I moved back to Kuwait in December 2017. Upon moving back I thought that it would be relatively smooth sailing getting back to teaching and readjusting to life in general.
I was wrong.
It was very difficult readjusting to being back in Kuwait and I had many doors, which I thought would be open for me, not just slammed in my face but locked as well.
It was hard to swallow at first mainly because it didn’t make sense. Everyone would say to me, ‘It shouldn’t have happened. It should have been a sure thing.’
The word ‘should’ lost all meaning to me. There was no such thing anymore. All I had was cold hard facts.
I remember sitting in my car in a parking lot after getting the news that I did not get a job I should have gotten (and not because I wasn’t qualified, but because of competitiveness/envy) and I just couldn’t move. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me.
However, as I took a deep breath and turned the engine on, I realized that I did not want to work in a place that had that type of attitude. This was a blessing in disguise and I was going to make the best of this unfortunate, surprising situation.
That’s what I did.
I immediately reached out to people I knew and discussed a few ideas with my parents and my closest friends. As daunting as the task was, everyone was on board – and more importantly, I was excited to take on this new challenge: I was going to change careers and to do that, I was going back to school!
I honestly did not think that I would go back to school after earning my PhD, but having that degree hasn’t really done much for me. Sure the research was interesting and it was quite an experience, but other than that, it didn’t open the doors that I hoped it would have.
So here I was, once again filling in applications, ordering transcripts, trying to convince people I did not need a TOEFL exam and that I was indeed a native English speaker … it was a tedious process, but it was all worth it.
I got accepted to a program at Lehigh University to become a psychotherapist!
Given that I already had a BA in psychology, I felt like I had a good foundation of what I was going to get myself in to, even though it was several years ago.
As soon as I had decided that this was the avenue I wanted to go down, I started doing different online courses and certifications. Not only were they all interesting, they were exciting. I found myself eager and ready to get out of bed each morning and start learning. I hadn’t felt that type of enthusiasm in a long time.
A lot of the coaching and mentoring I do already involves quite a bit of informal counseling in that people often end up sharing their struggles, past traumas, and anxieties with the hope of some guidance and advice. It will be nice to be able to formally offer that type of support to them and make it a more enriching, fulfilling interaction for us both.
So, the books have been ordered (or downloaded – what a change from when I first went to university!), the notebooks have been organized, and the schedule has been set. It’s time to begin!