How it all began…

Lets be clear; by ‘all’ I am referring to me writing about the amazingly inspirational lives and work of three whale and dolphin conservationists. I am not referring to my life, this planet or indeed the universe.

It began like this…

Once upon a time, well about a year ago, I decided to bravely go where I hadn’t gone before and give myself some time out from dancing and teaching to pursue new directions.

“I will explore!” I told myself, “I hereby give myself permission to experiment for the next year and see where life and my passions take me…”

Having been interested in psychotherapy for a long time, I thought that might be the way to go. I researched options, interviewed for a course and got accepted.

Job done maybe. Well, no, not quite; I also looked into conservation and interviewed for a Masters course; could it be possible to get on such a course without having done a biology degree I wondered? Apparently yes it was, with enough voluntary experience to show a commitment to conservation and get my skills up to scratch.

“Aha, I have a plan!” I thought, “I’ll start the psychotherapy course and in my spare time get involved in conservation projects and see where both these interests take me in a year’s time.”

But then chance stepped in to swing things in a new direction, (although, whether chance or fate or a moment of grace I may never know for sure…)

After a mixed up, roundabout, cartoon like series of emails and phone calls trying to track down a conservation organisation to volunteer with, I somehow ended up having a conversation with some guy called Dylan Walker from some website I’d not heard of called Planet Whale.

Their office was, amazingly, just down the road. A couple of days later and I left the office after my interview with Dylan and Ian Rowlands to skip down the street thinking “Somehow this just feels right!”

…Bizarrely, unexpectedly, strangely right. I had been imaging myself off in the field somewhere assisting researchers as they tracked down some elusive creature, not sitting in an office all day. Could my movement addicted really body handle it? Even Dylan and Ian wondered that, “Will she sit still long enough to do the job?” they asked each other.

After a day in the office I made a decision which surprised me; not to do the psychotherapy course at all but to focus on conservation.

“Aha, I have a new plan!” I thought, “I’ll work for Planet Whale for a month or so and then I’ll do some other conservation projects, wow those biology professors and get a place on a Masters course in conservation.”

But then a few other things occurred to subtlety shift my course towards a new heading, namely the wonderful Ian, Dylan and Planet Whale, a persistently surprising intuitive voice, the editing of a global report, conversations with conservationists and the minor matter of my love for writing.

More about all that next time…

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