I’m loving this week’s Listography from Kate takes 5 – it’s the Top 5 Decisions I’m glad I made. After having spent many years laid up with a crippling knee problem, there’s nothing I like more than embracing the positive, be that a Bucket List of the positives you want for your future, or a look back at the Monthly Milestones you’ve achieved. Well, except making a list of those positives it seems!
1. Changing my A-Levels to study Optometry
I was several months into my A-Levels in French, German and English before I found a career option I really, really wanted to do. One minor snag. I needed to science A-Levels, and was too far into the course to simply switch subjects. I had to start A-Levels again the following year, which meant starting classes in which I knew noone, and waving my friends off to uni the year before I got to go. The year after they left seemed extremely barren to say the least, and I was panicking that I’d get to uni and find Optometry wasn’t anything like I expected and I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. It turned out to be the best decision of my life instead. I had an absolute blast at uni, and the further we got through the course (and the more similar to the actual job it became), the more I loved every minute. 10 years down the line I still love my job, and can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
2. Going Self-Employed
Almost immediately after qualifying as an Optometrist, I left the practice in Eastbourne that I absolutely loved, so that I could move back home to Dorset. My new boss was…..well there’s no sugar-coating it, she was a psychotic nutter. She tried writing it into our contracts that the kettle mustn’t be boiled more than once to make a cup of tea, that we mustn’t wash our hands excessively (HELLO?? I’m an OPTOMETRIST who fits CONTACT LENSES. Clean hands kind of essential.), and would take the security camera video tapes home, actually watch them, and then make comments like “You left the practice at 9.23am last Friday, and you were gone for 8 minutes”.
Going self-employed a mere 6 months after qualifying was pretty daunting, but I’ve never looked back. I absolutely love the variety of working for 2 companies, the staff are all wonderful, I have ultimate control over when and where I work, and *whispers* I get paid more.
3. Buying my house
When I was trying to get my foot on the property ladder I rapidly lost count of the number of people who took a sharp intake of breath, and with pursed lips started shaking their head before saying “Oh no, you don’t want to be buying now love, there’ll be a price crash, you’ll see!” In fact, I did not see. That was just over 8 years ago now, and *grasps wood firmly* at no point during that time has my house’s value dropped below the price I paid for it. It’s not a mansion by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a wee bungalow, but it has the most gorgeous sunroom on the back, and I love it cause it’s mine :).
4. Buying my dog, Max
I had a plan. I’d decided I wanted a dog. I’d read up and decided which breed (West Highland White Terrier), and I was going to wait until summer so that I could take a couple of weeks off to be potty training my little puppy outside, and leave him playing in the garden whilst I gradually got him used to me leaving etc. Then my Mum called me on boxing day and said “The pet store nearby is getting Westie puppies in tomorrow, you could go and just have a look“. You can see where this is going can’t you.
The following morning I returned home clutching a miniscule white ball of fur, who licked me incessantly, gazed at me like I was a Goddess, and cried the second I left the room. In the first fortnight I think we were at the vet every other day, but he’s grown into the most mischievous, loving, lovable scamp I ever did meet.
5. Joining facebook and twitter
I put off joining facebook for aaages because I’d thought it was purely for photos, and did not like the idea of photos of me floating around the internet (I now post photos of myself on a public blog. Oh the irony!). It took mere seconds after joining (just to see what it’s like and if I don’t like it I’ll delete my account) I was wishing fervently that I’d done it years before. I’ve reconnected with so many friends that I’d lost touch with over the years, and find it so much easier to keep up with friends scattered around the globe that it has become a complete and utter Time Tardis.
I only joined twitter this year (yes really), and find it fantastic for running conversations with a group of blogging school friends. It’s almost like catching up with each other in the form room at break times all over again! This Easter was the first time all 7 of us had been together in around 10 years. Thanks twitter!