of my life- hopefully. So it has to be right.

I wish I could just "know". Like I would wake up one day, and I would know what I want.
I would feel what is right, and I would be in love with my work, forever.

But maybe even if I knew, this is not how the world works :(

That's why I said that it's ironic. How sometimes I just "know", in a matter of seconds, I have an internal revelation, and I know, and sometimes, the world may come upside down, and I still don't know!!!

This is somewhat frustrating.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Legendary bad day.

For anyone who has already watched "Riddick", there is a line Vin Diesel says in the film, something along the lines of  "there is a bad day, and then there is a legendary bad day".
That would suit last Thursday perfectly!!!

You remember my last post?
Well, I had my volunteering appointment with the probation officer in Croydon at 2pm.
I wanted to be there at 1:30pm, to talk about the case before the meeting with the service user.
The day before, I had googled the address of the office, so that I know how to reach it by train and by foot (I prefer to walk as much as possible, for exercise).
So to closest station was Waddon. I was there around 1:20pm, scared that I would be late, because it was a long way-as google showed me. Black clouds and a strong wind where not going to help, surely. I hoped it wouldn't rain at least. Ha! 5 minutes later and a drizzle was coming from all directions possible!!! My umbrella was flying away and I'm sure I looked like crazy walking fast against the wind.  Anyway, I reached the address at 1:35 (it must be a record in speed!) and the damn thing was nowhere to be found.
I was in the middle of nowhere. In-between Croydon and Beddington. In the middle of fucking nowhere!!
After 10 minutes of anxiety and search, I saw a woman walking her dogs and a postman, chatting, so I go over there and ask for directions.
The dialogue between me and the two neighbors went exactly like this:

-Excuse me, I think I may be lost, do you happen to know where #51 is, on this street?

-Oh... are you sure it's this street? This street doesn't reach #51, it stops at #30!!!

-.......  But I've seen in on Google Maps, and it said it's here (total frustration as I realize I must be wrong somehow)

-Do you have the postcode?

-Yes, and it showed me I should come here.

-Oh... Well, there are 3 streets with this name in this area! Maybe it's one of the others! Which one do you need?

-(I look at them with empty eyes)

-Ehm, there is one in Beddington, one in Croydon, and one in (I don't remember the area, but it must have been near by).

-The one in Croydon I think!

-Ah, then you are at the wrong one! You need to walk or take the bus.

-How far away is it?

-By foot is half an hour, if you walk fast, by bus it's closer. But you need to change near the bus station, because the is no direct service to Croydon there.

It took me 15 minutes to understand where to go, and I was going to be very very very late no matter how I traveled.

I called the probation officer to let her know I was lost, and late, but I was going to make it, if she could wait for me..
I got on the main road, run to catch that bus, and realized my phone was dying on me. The battery was at 8%. Using GPS and internet maps, even briefly, will do that to your phone.
The drizzle was still going on, and my hair was messed up, my clothes were messed up, and I still hadn't made it to the appointment. Got off the bus half way, because it was turned to another direction, so I had to walk the rest of the way. No map. Damn.
I thought this day CAN'T get any worse!! I'm somewhere in Croydon, and that's all I know! Shit.
By intuition and sense of direction, and a little use of my phone, as little as possible, no gps, only maps, I was able to reach the office at 2:20pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That MUST be some kind of record, no shit!!!

I looked like a wet and ruffled rat.
I met the probation officer, who was really really sweet. To find out that my service user hadn't shown up.
Apparently I had gone to Croydon for no reason, since she hadn't come to the appointment.


I waited until 3pm, talking with the PF, we had a lovely chat. Then I left. Got to West Croydon station and got on the next train to Victoria station.
I called my mom and told her about it, because I thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever xD


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What now? A week filled with adventure?

Life has been busy this week and I was too tired (or too moody) to record my adventures.
But here I am now, almost 1 week after my promise to keep this blog updated every few days.

Since last Friday, I have met friends for hot coffee on the SouthBank, I have eaten delicious foods, I have had long conversations, I have felt good, I have felt bad, and mainly I can't believe it's ONLY 1 week since I've been back to London. 1 week. It feels like it's been 10 years. How is this even possible??? :O

Anyway, let's get back on track.

I am looking into many things at the minute. I want to start a new course next year, to finally specialize in a department, in psychology. It's very hard to pick just one (MSc, PhD, etc, and just one university). There are SO many things I want to do, and I need to focus and decide on only one thing. And it's difficult.

Also, the thought that I'm unemployed is difficult too. Some days I just feel worthless. Some days I don't mind that much, because I see the bigger picture. Usually the bigger picture is hard for me to see.

Tomorrow morning I need to go to Croydon, and meet with the Probation Officer and an ex-offender that I am going to mentor, as one of my volunteering positions. Catch 22 is the charity that offers this service, and this would be my first case with them.
Needless to say, I am very stressed and I can only hope that things will go smoothly tomorrow.
Obviously I can't mention anything about the woman that I will be mentoring, but since this will be happening for the next 6 months or so, you should expect a mentioning again at some point.

