My journey to here...
Growing up near the Saddleworth Moors, a fabulously outdoorsy, simple place, (which I railed against at the time as being 'boring' but which nonetheless seeped into my soul) I remember the social pressure to go shopping, buy things I didn't love and have lots of friends. I read constantly, after a while bypassing the library in favour of my very own stash of books to mirror the huge bookshelves my parents stacked full of their literary favourites.
As a teenager I spent a lot of time 'tidying' my room (or rather trying and always failing to find room for everything I owned; an elaborate game of shuffling to find the best compromise) or trying to fit in with friends, boyfriends and their agendas....and not enough time in the fresh air, walking or sailing; the things that made me feel like me.
Along the way I stifled my own intuition and fell into patterns that stuck with me for many years. These patterns inevitably led to buying things I didn't love or need, in order to make me feel I was someone I wasn't, to fit in with people who weren't my people. And giving my energy over to pleasing people who weren't me.
Expensive, disconnecting, exhausting and ultimately leaving me with a very weak sense of who I was, untrusting of my own judgement, flat broke and definitely not in control of my own journey.
Wasting opportunities and playing the victim at work led to depression, anxiety and the by-now-familiar disconnect. My knee operation was the turning point, looking back. After six weeks away from my long-term job I was unbelievably happier and healthier, the anxiety all but gone and the clouds starting to lift - I couldn't see it before but... was there a different path ahead after all?
An instinctive move to the greenery of the Ribble Valley followed, where being outdoors every day, downsizing plus a huge declutter brought me peace, space, clarity. And a real sense of being me at last.
What emerged slowly from this new space around me, was the remembering that, ever since I discovered it during my HR career, I wanted to become a coach. Until now I'd squashed and hidden this fragile idea, because, you know... I didn't have the space, time or energy to do anything new... until now. The weight was lifted.