Is This Really My Life?

Three wonderful things happened yesterday:

  1. I was offered a counselling placement.
  2. I was offered regular translation work – potentially.
  3. Rain and thunder finally arrived.

To say I’m happy is an understatement!

1. The placement.

This was a little unexpected, mostly because my Inner Critic had me believing I’d NEVER nail this. The part of the counselling studies I’m enrolled to start on is the Level 4 Diploma and we all have to accrue 100 client hours via placements over the two-year course. During normal times, we’d have an assessment part way through the first year and if a pass then we’d be given a certificate to say we are fit to take real clients. In these strange times, all of this has changed and now we are deemed fit to practice by virtue of passing Level 3 and being progressed to Level 4. Whilst placements can apparently be difficult to secure at the best of times, matters have been made trickier by the pandemic as some agencies have simply closed down until they can offer counselling face to face again. And to deliver counselling over video call or the phone you need to be trained especially, but this is where we all scored jackpot as our college successfully made the transition online when Covid-19 struck and so we’ve done not only all teaching that way but our skills practice and classroom tutor observed sessions this way too. Still, placements are harder to find and I sort of pessimistically felt it might end up a case of just-take-what-you-can-get.

The agency I applied for was recommended by our tutor and she also works there, so to my mind this was the Rolls Royce of placements. Cue Inner Critic. I had pretty much assumed my application would drown in a sea of much better candidates and that was that, so whilst I was thrilled to get an interview, I was also shocked. The lady who interviewed me (over Zoom of course) didn’t give much away and although we had a really great conversation, I felt I put my foot in my mouth a couple of times and thought there was a real possibility she’d hated me and each second she had to endure with me. When the offer landed in my inbox I was – like with the interview – both delighted and surprised. So I’m all set! One less thing to worry about and by any standard I’m out very, very early. I’d kind of figured that if I got to Christmas with no placement there might be reason to start panicking but here we are a full month before even starting the course.


2. Freelance translation work.

Not guaranteed. It hinges on how I get on with the first translation gig they’ve sent me, so I’m going to give it my best shot. Shakespeare it ain’t and I wouldn’t be seen dead with a book like that, but I reckon it’ll be an absolute hoot to translate. It’s Mills & Boon romance novels, cheap and tacky trash lit for the criminally bored. Most of the time predictable, slightly cheesy and erotic rubbish set against some sort of Dynasty style 80s glamour setting. But I think it’ll be fun and because it’s as far from high brow literature as you can get, I also have free rein as a translator and don’t need to be super faithful to the source text. Because it’s for a Swedish audience the instructions even stipulate I rewrite sections that portray a dominant male and weak/helpless female. In the egalitarian kingdom of Sweden, that shit doesn’t fly, you see. It also says to use modern language, use the Swedish gender neutral pronoun where appropriate and even strike off any sections that may be construed as discriminatory in any way, shape or form. This amuses me quite a bit as the whole premise for this cheap stuff is Prince Charming rescues Lil ‘Ol Distressed Damsel in a Dress.

Well. It’ll bring in the little side income I’m looking for – if I don’t muck this up, that is. As much as I can’t stand and would never read that sort of thing, translation is still a bit of an art and just because I’m fluent in both the required languages, it remains to see if it turns out good enough. I’ll give it my best shot, it’s all I can do. I’m doing precisely the opposite of the above mentioned “would never read” and have downloaded the Swedish translation of another of this author’s books so I can get a handle on the tone, turn of phrase and get used to it.

Who knows? If it works, great, and if not then I’ll keep looking out for part time work elsewhere. This would be a nice little gig though. AND a complete giggle.

3. Rain and thunder.

I mean, I like rain anyway. But oh ehm gee, was it welcome when it finally came yesterday! London has been roasting over the past week with temperatures in the mid-30s with no let-up. It’s been unbearable and I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much in my life. My morning runs around 8am have been so uncomfortable and on one of the hottest days I honestly thought I was going to faint. But hey, check me out having been out every single morning anyway! Brag, brag, brag – I know, but sorry, not sorry. Today is much cooler. Still quite warm and humid but bearable. So hurrah for the rain!


Well, that was that, really. Three good things all happened at once. The rain doesn’t care what state I’m in, but the other two wouldn’t happen if I weren’t sober, just like most of the things I have in my life. I honestly thought all that AA talk of “the promises” was a load of clichéd bullshit when I first heard someone say “in recovery, you’ll have the life of your dreams”. And yet here we are now, at 933 days sober and I actually find it hard to believe that this is my life now. There’s nothing spectacular about it and I don’t think many people would look at me and think I’m anything to write home about, but from where I was and where I was headed to THIS, is nothing short of a miracle. I’m sober! I go running every morning! I’m kicking ass in tonnes of ways! I’m almost finished writing a BOOK – a life long dream that I can now pursue and whether it gets published or not is not the point. The point is I’m making it happen, even if its end destination is a file on my laptop and nowhere else.

If you, who is reading this, is like me of 933 days ago or perhaps early in your recovery – DO IT! Give it all you’ve got. It’s so, so worth it and it really isn’t bullshit at ALL – the promises come true.

Today I’m not going to drink.

20 thoughts on “Is This Really My Life?

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