I mean, life doesn’t always go as we plan it. When I read over my last entry I see that all too clearly! Past Emily, bright eyed, full of conviction in her decision to study Occupational Therapy last year, not having any idea how it would all play itself out. I caught up with a friend the other week that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Naturally, she asked me how my study was going, as this was the last real thing I had reported to the planet through the portal of my blog. The unfortunate snag in that plan however was the fact that I didn’t get accepted into the course. Funding cuts and whatever other reasons made it all just fizzle out as each round of offers passed by.
The truth is now, however, I’m so glad that I didn’t get in. While it took a little bit to reconfigure, it quickly became apparent that had I been accepted, I would not have been able to take on the other adventures and challenges that were coming my way. Working in the care industry for so long, it just seemed like a natural progression for me to step forward and become more qualified in that area, as I was feeling rather burnt out and also craving some more intellectual stimulation. Study just seemed to be the right fit. Plus, it would mean that I would have an excuse for not pushing my drumming business as much as I could and therefore not feeling guilty in myself that I wasn’t taking all the steps I possibly could in order to feed and nurture that dream.
Why do we trip ourselves up so much in our path to self fulfilment? It seems so counterintuitive.
I stayed in my care role, which afforded me exciting opportunity to go to Miami twice. That was such a special experience, being there to help relocate my client back home to be with his family, while also getting an insight into the crazy world of South Beach, padded undies and jeans with Butt Enhancement Technology. I knew once all that was over though that I had to move on. My passion was waning and I felt a little stuck. A friend of mine had spoken to me years ago about his time working as a tour guide and that memory had been germinating in the depths of my mind ever since. When travelling in Europe I had thought about how I might enjoy being a guide at some point, but upon returning home I got caught up in my beloved Australia Post role and then the convenient care support jobs were always there. But, the idea returned in June when talking to that same ex-guide friend again. So I got my MR licence, wrote to a few tour companies then by August was training with Go West tours.
I love it so, so much.
I can’t believe I haven’t thought of being a tour guide before?! I get to shepherd 24 unique people* from around the planet on day trips through all sorts of stunning landscapes, talking with and to them through my headset and choosing music that I (and I hope they) love.
*Big families from Taiwan, sharing with me about their home and schools and the crazy nature of the streets; a sweet old Chinese man travelling so far on his own to giggle at the little penguins in Phillip Island- neither of us speaking the other’s language but finding connection through the adorable and vulnerable nature of precious creatures; beautiful Italian honeymooners shining in their love for each other and delight to be travelling Australia; a four year old Chinese toddler who picked me a piece of dry grass and implored me to “look after the flower” he’d picked at the end of the tour – I could write pages and pages of the various characters I’ve met on tours.
I am so happy that I get to earn money doing something I really enjoy, while now having more time to run Boomshop. I am no longer feeling burnt out from work and therefore zapped of inspiration to follow other passions. I should write a thank you letter to VTAC and the Victorian universities for setting up that transformative road block.
When reflecting on my not having been accepted into OT I realise that there are so many people who would be make fantastic occupational therapists and that is why it is such a popular course. I too may have gone through and found joy in that career path, however I do feel there is something else much more tuned to Emily. This guide work is definitely a step in the right direction! I do look a little like a park ranger in my uniform and quite often get asked questions about animals/trees/the location of toilet blocks etc. I generally just go with it, trying out my broadest Australian accent in the process. “Gday matey! Yeeeah ‘course the dunnies are just round that corna behind the bushes! hahaha she’ll be roight mate just wotch out for them bloody snakes!”
Stay tuned for more tales from the world of Ranger Stacy.