If someone had set me down ten years ago and asked “what do you think your life will be like in ten years time?”, I know for certain that my response would in no way resemble my life as it currently appears.
2003 – In the summer I went on a school trip to the South of France. It seems like forever ago now!
Ten years ago, it was 2003, and I was in my final year at secondary school (and truth be told, not enjoying it all that much). I wasn’t really very certain about anything – I knew I wanted to go to college (but wasn’t 100% certain which subjects to study). I knew I wanted to go to university (again, not sure about the subject!). I knew I wanted a job that would involve writing or English in some way, shape or form (I’m pretty certain I wanted to be a teacher back then!). That was pretty much it.
2004 – at school with my friends Becca and Louise.
At no point in my plan-less plans, would it ever have occurred to me that I would end up in the field of care work.
I’ve always been pretty easily “grossed out” by things. It’s a running joke with my family that they’re not allowed to bring certain subject matters to the dinner table because I’ll push my dinner away and refuse to eat. Now I’m the person doing the grossing out! It’s definitely the most challenging job I’ve had to date; it’s tiring, sometimes painful (lots of lifting, etc), emotionally draining and generally hard work. The hardest things?
- Being away from home. Being away from family. Being away from Barnabee and Squirrel. Being away from Dave. Being away from my friends. Being away from my PC. Being away from all my musical instruments. Being away from my wardrobe. Being away from my “normal life”. I feel like I’m of the “no fixed abode” contingent, and it feels pretty miserable at times.
- Driving. I hate driving, I find it awfully stressful. I put off learning to drive for ages because the idea didn’t appeal in the slightest. It still doesn’t.
- Going to new places alone. It’s not on my list of top things to do! Again, I find it stressful.
- Living with people I don’t know is just a strange thing to do, and it can be pretty uncomfortable.
- Cooking! I don’t really find it enjoyable unless I’m cooking with someone else (baking cherry pie with Holly? Yes! Cooking stilton fingers and rice pudding with Dave? Definitely!). Also, uncooked meat is grosser than any of the personal care I have to do at work. Seriously.
- Personal care. I’m not going to highlight it terribly, because if I’m honest it’s generally fairly easy, once you get past the awkwardness of it all…
- The lack of sleep is a pretty awful at times. Lots of the people I work with need waking up in the middle of the night, many need to be woken up really early in the morning and a fair few go to bed late at night… Some, of course, require all of the above. Functioning on 3 or 4 hours of sleep is pretty much impossible for me, so I’ve become quite adept at napping.
- Not being able to paint my nails! Major sad times.
2004 – our GCSE music class… All 8 of us!
So, yeah, it’s quite testing. It’s definitely the hardest job I’ve ever done, and nearly every single friend, relative or acquaintance that I’ve spoken to regarding it has said some variation of either “oh no, you’ll hate that!” or “I could never do that, well done you!”. Ten years ago I would have said the same thing, but here I am.
2012 – January 1st, with Lauren, Patch, Rob, Malin and Lousey.
I wonder where I’ll be in ten years time…