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Things I am learning

When I used to go into London every day on the 7.58am to Waterloo and head into my office with the familiar sense of weight on my shoulders I didn’t think much about what friendships meant to me. My life was about survival and logistics. Getting from one place to the next to meet my various commitments in good time. Doing a decent job of work, being a decent parent were priorities and being a decent wife was fairly low down on the list, a decent friend even lower.

I was going from A to B in a fog of sleep deprivation and guilt. It wasn’t all bad. I had some good friends at work and with any luck and good wind behind me I might keep those friendships. But it’s only now that I am at home am I realising the strengths of my old friendships.

My friend Lucy has been a brilliant sounding board for my new business, she’s come up with ideas, helped me brainstorm things when I’ve been stuck and listened to endless soliloquies as I battle with mutual demons of fear and apprehension. My stepfather similarly has been a brilliant support to me, constantly assuring me that I can do this, that I will make it work.  When I’ve told my friends and family about my new situation the response has been so encouraging, so reassuring.

I’ve learnt that friends can make a hell of a difference to your self-belief.

I used to worry that I wouldn’t make a very good parent. That in some sense it was fortunate that I had a full time job and a nanny because she’d probably make a better fist of bringing them up than me. When I remember those feelings now I feel sad and incredulous. How could I really have thought that someone else would do a better job than I would? They are my flesh and blood.

I’m learning to accept myself as a mother.

I took the decision to be extremely honest about my redundancy. I never wanted to say I’d left or that I’d decided to ‘spend more time with my family’. Whilst that may well be the case it wasn’t the intention at the time and it would always look a bit suspect. Being honest about that has given me a freedom to talk to my friends and old colleagues in a very open way. It’s refreshing to feel comfortable with that. It was time for me to have a change, but I didn’t precipitate that change.

I’m learning that honesty is absolutely the best policy.

I had some mixed emotions about leaving so suddenly. I had some suspicions about why it was my job that was deemed redundant. I kept myself awake about that for many nights. I felt sad and betrayed. But I’ve let that go. Life’s too short. I genuinely wish them well and I hope they do the same of me.

I’ve learnt that negativity is pointless and damaging.

Sometimes you need a change like this one to help you gain perspective.


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