I remember my graduation so vividly.
I remember thinking as my light blue epaulets slid onto my shoulders,
- “holy shit George we actually did it, we made it”
After being told at university for 3 consecutive years our chances of getting a job were less than 1/10,
After applying for jobs in QLD, VIC, LONDON, TASMANIA, CANADA and being told the applicant pool was exceeding the thousand mark and that they had no yardstick or timeline for us to work toward, they couldn’t even tell us how many jobs were up for the taking that year.
I was ready to pack my life up and be shipped to any organization that would utilize the skills I’d worked to acquire over my degree.
I would go to sleep at night and think,
Imaagine, if I spent the last three years working at this degree to not be employed in the end (which is a reality for a lot of more than capable, brilliant clinicians),
I put so much energy toward securing a job, a uniform and a title, to achieve the feeling of finally “making it”.
I realise in retrospect what I was doing was tying my sense of achievement, happiness and life purpose into how successful I was in my career.
I genuinely thought once I had the uniform and was on road I would finally feel like I’d achieved what I set out to achieve and I would be happy.
I look back now and I realise that this was a false reality.
I was constantly living for the future,
I worked each day toward a destination whilst simultaneously letting precious moments slip around me.
I realise now, that no accolade, no uniform, no title, no salary alone - can make me truly happy.
I look back on the last 4-5 years of study and stress and think about my happiest moments,
They had nothing to do with my grades or my job at the time,
The happiest memories I have from the last 5 years involve pointless laughter with friends,
Being around my family, feeling healthy,
immersing myself in different cultures
learning about people’s lives, connecting with strangers (which I get the honour of doing at work)
and feeling the sun on my skin ✨
Moving forward, I’ve made the promise to myself to focus more on the everyday things that make my sense of self feel nourished, instead of a goal, an accolade or a benchmark, because I don’t want to spend another 5 years thinking to myself,
“when I get there, I’ll be happy”
About the Author:
Georgia is a graduate paramedic that enjoys continual learning and exploring health and well-being during her time off.
Connect with her on Instagram: @lifeofaparamedic