Clinical psychology would be good to get in to because I genuinely care about people and want to help, I have a morbid fascination with the mind and its workings, and I’m just darn good at it. On the other hand, the intimacy of client-worker relationships would mean I’d probably get a bit too involved whether I wanted to or not- I’d care too much, I’d probably think about clients outside of sessions, I’d get some sort of depression from the sheer and overwhelming crap that happens in people’s lives, or some combination of the above. I have concluded that, for the present, clinical psychology is not for me.
As a chiropractor I’d be able to help people. It involves knowledge of the human body (which I love) and putting it into practice to provide a unique service few people on the planet can give. It would alleviate pain and physically change lives (hopefully for the better), is relatively intimate in its relationships and its service, and is reasonably well respected and well paid. Besides: everyone loves being friends with a chiropractor. I’ve promised Mrs Mountford (from Year 6 + 7) and Mr Redden (from Year 9) that I’d let them know when I had my qualifications. Plus I’d be learning things that would allow me to take better care of Bethwyn, which is a truly happy thought.
Social work is indeed a challenging occupation. It’s true, it deals with some hard stuff, some confronting problems with society, but I don’t always have to deal with that. If it gets too much, I can always re-assign a case to a fellow worker. My problem, essentially, is that I care too much. And while that’s not usually a bad thing, it’s been draining me terribly. After a year of social work, volunteering and hefty donations I’m almost tired of being compassionate. That said, the amount of good I could do as a social worker is phenomenal- I’d be changing lives and providing basic needs for people, and that’s really important to me. I’d never be out of work so I’d always be administering help. As long as I allow myself enough time to recover from cases (leaving work at work and enjoying home at home, plus the occasional holiday if that was proving too much) and avoid burning out (as I’ve come close to several times this year) I think I could do it.
So for the moment, the plan is this. I will continue my studies in social work, at least for another year so I can experience the field placement in second semester. I’ll do social work for as long as I like, maybe a few months, maybe a few years, maybe forever. Thereafter, if I’m tired of it all, I’ll resume studies to become a chiropractor and continue along that path until retirement. To me at present, that sounds like a wholly fulfilling life full of rewards and making differences. As long as I have Bethwyn, it’s sounds pretty ideal to me. So another semester of study it is (with a healthy blend of ass-kickery i.e. martial arts to boot).
Let’s see how the year rolls, eh? Peace friends.