“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~C.S. Lewis
Change is scary. There is a comfort in the familiar. The unfamiliar can be terrifying so is it better to stick with what we know?
This thought debilitated me for years and I followed a path that was heavily tread by countless people before me. I had the kids, I went ahead with the marriage, I worked hard in an unsatisfying job that left me feeling flat. And then a series of unfortunate events happened.
My life took on a being dragged through hell backwards kind of twist and every part of it was out of my control.
After months of moping and what the hell am I going to do, I decided that I could do one of two things. I could mope more, give up on life and watch another box set, I did after all, have more support when I was moping. Misery loves misery. Or I could stop making excuses and pave the unfamiliar.
I will go back to school, I declared.
“You must be mad”; “why would you do this?” “What if…. ???every scenario possible. Basically, people were fueling my self-doubts left, right and center.
Thankfully I have a major stubborn streak and when told I can’t do something I’m like, watch me’
I left school with poor qualifications to say the least. I had always wanted to study psychology, to understand people and the mind but I didn’t have many formal qualifications, at least not enough to get me into university. I had to get some qualifications first. I signed on to a math’s course. I hated math’s at school. The only fun time I had in math’s was when Sasha Book tried to set our teachers hair alight! You can see the value I used to place on education.
I loved it!
I don’t know whether it was the mindfulness that came with studying math’s or the being back in education as an adult and understanding the value of it but I signed onto other courses to get more of this feeling.
I was 36 years old at the time. I had four children to support all under the age of 14, 3 different school drops and no support network.
7 years later I have several diplomas, a degree in psychology and an MA in writing. I have written a novel, a comedy and am currently writing my first psychological thriller as well as teaching at Cirque Talent Academy. And I am planning on doing a PHD.
I am not seeking praise rather I am sharing this little anecdote to encourage you that yes you can do it. And do not listen to those around you who will tell you that you can’t. What I have discovered on my journey is that self-improvement can be met with hostility. In a nutshell when you are self-improving in any way it reminds people that they are not. The saying is true: if it’s important to you you’ll find a way if it isn’t then you will find an excuse. You actually doing something with your life out of the ordinary can remind people that they are not.
Looking back those years of hell were the best thing that could have happened to me. If it wasn’t for this I would never have taken this opportunity to go back into education. I now believe that bad things happen to shake us up, rip away our comfort blankets and hurl us onto a more passionate path.
Don’t get me wrong it has not all been easy but it has been sooooo worth it.
If somebody had told me that I would have all these qualifications on my first terrifying day at college or when I barely got a pass on my first sociology assignment I would have told them they must have me confused with somebody else.
My advice would be: Do it because yes, you can. We are all here for such a short time and so what if it doesn’t work out, at least you have tried because is that not what life is about? Taking risks, finding and following your passions, trying something new that could possibly make us feel alive again? You never know you may just end up living the life you have always dreamed of.
Victoria Ward – Tutor/Teacher at Cirque Talent Academy – Vicky teaches some of our Adult Courses in Creative Writing, Psychology, Emotional Well-being and Mindset. Contact us to sign upto one of Vickys courses.