I'm very excited to have over 500 followers on Twitter, after only joining a month ago. I must be doing something right..right? Well, I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself, and even put myself down sometimes. But, since I've been eating right, exercising, and having a bit more time for myself- I'm starting to see things more clearly, and realise just what an amazing life I have had. I can now look objectively at all the things I have achieved in my 38 years.
Not least, everything I have done in my short time back in the UK. "My High Street Wedding" was not only a fabulous achievement in terms of getting my dream Wedding on a budget ( £500) when the national average is around £16k, I also promoted over 45 local businesses, go people excited about shopping locally, kicked off a campaign to 'save the high street' , which in turn kick-started the revival of the Friday Market, and the new Suitcase sellers. I also got my story into local , and National Press including a feature in 'Fabulous' Magazine in the Sun Newspaper- and a number of other Women's mags. We made a public appearance at Collett Park festival, and I have even been asked to compere the event next year.
Having landed my weekly column in The Shepton Mallet Journal, I was then offered my fab new full page column in 'It' magazine. And I was even guest judge at Croscombe Dog show- along with James Heapey MP. Oh , and trust me- judging a dog show is harder than it looks. My four year old got bitten by a Jack Russel, my six year old got peed on by a Labrador, and my husband ended up on poop cleaning duties- dogs and kids! It was quite good fun though.
From the outside, I bet everyone thinks I am well-off, a bit glamorous, successful, happy and fulfilled. I mean, that's the image I try to portray - on social media- it's especially easy to edit and show the highlights. However, I'm close to financial breaking point.
Not getting paid for any of the things I do, and relying on child benefit and tax credits ( which have just been slashed in half) I only shop for clothes in charity shops, or Primark for a special treat - but the bus fare costs £7 so it's hardly worth the trip.
I rely on selling clothes and the kids old toys online, to make ends meet. Buy food which is reduced , economy brand or on offer in Aldis and Lidl. It really sucks! I want to feel abundant, and worthy. I want to flick through mags and think " Oh, I could get those boots on pay day" or " Hmm I might try that new skin cream!" . I want to eat at Yo Sushi, and sometimes go out for a romantic meal with my hubby, or take the kids to the cinema.
I can't help feeling full of regret and dismay that after so many years of studying- gaining A-levels, Degrees, Diplomas, learning new languages, having my own business, doing years of unpaid work experience placements,having owned bought and sold properties, and living abroad, having children, having a promising media career at the BBC and then being a well paid lecturer and public speaker. How can it be fair, that I am now struggling to make ends meet, and am scanning the jobs pages- considering low paid, menial jobs, in industries which do not excite me.
Well. I didn't have much choice when my youngest was in nursery- childcare costs are ridiculous, and I made a conscious choice to spend quality time with my kids anyway. But now, both boys are at school. I think...I know I am ready to get back out there. But will anyone give me a second glance?
I'm no 23 year old recent graduate. I'm not prepared to work for peanuts, and start at the very bottom of any ladder. I am highly skilled, educated, intelligent, and now have a whole heap of life experience behind me too. I do have kids, so my family and work life balance must be taken into account, and I won't risk burn out, by slogging away at something fruitless or unrewarding. A creative Industry - PR, Events or Marketing would suit be down to the ground, as long as the company was ethical. But, can I even afford to be picky?
I know I have a lot to offer. And given the chance- I'd blow most of these twenty something 'fresh out of uni' candidates out of the water. Now, I just have to figure out how to get noticed in the first place. I am quite prepared to take on any challenge or task, to prove myself. I'm not scared of trying. I'm ready to shine. The scariest thing in the world to me- would be to not be the the most utterly fabulous me I can be .
So, watch out world..here I come!
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)