After two interviews, an essay, and weeks and months of anxiety and thinking I really am not good enough or ready to do this, d-day is only a few hours away. How does it feel to get on the first rung of a ladder you want to climb? Bloody scary is what it feels like, yet very very exciting too.
So what am I on about now, you may (or may not) be asking.
Well, have I told you what I always always ALWAYS wanted to be when I grew up? Other than a world famous writer of course (which, based on the amount of writing I’ve been doing lately will happen like never!)
well, it’s complicated. the very first thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a nun. Silly story but my mum’s sister is a nun and when I was, gee, I must have been maybe six? because I think it was before my mum went to study…or if it was after, then I was maybe eight? anyhoo, at that time, my aunt was in a convent in Kabwe, and we went to visit her. The one memory that always stands out for me about visiting my aunt when I was a kid was how eerily quiet where she lived was, and how everything was just so neat and new and tidy. everything had it’s little place and there were always magazines out and statues and holy water fonts which I thought were just the epitome of coolness….yeah, I was indeed a weird child.So, on this one visit to the convent, my aunt asked me if I wanted a chocolate.
Now let me put this into context for you. we rarely if ever had chocolate in those days. never mind chocolate, biscuits were a luxury at one point in Zambia. we were a socialist state throughout my childhood, which is basically communism on the ground because I can fully relate to the stories Krys tells me about Poland when he was a kid. The queues for sugar, bread, salt, and anything else you needed to live. The grocery stores where the goods were lined up behind the counter and you gave a list or called out what you wanted and the grocer would get them for you – no grubby little customer hands touching the precious goods thank you very much! where I didn’t know what or even taste smarties till I was ten years old. my mother made most of our clothes because like the average Zambian family, you couldn’t buy new clothes. It was hand-me-downs all the way…if you were lucky enough to have someone to hand you down those clothes. My mum and my Banene knitted most of our winter sweaters; most baby clothes were knitted by my banene for my two younger sisters… anyway, I digress
Where was I? Ah, we were in teh convent in Kabwe and my aunt asked me if I wanted a chocolate and I said dude, is teh pope catholic? course I didn’t but you get the gist. and I still remember her saying,
“Go to the freezer in the dining room and get yourself one”
I turned and walked to the dining room and to the right was a chest freezer. I opened the lid and there were hundreds of thousands of millions of chocolates. oh.my.goodness. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sight. and my first thoughts were,
“If I become a nun, I can eat chocolate everyday forever and ever!”
And from that day till I was about thirteen, I wanted to be a nun. My parents always proudly told everyone that I wanted to be a nun from then on because I always said I would, without telling them the real reason behind it. And coming from a very strongly catholic (my mother’s side) and religious family (my father’s side were staunch seventh day adventists), they were so proud when they told people my career choice that I couldn’t correct them. Besides, was I the stereotypical first born high achiever and approval junkie? ‘course I was.
But secretly when I was ten, I had decided on another career. I had come across a vast store of books from my parents’ university days and happened to start reading “abnormal psychology” by DavisonNeale and was completely blown away! granted I didn’t understand half of what they meant but it just grabbed my attention.
Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the human mind, by what makes us tick, why people react the way they do, with nurture versus nature, with evolutionary psychology, analytical psychology, neuro-psychology…you name it, I’ve probably read an article and argued about it in my head.
But we are our careers. I’m an accountant who wants to be in the talking therapies. yeah I have a post grad in psychoanalysis and could potentially teach if I did an MSC in it, but I don’t want to teach. I want to be out there. In the clinic. Listening to people and being with them as they sort through their lives.
So when this course came up, how could I say no? It’s a day a week, I’ll have to organise and start my own personal therapy of course, but at the end of the day, I don’t want Roz to tell her friends that her mum is an accountant. I want for her, someday soon, to say that her mum is a therapist. and the only way I can be one is by starting the slow painful four year journey in that direction.
And it will all start tomorrow.
I can’t hardly wait!