When I first began the original A Returning Adult Student blog in April of 2014 I was fairly recently unemployed, my unemployment insurance had ended (NJ had switched to a 6 month limit for unemployment benefits), I was doing some photo and video work and editing on the side, signed up to be a lab rat at a testing facility and I took whatever odd jobs I could find in order to bring money into the house and help make ends meet. At one point I worked 6 days in a row and did a different job each of those days. It was interesting to say the least.
I had also just been accepted into a graduate program full time to study mental health counseling and my wife and I were having arguments about money, my finding a real job and the need for stability. These arguments came out of anxiety, fatigue and fear.
Nearly two years later I am almost finished with my graduate program, I begin my practicum in September. I have a full time job working in an auto parts warehouse, I still do photo and video work on the side, and I am doing new patient intakes at an area psychologist’s office per-diem. I am no longer a lab rat, but I am on the board of ethics at a testing lab that uses real lab rats.
Two years ago if anyone was to ask me what paths my life would be taking I don’t think I would have been able to say much beyond “I will be in school.” “I hope to have a more stable income,” and “it would be great to get work in my intended field.” It’s been great to see these hopes become paths. I am probably working harder and been busier these past two years than I ever have been at any other time in my entire life. It’s rewarding, and generally stable, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that it is exhausting at times.
Of course the above is a highly condensed version of the past two years, and not entirely in sequence, but it’s still a pretty accurate snapshot. In many ways I am at another new beginning. I’m definitely traveling new paths. It’s not the first time in my life and it won’t be the last and I’m OK with that. Actually I’m happy about it. And, maybe a little afraid and that’s OK too.