The rewards of risk

The end of the working week is fast approaching; I finish on Thursday for my holiday. I travel to the countryside that evening for what I’m calling my “educational retreat”. I’ve done most of the work that I need to do for it – it’s just the presentation that’s left. I’ve left that till the last minute because, well, I’ve been busy and I don’t relish the idea of doing a presentation. It’s been about nine years since I last had to do one. I’ll be glad when that part of the weekend is over.

I’m far more excited about what’s coming after the weekend, my flight to New York. I’ll be there for a few days then crossing over to Chicago for Easter. After Easter, a few days in Washington and then back home on the 20th. A few months ago I wasn’t very excited about the trip, when Trump had just announced the Muslim ban and the political side to me felt I should cancel in solidarity. In the last few weeks I’ve managed to forget my reservations and just be glad I’m going. I’ll have a great time. It might be the last long haul trip I’ll be able to do in a long time, with the economies I’m going to have to start making after May.

Work has ok’d my request to go part time, starting on the 1st May. I’ll be working 3 days a week so I can have time to dedicate to the diploma, should I get on to it. Applications opened for it this week, by the way; I’ve got my pack. My manager has agreed to be my referee. I’m all set, I just need to get onto the course now. I feel confident at the moment; when it comes to the interviews, I may have a few more doubts.

I’m too happy about being allowed to work part time to worry about the significant salary reduction. Technically I should be fine, I’ll always have enough to live on. I may not be able to save much money any more, or go on many more interesting holidays (sorry P, I guess we’ll have to take a rain check on those exotic European breaks we’ve been fantasising about). As long as I can stay here and save on rent, I will be ok. As I’ve already said, it’s all dependent on being able to stay here with mum, a situation that is never going to be ideal. After her illness last week the security of being able to save on rent here for another five years seems a bit shakier than before. But what I’ve realised is that any path I choose to go down now will involve risks. The fact is that to be able to do this course and qualify as a counsellor, I have to stay here and not have much money for the next few years. If the risk felt too big I could give up on the idea altogether, get a proper paying full time job again and feel financially secure. But the last couple of years have told me I wouldn’t be happy in that situation; it would be giving up the dream for the sake of money. And I can’t do that any more.

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