Wanting to Belong

Wanting to Belong


Also, the photos are of where I live.

I’m shifting away from my desire to be a neuropsychologist. As I read more about addiction and mental health through my studies, and especially Dennis Cardiff’s amazing blog, I am increasingly drawn to this area of work. There aren’t many visible homeless people in Dunedin (there, I’ll stop being coy, I live in Dunedin NZ, ok? You still don’t know my address, right?) but according to another Otago Uni student¬†they’re out there.

I stopped being scared of ‘crazy’ people in phases, partly chatting with a schizophrenic who would often come into the bookshop where I was on the counter, partly working with a client with a TBI at an activities centre for adults with disabilities (I was a music tutor), and partly getting to know some of the regulars who would pop in to the Hospital Chapel for a cuppa (I was the administrator). Now I’m itching to get back to working with the ‘crazies’, in a more directly useful capacity, but in the mean time I plan to use some of my free time next year (hey, I’m only writing a thesis, right? That’ll be easy compared to doing papers! Yes? Right?) to help out a bit at the local free health clinic. I think they need drivers at the moment.

By the way, please be assured that I do not think of the people I mentioned above, whom I know and chat with, as ‘crazies’. I think of them as people, and I know the things they care about and are interested in, and talk about those things. I use the word affectionately as a convenient way of describing the unconventional folks who are familiar figures walking the streets of Dunedin (my twin brother may be classed as one by the people who don’t know him but recognise him by his beard, hat and bare feet, and who is not at all crazy) and who have become part of the background of my life.

Small things in the middle of big things

I quit working with my Research Proposal introduction half finished today (my supervisor wanted a draft to review over the weekend) and walked out into glorious sunshine and the scent of spring flowers. I came home, played Piggy in the Middle with the kids, did some puzzles in the sun, made poached eggs with fresh garden herbs for tea and had a bath with my daughter, and once she’d got out, with a book. Now I’m settling into one of my more productive writing times of day. Hopefully it’ll actually be productive, but even if it isn’t, I’ve got one paragraph written that I didn’t have this afternoon, and a week more to do the rest of the thing.

This is a more pleasant way to think than ohshitohshitohshit I still have the introduction and methodology background and ethics and method and potential results to write and then there are exams in less than two weeks that i haven’t even started studying for and half the washing is still damp and next week both boys have to be at different places at different times of the day and i have classes and andandandandandwhydontijustgiveupsleeping.

So I’m not thinking like that. I’m listening to this. And as soon as I post this I’ll check Twitter one more time then turn it off and see if I can chip the next few sentences into shape.

I’m getting there, and it feels good to be actually working really really hard and proud of my progress.

I been workin’, and workin’, …

But I still got so terribly far to go-oo …

I’m finding it hard to keep up with everything. Four papers, a thesis to start planning, three kids, two music groups, and a house full of drying laundry. (Yes, you can sing it if you like.)

I’m starting to really enjoy my study. I’m doing an optional presentation on music therapy to my Health Psychology class on Friday morning. I’m going to borrow the musical instruments from kindy and run a practical exercise. I don’t think I’ll even get any credit for it, but I was enthusing to my supervisor about my past work tutoring music to adults with disabilities, and he asked if I’d like to do a presentation. Why not? I said. I don’t have anything else I need to be spending that time on…

I’m also singing in a Benjamin Britten concert on Monday evening. I’ve dropped off the church music roster for the next month as I have six assignments due in May.

And Mr 7 thinks I should coach his Futsal team. I have to say, I’m tempted. I think I could probably do a better job than the coach he had this term, who managed to hold two practice sessions in the whole term. The team lost every single match. Bit depressing. BUT in the fourth term, when Futsal starts up again (because the weather is too nice to play soccer … !?) I will have exams and my research proposal for my thesis due. I don’t think it’s going to work.

I keep thinking that next year I’ll have more free time because I’ll only be working on my thesis, not four extra papers as well. Am I kidding myself?

My best thing today was chatting over lunch for an hour and a half with my brother’s partner (sister-in-love? … seems a bit twee …). Best conversation I’ve ever had with her, as we’re usually surrounded by family and kids and stuff going on. She is awesome and the things we’re each studying intersect so we have lots of common ground.

And now I had better go to bed so that I can be on time for class tomorrow which is all about reminiscing with your children. This is one thing I think I have always done right with my kids. Nice when research backs up the way you do things anyway.

Nighty night.