Please forgive me for how all over the place this first post may be! It all stems from one place but leads into a a number of topics that are too much all for one! I am going to try and begin by talking about why I am here in the first place (as in wordpress, I’m not that philosophical yet).
My professional life has taken a very unexpected turn in the last year, although only in the last few months have I actually really accepted it.
To clarify, its very simple and something I am all too aware I am not going through alone. Ancient history is all I have known academically for the last nine years so naturally my future profession looked much the same. My love and interest of history falls well beyond the focussed studies of university to a time I can’t pinpoint, but being Lara Croft/Indiana Jones was one of my ‘when I’m older I want to be’. However, today I finally found myself updating my current occupation to tax assistant within a company that has excellent career prospects and who it is very easy to envision a successful future with, providing I can do the job.
Getting this job was somewhat of a surprise to me, it made me realise how jarred I still was from being told that I was not able to do my PhD, it was my only plan, without it my set future could not happen, I was stuck, I was scared and I felt as if I had failed not only myself but those closest to me. I was an emotional wreck for longer than I care to admit and it took a long time for me to tell those around me that my future as I had planned it was over. Yes I was that dramatic, but a few months later I would finally make sense of what I was really feeling.
What I eventually realised was that I was not disappointed in myself because I worked damn hard for what I did, yes there were times I could have done things differently and probably better but I can honestly say I am proud of my achievements, I may not be a Dr but I can still place MA before my name. What I was actually disappointed about was the fact that I didn’t have a plan and that I had been so naive as to ignore what had been going on around me, to many people. I don’t believe in luck, I believe people get what they work for and towards, yes pleasant surprises can come along the way but they don’t come unless you are looking for them, I expected this to pan out knowing the difficulties that universities, and the ancient history/archaeology/classics departments were going through. I am intelligent, I work hard yet I am not anything special, I wanted to be but I wasn’t, and in this profession you need to be, it is not a job that you learn and do, you have to continue to move the studies forward, you need to be willing to argue with those who are so sure of their own arguments and be just as sure of your own, it is not a set of rules you must follow. What I have now realised with a much clearer mind is that I just want to carry on learning, I love learning new things, I love putting things into perspective and understanding how they work, the bigger picture. There is nothing stopping me doing this, maybe I am not leading, but I can continue to learn as much as I like, the perfect thing about history is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a job in it, it is just as accessible to you whether you are a tax assistant or a historian, well maybe a delay separates the two but that is what connections are for and why I like twitter.
So what am I to take from this new direction, as I said it was a shock, I had sent of so many applications and cv’s and received so many ‘thanks but no thanks’ replies, if they even bothered with a reply, that when I received this interview I was pretty much in the dumps, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I nearly convinced myself to apply for teaching courses despite knowing it was a route I really didn’t want, to the annoyance of those around me, I was miserable. Not believing in luck I researched the company, learnt about a few tax bits, signed up to accountancy age and hoped for the best, it was my first interview so I didn’t expect anything, but I was surprised by how much I wanted it, so when during the interview I started to feel it was going well, too well in fact I went into overdrive as to what my future could possibly hold, the next day, I got the job.
Im scared, nervous, excited, worried and every other feeling that comes with being successful in something you know absolutely nothing about, so I figured the best way to look at this is, its a new adventure, a new point in my life where even though it is in a job I did not plan for, actually allows me to think about things that were too far away with my original plan, a life. I can be all about the now, and you know what, it feels good! (All on the condition I can do this, but in these last few months I have found a little more confidence and I think I can do it.)