Quoting the Quill #16

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‘Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.’

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

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This quote seems particularly apt at the moment. I’m soon going to be returning to my life a full time student, (In less than a week in fact!) and for this year I have had to search out my own work placement in the field of psychology and it has been unsurprisingly, very stressful! The problem with psychology is there are so many areas that you can’t work in unless you are fully qualified because of confidentiality. Therefore I have been mostly limited to charities. Originally I wanted to get something in the autism field because it is an area that fascinates me and I’m a big fan of developmental psychology in general, but there were no places near my area and it would have been an illogical commute, so I have ended up with a placement in a completely different area, mental health! It is at crossroads like this that you really start thinking about the ‘what if’s’. What if I had been in an area close enough to volunteer at an autism charity? Would I have liked it? By working at this new place will I change my mind and want to go into mental health? Or will it lead me in a different direction completely? And most interestingly, I wonder what I would be doing if I hadn’t chosen psychology for my A Level on a whim of fancy. It’s strange to think of the random circumstances that can lead to a direction you go in, whether you call it fate, luck, coincidence, random or cosmic. Me, I choose random, but who knows? 🙂
While where I wanted to go  for this placement was not a probable ‘opportunity’ I still love Fitzgerald’s quote and I think it is quite fitting. 😀

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19 thoughts on “Quoting the Quill #16

  1. That’s a deep one! One Saturday in 2001, I was planning to go to Cambridge on a whim – having never been and only because it was there. I logged into a chatroom first, no reason, just for a few minutes. I started talking to a woman who was “looking for UK pen-pals”.

    A year later, I married her. 🙂

    I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t checked into that chatroom? Where would my life have been today? Or hers, for that matter!

    I hope – whatever the outcome for your placement – that it gives you an idea of what you want to do. Good luck with it.

    • Haha it was, wasn’t it? I didn’t really intend it to be but then I got on a train of thought…
      Awwh, that’s such a cute story, Tony! That sure was a lot of spontaneous variable that came together there, maybe it was meant to be. 😉 I remember the good old days of pen pals, I had one for a while but it fizzled out quickly. Do people even do that anymore? No doubt they all use social networking now *Sigh.*

      That is quite a question, I bet both of your lives would have been very different!

      Thank you, I hope so too. 🙂 Fingers crossed.

  2. To be honest I find the whole mental health thing (which is actually a very vague thing to say) very interesting as well.

    Sports psychology is quite fascinating, actually. Steve Peters is a sports psychiatrist who was a key member of the British Cycling team who won all those gold medals at the Olympics. He’s worked with footballers and even the snooker player Ronnie Sullivan as well. He actually used to work with dangerous prisoners before moving onto sports.

    He’s got a book called The Chimp Paradox which explains his theories and methods (I haven’t read it myself) – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/009193558X

    Check out his Wiki page here, along with all the various links at the bottom if you’re interested – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Peters_(psychiatrist)

    • Ohh yes I find mental health fascinating, I watch a lot of documentaries and programmes on that sort of thing as well as the time I spend studying it, it’s just not necessarily where I was planning on heading career wise, so it should be interesting!

      I’m not keen on sports psychology because I’m not that into sports but it’s a good area to get into if you want to be well paid, LOL. There are some really intriguing results linked to it though so it’s still cool to find out about. I might have to investigate that book. 😀

  3. This is a great quote. In my studies, I have encountered a lot of younger students who are dead set on doing one thing – they want to be a doctor, they want to be a lawyer, they want to do X and they don’t want to consider anything else. I always tell them to keep an open mind, because sometimes better things come along and you don’t want to miss them because you weren’t looking. My best opportunities have always been the ones that found me.

    Good luck with your placement! Even if it isn’t exactly what you want to do, you will learn more about the field and about yourself along the way.

    • Glad you like it Tanya. 🙂 I totally agree with what you are saying, while I like the idea of going into certain areas I’m am not fully set on them or determined to go down that path. I think it’s a good idea to keep your options open for as long as possible because we humans like to change our mind a lot – or at least I do, LOL. I always try to be open minded although there are some areas I know are off the table for sure.
      That’s great that the best opportunities have found you!

      Thank you. 😀 I hope I will learn a lot. Either way it will be useful because I’ll discover if I like working in that area or not!