What else?
I think that pretty much sums it up for this week. It has been focused on meeting friends and talking about all kinds of stuff, housekeeping, doing a bit of shopping, and surfing online, trying to figure out what my plan in life is going to be.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back to London, with a very different attitude


My dearest readers,
since I have been feeling awful in the past months (years even), and I have been battling with anxiety and depression and plenty of other stuff, I have decided this: I am attempting to change my life, get rid of my depression, and avoid nervous breakdowns; and to help me in this attempt is, what else, but my blog. I will be posting almost daily now, using my blog as an online diary. (Some people use their facebook accounts for that, but I hate it :/ so I'll use blogger instead.)

Getting this out of the way, now I can go ahead and describe the past few days including today.

My final days in Athens passed beautifully. I was hanging out in my house, eating my mom's awesome cooking, and cuddling with the bf. Also, hanging out with friends in the evenings.
And paradises don't last.

On the 10th I had to get on that plane to return to London.

My heart was so heavy, I never felt so sad, and I've been away for 2 years! But this time, it hurt more that ever, and I can't understand why.
I was so heavy with sorrow and nostalgia, and feelings I couldn't identify :(
I just didn't want to go. I didn't want to leave my bf's arms.
I wanted to look into his eyes forever, to be held forever.

But that is impossible.

So I got on that plane. And flew back to a cold, damp, grey, overcrowded London.
To my incredibly small studio flat in Northern London. That looks over a busy street, where the noise never stops.
Fortunately I was very tired, so I went to bed easily, and without nightmares.

The next day (yesterday) I had to visit my estate agents, to renew my contract for the flat I'm renting.
After that I did some shopping, and I got back home.

In the late afternoon I spoke with my bf on Skype for a few minutes, and when we hanged up, I realized how much I was missing him, how much it's killing me, not being able to touch him, just to be near him even. The pain was unbearable for a few minutes, and I felt crippled.
To take my mind off things, I watched the new episode of Sons of Anarchy, one of my favorite tv series. But instead of making me feel better, it made me feel even worse!!! (was that even humanly possible!?)

I called my bf on Skype again. I felt like my heart was getting ripped out of my chest. After a while I felt a bit better. I spoke to my parents on Skype too.
I can't believe I'm so far away from all the people I love in this world. I get aches all over my body, as a result of my anxiety and my sadness. Especially in the abdominal area.
Anyway, I watched a few episodes of Dexter, and slowing fell asleep.
Unfortunately it wasn't without nightmares :(

I woke up around 11am, feeling like shit. Still remembering the nightmares.

But today was a good day! I visited the Natural History Museum, to see an exhibition about butterflies! That was a really cool thing :D a climate controlled little dome, in the museum's yard, contained hundreds of live butterflies that flew around! And even sat on you :p
We had loads of fun, even though I am afraid of insects, (I can only stand butterflies, because they are very beautiful).

Here is a picture of me and my friend, in the butterfly dome:

After that, we got some light lunch, and walked around South Kensington. We also visited the Victoria and Albert Museum. We walked around the permanent exhibitions, especially in the jewelry department. It is such a lovely museum, with beautiful collections.

My favorite museums in London are the Victoria & Albert, the Natural History, the Science museum, and the British Museum.  They all have free entrance, and they are lovely.

When I got home, I went through the mail that accumulated over the 2 months I was gone. Some interesting things :)

This is it for today, I will probably post again tomorrow night, writing tomorrow's adventures!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summertime Sadness?

Again, it's been almost 2 months since I last updated my blog.

So, let's see...

I've been in Greece these 2 months (still am). I am back home, on vacation more or less, that just got extended. Yep, extended vacation.

As always, it took me some time to re-adjust. I think maybe that's why I posted that sad post in July. Whenever I come home, there is always a surge of sadness, nostalgia, and all sorts of issues that comes back to me, just like I never left. Weird, but true. Usually I rant and it goes away. This summer it was a bit more complicated than that, because of the fact that I kinda got stuck here, more than I intended. And more than I probably wanted to. I mean vacation is awesome, don't get me wrong, I love it. But when it's ALL you do for months on end, it becomes boring and stagnant. There is only SO much you can do, even if it's your home.

The highlights of those two months basically are the holidays in Spetses a beautiful small Greek island (link included for those of us curious enough to want to know more). My boyfriend and I stayed in this awesome hostel (the posh kind) for 4 days, and I can definitely say that it was one of the best holidays ever. The weather was kinda hot, as expected, but it was tolerated easily by being at the beach most of the day, and with the air condition in our large hostel room. If anyone wants to know more about the hostel, etc, please comment below, and I'd be happy to post a link :D

The other highlight, was a 4day trip to a friend's country home, in Evoia (near Athens) where we spent a few days relaxing and swimming. She is one of my best friends and I always have an amazing fun time with her :)

That was basically it, my holidays. The rest of the time I spent in Athens, hanging out with friends, and relaxing. And soul-searching perhaps.
How do I mean this?

I have found myself looking at old pictures, from my childhood, again and again, probably searching for something but I don't know what. All this time I spent here at home, it just makes me feel weird that I have to leave again. I want to leave, and I don't want to, both at the same time. So confusing :/

It's a very weird phase for me right now, and I don't even know where to begin. I think the best thing is just to go with the flow for now, and I'll see what happens next.

and since I was talking about summer, and all these thoughts of mine, this song comes to mind, hence the post title. Summertime Sadness by the lovely Lana Del Rey.