A 32 year old girl (woman?) from Merseyside, I live in a little house I bought for myself for my 31st birthday. I have a real sister and two best friend sisters, and I also have a boyfriend who, considering he has all female siblings himself, is desperate for a man shed.
In terms of CV style interests, I love to travel, I love to eat, I love to eat while I travel. I’m a butchers daughter so it’s not my fault. I love the outdoors – not limited to beer gardens and BBQs – having hauled my ass up Snowdon more than once. I have every intention of completing the 3 Peaks Challenge (3 biggest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in 24 hours) in the near future. Not all in one day obviously, I’m not Shaun T. I’ve climbed, scuba dived, abseiled, and I’ve even thrown myself out of a plane.
A bit of background, then. After doing well at school I found myself aged 23 working in sales for my local newspaper. A couple of years in, with familiar recklessness (spontaneity?) I quit my job on a whim; walking away from a good salary, a company car and the sensible prospects that came with working for the largest newspaper publisher in the country.
Three years prior to that I had very suddenly lost my Dad to a heart attack. He was the sole parent in our family so at the time it was pretty life changing. I had always wanted to work with young children and had always intended on going to university but after a gap year that turned into 5 and a flat with rent to pay, it hadn’t happened. I held on to my (increasingly unlikely) plan in the years following the death of my dad until one day 3 years later I handed in my notice at work and got a place at Liverpool Hope University to study Early Childhood Studies and Education Studies.
A full time Honours degree, an almost full time job, 2 work placements, an inadvisable number of energy tablets and a lot of 20p packets of noodles later I graduated with a 2:1 and high cholesterol.
Fast forward 5 years and I was working for the largest chain of children’s nurseries in the UK in a Field Manager capacity. The majority of my role was to turn around the fortunes of any failing businesses within the company, returning them to financial sustainability and improving the standards of practice. Working away from home I would leave on Monday morning, stay in hotels every night wherever in the country I was working at the time until Friday when I would return home. It was intense but exactly what I wanted. Passionate about being a leader and innovator in my field I was excited to be influencing practice for large organisations and enjoying perks like invitations to London’s Foreign Office to be part of industry specific conferences (in reality – publicity stunts) with the Deputy Prime Minister.
*Amusing anecdote about that day. Clegg was late to the conference because Russia had just flown their jets uninvited into British airspace. We all had to wait for Putin to pipe down and get back into his own bit of sky. I was hoping to get to see secret bunkers but that didn’t happen, so while security was busy I took an unsolicited photo of the ceiling instead.
Then one Monday morning in January 2016 on the way to work I was involved in a near fatal accident where I was hit by a lorry on the motorway. I won that particular fight with Optimus Prime (just about) but after a long year of recovery and having lost my job as a result, I found myself at home with a broken brain which meant the responsibility of safeguarding the vulnerable children in my care was no longer possible. So that was that.
You will see from this blog however that in the end, this turn of events has given me much more than it has taken away. I’ll let you discover that for yourself from other posts but having all this time on my hands has allowed me to do something I have loved for a lifetime – writing. I have always written in some capacity. I had a whole folder of poems I had written by the time I was a teenager. Right through my childhood I would write short stories, usually with comedy and rhyme, and throughout my time working with children I have written and read stories for the children in my care. I even have a book of letters I still write to my Dad who died when I was 20. I must have started writing and then scrapped a hundred books, mainly on the encouragement of others (to start them, not scrap them) detailing a fictional disastrous yet hilarious character who finds herself living a disfunctional but vibrant life.
Ok maybe not so fictional, they were about me. I’m that girl that stuff always happens to – Psycho stalker and a tropical disease anyone? With every unlikely life event I’m told “bloody ‘ell girl, you should write a book!” Well I’ll never get round to that because there isn’t a conclusion to my life, but now I find myself writing a blog about PTSD – the biggest challenge of my life so far. This one will have a conclusion, I’m determined it will, but my life will never look the same again and in a lot of ways I’m glad.