One step at a time
It’s easier said than done: taking it one step at a time. Sometimes you want to take a million steps at once while at other instances you don’t want to move and take any step at all. On April 22, 2017 while on holiday in Italy, I wrote in my diary: “I want to write again. I want to research, dive into something, read, explore, etc. I must find a way to do that again…” Now, a little over a year later, I’m involved in research again. I read literature, set-up an evaluation study, submitted my first paper, and met a wonderful group of other researchers who do research this way. I absolutely couldn't have imagined this when I wrote this down last year. I had no plan, no point to start from, no vision of how to do this. But from that day this wish was with me and it felt so real. I knew it had to be different than I was used to and that it was not a matter of applying for a job opening. There aren't many of those anymore and I wouldn't be suitable after a few years of not publishing anything. I had to start from scratch and invent my own, new way.
So, since ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, I thought I start with the things that I could do, such as searching for literature, reading and thinking of questions that I would like to answer. In June I suddenly had a name for a website and I registered the domain a few weeks later, although I had no idea what I would publish on that website. I was very lucky to meet someone who sensed my wish and suggested to start writing on the training we developed together, she showed trust in me and offered me an office to work in for one day a week at the Health Psychology department. Over the year other nice opportunities came and encounters happened. I submitted a workshop for the NVMO together with a new colleague in systemic work and it was accepted. I found an experienced researcher in organisation psychology and now supervise 2 master students together with her. Via a German researcher in systemic work, I ‘met’ a researcher in Canada over skype with whom I will collaborate with on reviewing the current literature.
It’s not going as fast as I would want, which is conflicting a bit with my rather impatient nature, but at least it’s going. For next year, I hope to get a bit of funding to be able to travel to colleague researchers and to set-up an intervention study. I want to get a really good overview of the research and evidence that is linked to systemic work, and I plan to analyse our data on the evaluation study and write about it. And maybe more.