My work life

I’m at home with a sniffy nose, a lot of coughing, a painful stomach and a headache. I chose not to go to work this morning. I always think I should not call in sick – feeling guilty and full of shame for being not well. Anybody else feeling like that? Also, when I’m ill, I feel so very ill and so very upset and low.

Anyway, I wanted to write about my work life.

2 years I’ve been with this department now. The time for change has come, ….. I thought. I’ve just had a radical haircut, which is usually an indicator for change in my life. Two years is enough. Isn’t it? No, don’t get me wrong. I love (most of) my colleagues, and (most of) my job. It doesn’t pay very well, but – compared to other reception/admin jobs – it pays pretty well. There is no obvious reason why I should leave. Well – that’s not quite true. It’s the city I’ve got to commute to and from; it’s loud and full of tourists and students – overcrowded, I’d call it. At least I’ve changed to three full days from five half days. But still, a minimum of 2 hours commute on a work day? Okay, it gives me time to read (on the bus). And – really – an hour to work is not that bad. Is it? It’s like I’m looking for a good enough reason to change jobs. My husband calls me a job junky. I think he’s right. Maybe I’m just addicted to changing jobs after it has become routine. Maybe I’m just addicted to change anyway???

I’ve been looking, locally, but nothing compares to my current position, neither the pay rates nor the stuff I’d have to do to earn my wages. And – will I ever find such a lovely team of colleagues again? I’d be taking quite a risk.

There’s something else bugging me, if I’m honest. When I came to this country, in the beginning of 2005, I did not intend to work in admin much longer. I’d had enough of it when I left Germany. I actually hated being a PA/secretary/admin assistant. The whole admin crap – I didn’t want it anymore. And here I am – still doing admin. I wanted to be a full-time therapist. That’s what I wanted. In eight years I have not managed to earn a living from being a therapist. I am now not earning a living from anything I do. The part-time job in admin doesn’t pay enough to live – at least not in an independent way. I’m contributing to the bills, that’s it. The other days I’m spending hours and hours trying to get my name out there and trying to convince the public that constellations are fantastic and that I am a great therapist.

Drawing a balance: I failed.

Is that the deeper reason I’m at home, feeling pretty grim? I think I feel sorry for myself. Yes. I feel sorry for myself. “Poor little Silvia! You are a loser! Let’s face it. But I do feel sorry for you, I really do.” Is that what I need?

Wuh, – – – wait!

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I am not a loser. And I have not failed. Let’s face THAT, shall we?

I have changed jobs a lot, because I was never happy in them. I finally found a job, in which I am feeling happy enough to stay. I may only contribute to the bills and not earn enough to make a living, but I could if I wanted to. I don’t need to earn more than I currently do, because my husband and I have an arrangement. More than the income I need the time to build my therapeutic practice. And that is what the 2 other workdays are dedicated to.

I learned a lot on my way, and I learned that it is important to give energy into the things I’d like to grow. I also learned that I have most of my energy in the mornings. I know I haven’t made a rocket start; I’ve taken – I had to take – the little side roads, and I still am. On the way, I got to know exciting, supportive people, and slowly but surely I’ve been getting my name out there and still am. Don’t forget: I had to adapt to a new country. I left all my friends and family behind and had to start all over again. I’ve built friendships, strengthened my relationship, was a mother and bonus-mother to five children. I fostered two young people and I looked after dogs. I simply had no time to make a rocket start.

I know what it is: I’m sitting in this space that is empty. My kids are no longer here, the dogs are gone, too. I caught a bug. I’m feeling crap. That’s why I get this sense of emptiness. I misinterpreted it as failure.

I’m not failing. I never failed. I only ever did as best as I knew at the time.

There is so much to learn, still. But I’m on my way. I may not be the rocket therapist, but I may be the one who has been there, done that. And – once this bug has left my body – I’ll be my old sparkling self, inspiring and full of kindness and love.

Watch this space!

Self esteem

I saw my mentor today. He felt slightly irritated about me feeling great every time I’m seeing him, and his view of me was that of a very busy woman being all over the place and at the same time appearing quite calm all the time. He must have sensed something else, something going on underneath that self-confident woman, especially when it came to the topic ‘money’. Building up my business means I have to apply a value to my work. I have always had an issue with money – I can’t remember feeling rich or well off, ever, or being able to receive money without feeling guilty. I always had this view of myself being a poor church mouse, and that this might possibly never change. I always think of myself not being able to ask for real money for my service. Am I worth it? Am I allowing myself to be successful, wealthy, better of than my parents, am I allowed to fail if I ask for real money? Today, being confronted with those questions, I suddenly became that – maybe – 13 year-old girl again, that was constantly being told she wasn’t good enough, had to change, had to do better, was inappropriate, wouldn’t achieve anything in life etc. I felt tearful, small, but also touched by this young spirited girl, who just did not get the assurance that she needed to become self-confident or build self esteem. I realised that my path was to build that up on my own by creating circumstances, which challenged me and made me reflect and grow. It actually started with my birth, when my mum had to give up and was sedated, and I was pulled out with forceps. My life, if I look back, has been a little like that. I’ve always pushed myself towards becoming a therapist, but I couldn’t do it without being pulled so often. Does it have to remain like that for the rest of my life? My mentor thinks, no. But I need to find that place in me that is able to get me where I want to be, to then fill that vacuum with self-esteem. Am I worth it? Am I valuable? Am I loveable? The only way of feeling worth it, valuable and loveable, is to re-assure myself as often as I can, that I am all that – until I feel it. The aim is to be independent from other people’s judgement about me. Isn’t it?