Am I still alive?

Let me start off by saying; yes, yes I am! But it has indeed been months since I’ve written a blogpost.  I thought this would be the perfect time to re-introduce myself and explain why I have been this absent (aka all the excuses I’ve made for myself).

For the people tuning in for the first time: I’m Renate, also known as Un(t)raveling the mind. Last year I graduated as a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. This entails that I can officially and publicly call myself a psychologist without breaking the law and getting sued. It also means that one of my passions is helping others and developing a sense of what drives us and makes us do (or don’t do) certain things. My other big interest is traveling. These two loves of mine explain why I’m writing about ‘Travel Psychology’. I had the experience that I struggled with certain problems while on the road or I had a constant desire to go on adventures while at home. I couldn’t find a clear and satisfying explanation for this need to travel, which some people recognize too well and others don’t seem to get at all. As an academic Masters, I am familiar with scientific research and how hard it sometimes is to translate the results to actual practice and common knowledge. I’ve already taken to this sometimes difficult and complicated research to better understand phenomena like l’appel du vide, the fear of missing out and the paradox of choice. I combine these scientific findings with my own experience and try to find an explanation for sometimes contradictory events.

So why did I stop blogging a few months ago?

After I graduated, I teamed up with Beyond Borders and left for a roadtrip across Europe for a month with my boyfriend and Dutsie (our awesome van). I wrote some posts about the first week in which we were part of the Eurotrip 2017 group and drove across Switzerland and Italy, before we set off by ourselves for France, Andorra and Spain. By the end of July we got home and then the wild job hunting began. Sadly enough, it was more frustrating and nerve wrecking than wild. From August until this day I’ve applied for more than 90 jobs and guess how many actual interviews I was invited to? Five. I always got the response that they really liked what I brought to the table, having so little work experience. Buttttt that they still went with somebody who had been around for a longer time. At this point I had already broadened my search and applied for less psychological jobs. In October I finally got the news that I could start in a special youth care facility. Until this day I’m working with a group of children whose parents can’t take care of them and for this reason are placed in our institution by a judge. I did my internship in a similar facility and I’m absolutely passionate about this sector of youth care.

Unfortunately I am not working as a psychologist and I decided to look for a job to do on the side. The best options you get as a freshly graduated psychologist is finding a group practice and being self-employed. This is what I did and on the first of December I had my first real clients. In this practice I work a full day on Friday but being self-employed means you’re never really done. So combined with my other job, I’m working full time. And guess what? I’m also studying this year! In September I started a specialized course of child therapy in Antwerp. So every other week I follow ‘classes’ on Monday. Because working two jobs wasn’t enough, right? And oh, in the midst of this chaos I also moved in with my boyfriend.

So can you all blame me for not sacrificing my scarce free time to this blog?

But things are about to change! I’m currently looking for a part-time job with regular hours, since now I’m in a variable schedule which has me working weekends, late evenings and nights. This will give me more space to breath, travel and further develop this blog and my Instagram page.

So what are my goals for 2018? I want to continue being a self-employed child psychologist and finish my specialization studies. I want to find a job which gives me more stability and satisfaction as a care giver and at the same time provides enough room to discover how to combine everything with my desire to travel and explore the world. I also want to grow this blog and team up with other enthusiasts in the genre of psychology or travel.

Let’s not make these goals some empty new year’s resolutions and just go for it!

What are your plans for the upcoming year? Do you want to graduate high school or college? Do you want to see the Northern lights? Finally determined to seek help and beat your mental illness? Motivated to get in better shape or turn vegan? Saving money to travel or have a perfect wedding? Planning to start a family or buy a house? At the point of finally accepting yourself for who you truly are? Or just very sound on learning how to juggle? Whatever it is, small or big, serious or silly, I would love to hear about it! Tell me all about it in the comments or through my Instagram page!


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