Abandon Ship: Decision Making
Publishing this today but I actually wrote it two days ago.
I am at the cusp of making a big decision. It's a scary place to be; my anxiety is just swallowing me up right now. I didn't sleep well last night, I feel sick and my palpitations are back for the first time in a few years. My mind is filled with different voices all screaming for my attention. Last September I started a degree in Speech and Language Therapy and I have been enjoying it on the whole; it's been nice to be a student again. That said, with lockdown, distance learning, a new and painful condition in my shoulder and arm and the peaks and valleys of living with mental illness it has also been quite rollercoaster ride. I've also questioned myself a lot about whether it's me and if it's definitely what I want to do.
To begin with it felt like it was the right decision and it felt like the right time to do it. Having returned from Dubai and Stephen settling into the job he loves (further education), I felt like maybe it was 'my turn' to start my career. I felt that God was leading me towards Speech and Language Therapy and it just felt good to be starting a new chapter. Stephen and I have learned that life is not a straight course and there are times when the path you're treading turns out to be the wrong one.
This contemplation has reminded me of a story (not sure of the original source) where there was this boy and his father and they were lost. They came to a fork in the road (see where I'm going with this?) and they didn't know which of the two paths to take. They prayed about it and the father felt God tell them to go left, so they did and after a while of walking, they came to a dead end. At this point they just turned around and went the other way. Both exhausted, the son questioned, "why did God send us down the wrong path?" and the father explained that had they taken the second path first, they never would have known if the other path was better but this way they could walk on confidently knowing that this was the way we needed to go. Remembering this story has brought me comfort and helped quieten down the "you're a quitter" voice.
Anyway, after some time of giving up on sleep and sitting down watching Netflix for a few hours (escapism at its best), Animal Lover walked into the living room and I started telling her about my decision. As I told her that I was going to leave my course, the words, "I'm not abandoning ship, I'm just jumping on to a different boat" flowed out of my mouth as if without my control. It felt like they weren't even my words and yet as they came out I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace. I knew it was God helping me to know this was the right decision.
I know it's not going to be easy to walk away from this and to be honest I'm still panicking about what people will think about me not finishing what I started. I have to do this though, I have to own my decision and be ready for feelings of worry and uncertainty. I am stepping into the unknown but I am going to remind myself each day to BREATHE! and pray!
Some slices of reality are scary and daunting but I can get through this one day at a time.
(Some recent photos of us).