(Disclaimer: Please forgive the amount of brackets some things I cant believe I am saying or able to do!)
Sometimes the person I have become through this journey takes me by surprise and I have to pinch myself that it really me.
Wednesday I had one of those moments.
As many people who have known me a while, I used to struggle to have any proper conversation with people - even with a group friends over a cup of tea; I had no confidence and felt I had nothing to say or give. I would never have dreamt of turning up to a something on my own and once there I would hide behind whomever I was with.
So yesterday was huge and seriously highlighted to what I have become and me how far from that old me I now am.
Firstly I turned up to a big networking and mental health evening on my own not knowing anyone.
I walked into a big room full of people I didn’t know and before I knew it I had met and was talking away to a lovely group (yes group, more than one!!).
Not only had I found people to talk to but also I was talking about ME and what I was doing. I was speaking about it with confidence, and (dare I actually say it) pride for what I was doing and had achieved through the shittiest experience.
I had a moment of realisation that I was able to do this because I had found a passion:
- A passion for mental health.
- A passion for educating people.
- A passion for fighting stigma.
I realised that before my breakdown I did not have a passion. I thought I did; fashion was all I ever wanted to do, I had what I thought was my dream job.
But now I have found a real passion and drive for mental health awareness which is now part of; I live it ,I breath it and I fight it (oh boy do I do all of these in every sense of the words!!).
I then I had a second moment of realisation (or really some strange part of me took over…)
After the inspiring speakers took to the stage in a massive auditorium I was sitting chatting away with my new friends. We were pretty much the last people into the room. One of the organisers, April, came up to us and was asking us about the event and what we thought. Part of the conversation went (roughly as It is all a bit of a blur):
A: Did you have a good evening?
Me: Yes it was wonderful, I always enjoy these evenings they are always so inspiring
A: How do you think we could make it better next time?
And then these words (or something close to) came out of my mouth…
Me: Well you know what I think would make it better? If I was up on that stage.
“If I was on the stage” yes those words came out (and I cringe thinking about it!)
I have never in my life been so forward and direct about what I want. But you know what… that part of me that took over made me realise that, not only am I turning into my father (!!), but I really truly, deeply believe in what I am doing. I feel for the first time in my life I actually have something to say and I deserve to be on that stage.
So there you have it… apparently this new me can be direct and actually ask (or maybe tell) people what I want!
I have, at the ripe age of 35, learnt the lesson of you don’t ask you don’t get.
So here’s hoping I can get where I want. On that stage….