  4. *Sigh* This is a wonderful quote and it’s very true! Who knows when or what life will throw at us, we just have to take a chance when it does. I’m learning this the hard way!

    Mental health should be interesting and hopefully rewarding for you! To be honest I’ve been evaluating my own life recently and I’m thinking that mental health is something that I want to be involved with. Isn’t life funny? It moves in mysterious ways…

    • Glad you liked it, Charl! Life does throw in some curveballs sometimes that’s for sure, but life is so much easier if you just go with it! (Not that I’m very good at doing that.)

      I hope so, I really hope so. It is a topic I find fascinating but had never considered as a job before, so we’ll see how things go. It’s great that you are leaning towards that area too. 😀

  5. Yay, I’m glad you’ll be doing Mental health. I need someone to sort me out! *jokes*
    Abnormal psychology has always been one of my favourites(although mental issues are so common, its almost normal. So it seems incongruent to call it ‘abnormal’, don’t you think?).

    I find that quote to be quite depressing tbh. I guess it’s because I regret some of the opportunities I missed in my life and I would like to think it’s how we move forward that defines our lives, not a regretful past. 🙂

    • Ha haaaa, no Nisha, we like you the way you are!! You don’t need no sorting. 😛 It has long been one of my favourite areas too because it affects so many people and is a genuinely interesting area too. I have always been interested in it but never considered it as a career path before, so this experience could be a good thing!

      Lol, it is a bit depressing, I agree, but I’ve also found it depends what mood you look at it in. When I’m a bit down it seems really negative but when I’m positive it seems very insightful and thought-provoking. I think it’s good to evaluate the past sometimes to guide our future. 🙂 But of course, too much looking back can be dangerous!

  6. This is a wonderful quote indeed – our actions do in some ways shape who we are, even if that refers to the action we never take. I think your genuine interest in psychology and your ability to write well will take you far, no matter which route you take in the end. As a fellow psychology student (er, aspiring psychology student) it’s inspiring and exciting to view your progress!

    • So happy you like it, Thomas. I always find the interaction between our own choices and the environment fascinating. I guess that comes from my love of psychology, or maybe my love of psychology comes from it, who knows. 😛
      Thank you, I hope so! (Although I still don’t consider myself good at writing.) Good luck with your own education goals, I’m sure you will do very well if your blog is anything to go by. 🙂

  7. I like the quote, but it seems strangely optimistic to me (perhaps because I would like to write for a living one day) – sort of a ‘go get em’ quote. lol. I hope you enjoy your placement even though it wasn’t what you were originally planning, hopefully it is fated! 🙂

    • I’m glad you see it as optimistic quote Book Blather! I wouldn’t want to put a downer on someone’s day. I think it depends on the mood you are in when you read it, because sometimes I look at it as positive others negative. When I chose it for this post I was thinking positive. 🙂
      Thank you for the well wishes, I hope it will go well. 😀

  8. Wow, profound quote and apt for every life – especially yours right now as you described your circumstances! I was skimming through the responses here and I really agree with Tanya – you never know where life might take you. You’re a brilliant girl and an absolute sweetheart, so if anyone should be in the field working with psychology (in whatever branch, but especially autism), you should! However, if you do go in a different direction, you may find you love that new thing just as much 🙂 I went through a lot of career queries and I’m still not 1 thousand percent positive I want to do what I’m about to do, but sometimes I guess it is just good to keep moving because if you follow your heart it will lead you where you belong 🙂 Also thought of this Chinese proverb which may help and/or be appropos:

    “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”

    Good luck with school and everything, Becky! You’ll do great, and great post! 😀

    • Thank you, Lauren, I’m glad you think so. 🙂 I wholeheartedly agree with Tanya too, I think she put it very well, as have you! (Ohh hey, I made a rhyme.) Awwh, thank you so much *blushes tomato colour*, I hope you’re right and that I might get to work in the autism field at some point, even if I don’t end up going into it. It is tough because it is quite rare that someone knows exactly what they want to do from a young age, I kind of envy those that do. From around the age of 15 people start pushing you into deciding what to do, and there are thousands of paths out there, a lot that we don’t even know about! Awhh I love that line about how it will lead you, I really hope that’s true!

      Ohh wow that’s awesome, so simple but very true, I will have to remember that. 🙂 Thanks again. 😀

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