This is me, starting again. Again. The thing about getting older, that they never tell you when you’re younger, is that you start to realise that you never get ‘there’. I used to think ‘there’ was studying history at university, it was the only thing I ever ‘wanted’ to do. Then, when I’d done that, I thought that ‘there’ was buying a flat, getting married, having children, going to garden centres at the weekend. I never had the children (yet?) but when I divorced I didn’t just let go of the dream house we’d renovated from condemned everything (gas, water, electricity, leaking roof, you name it, it needed fixing), and the Boden outfits, I let go of any stability of knowing what ‘there’ was. At that time, ‘there’ was just figuring a way to be me, just figuring out who me was. I was, literally, starting again.
And then, darkness. The world isn’t the fairytale I believed in as a sheltered middle-class white girl. What only happens to other people, with other kinds of lives, happened to me. The world let me down, it hurt me. Justice didn’t exist. And I began to live in fear, the panic zone being my constant, bravado getting me through and papering over cracks, sometimes failing, falling, sinking.
Since then, I have started again, several times. I moved a lot, looking for somewhere safe. I re-evaluated some friendships, I re-evaluated my career, my life; I re-evaluated my values. For a while, I was quite ill, but the miracles of psychiatry mean that I am no longer papering over cracks, coping, I am ‘cured’. I can do this world.
My approaching 40th birthday last year triggered a lot of deep thinking in me about what I wanted to be doing in my working life for the next 20-30 years. And it wasn’t what I was doing. I had one of the most awesome jobs on the planet, having a part in defining the marketing strategy for one of the best brands in the UK, but it wasn’t fulfilling me. A coaching session helped me to visualise what I wanted to be doing longer term and create a plan for getting there. I got a secondment, I created opportunities to fill the gaps in my experience. I was creating the future I wanted.
The opportunity to start my own company probably occurred about 6 months earlier than I’d planned; I wasn’t quite ready, I’d wanted some time to let it settle on me, to build some client & project leads, to get my name ‘out there’. But you can’t pass-up the opportunity to make your dreams come true when opportunity comes knocking. And so here I am, starting again.
This time, though, I’m not starting again because I’ve been torn down. I’m not trying to pick up the pieces of my life post-divorce, or post-trauma, or due to a breakdown. I’m starting again from a place where this is my conscious, positive decision to create the future I want, to help create a world I want to live in and to always be learning, always be curious, always be starting something new. Again.