I’ve been working as a social worker for the last eight years but I completely burned out and ended up with vicarious trauma and on long term sick leave (I live in Europe where this is possible, at least for a while, I believe I’ll have another six months or so, before they’ll push me back to work).
While I’m recovering I started exploring different old crafts like basket making, book binding and weaving. All my life, even before becoming a social worker, I worked in an office. Making stuff with my hands, visiting craftspeople in their workshops opened up a whole new world for me and I just know, I never ever want to go back to social work. Or working in an office infront of a computer all day. The last few years, every time I walked into my dumpy office, I literally felt like dying. Slowly but surely losing myself.
The problem is now… it’s impossible to become an apprentice for one of the traditional crafts I’m interested in. Everyone I spoke to said, they would like to hire, but they cannot afford it. They say their craft will soon die with them and it would need scholarships but the chamber of crafts is not interested or willing to start programs like this.
Then I thought, I could go without an official training and learn as much as possible, but it’s not very fruitful and I know I need and want an experienced person to teach me. I want to learn a craft properly and honor its traditions, too.
Friends and family suggest to “keep crafting as a hobby” and go back to the office/to social work to finance it. But just the thought of this kills me.
In the end… it will happen like this anyway. Back to the office – because without proper training it will be impossible to make ends meet. Even experienced craftspeople seem to have a hard time getting by.
I feel so trapped, like walking into a wall several times a day.