|Nearly time to hit the books again|
It's just after midnight on a chilly, wet evening as I snuggle into bed and settle down to write this blog post on my laptop. I'm burning a Yankee tart in Rain Washed Berries and sipping on a chai tea latte.
September has just begun and with it the season of autumn. Next week lots of children will be going back to school, packing their school bags with new pens and pencil cases. It's an exciting and very nostalgic time of year.
I'm feeling a little emotional tonight because this evening I got the much anticipated news that I have been granted a place on the next level of my course. At the same time I found out that two of my fellow students from the previous level haven't been offered a place. It has left a hole in our group and I am really going to miss our old crowd. Also, it's hard to celebrate when you know others have been disappointed.
After the disruption of the last level, some students just dropped out of the course altogether - those of us who stuck with it have formed a nice bond and I am sad to think they won't be there in my next class. They are smart women though, and I know that they will do well, whatever path they choose to take now.
I had my own interview exactly a week ago, so it has been a week of hanging on tenterhooks waiting for the news - then when it came it was bitter sweet. But I am delighted that I have a place and I need to take a deep breath and focus on my own path. This is what I have been working towards.
I start the final level of my training in a couple of weeks time, with a new semester and a new tutor. It's the final two years and I'm exactly at the half-way point. It feels similar to when I'm writing a book - at the half way point I'm convinced everything I've written so far is rubbish, but it's too close to deadline and I've come too far to start again, so I just have to get my head down and press on with it, having faith that it will turn out well. I sort of feel like that tonight. I have another two years of studying ahead of me - so still a long way to go - and I'm hoping it will all be worth it in the end.
At least it is still only one night class a week, so I can keep up with my main job of writing, which is after all, how I make my living. The courses have never taken precedence over my writing work, it's more that the reports, essays etc, are just another deadline to meet.
And because I'm studying psychotherapy, then it is good fodder for my column and my work as a self-help author. It is all very interconnected and relevant to my writing.
It seems hard to believe that just two years ago I was preparing to go back to college, albeit night school, and starting at level 1. Now I have levels 1, 2 and 3 passed and under my belt and I'm preparing to move on to level 4 in a couple of weeks, at the end of which I should hopefully be a qualified counsellor, which will add a new string to my bow of self-employment and writing expertise. I could even set up my own private practice! So far, it has proved to be a good back-up plan!
Sometimes when you set yourself a goal you don't really know what path you will take to achieve it - in spring 2013 I set myself the goal of taking an academic night class that autumn, wanting to do something that would enrich my writing and make me a more insightful columnist.
I had no idea then, when I enrolled on a level 1 counselling course, that I was embarking on what has turned out to be a four year Diploma! I've already given it two years and now I'm going to give it two more.
It looks like my plan to help soldiers really will come to fruition at some point, so my new camouflage stationary will not be going to waste! It will be a good reminder of why I'm attending night classes in the first place. In two weeks time, I'll be packing my college bag with new green camouflage stationary, pens and books...ready to learn and press ahead with my long term plans. It's a long road, but Scotland waits for me at the end of it ...and in the meantime I have my new theme song to keep me motivated, courtesy of Little Mix...wish me luck!