My Big Opportunity

Why did something that seemed small for some, mean so very much for me.
Because it cost me way more than the 4 grand I spent on it.
In making a choice to continue it would become a life changing decision.
Never has something that already felt important become even more important in needing to feel worth it. I watched my whole life evaporate in front of my eyes. I was in charge of that. No one else. If I had walked away perhaps everything would have looked so differently. But I took the biggest risk of my life in that moment and I paid a very heavy price.

Everything I had worked half my life for, gone and replaced by the kind of struggle that I never envisaged when I started that adventure.
You can not begin to understand the sliding doors effect of that one choice which left me feeling selfish and guilty.
Desire over duty. Just for one year but the consequences of that choice created a tidal wave that crashed through the landscape of my life and left me floating in a dinghy trying to survive the waves.

The consequences of a choice which for some felt small, but for me felt absolutely huge.
I found myself navigating all the obstacles and emotions and challenges under the spotlight of 13 pairs of eyes. The pain that was boxed up and hidden within, was balanced by the kindness and compassion and friendship of some very special people.

Helping to create the dreamy magic that I so desperately needed in that moment to make it beyond a battle but something to feel proud of, treasured and alot of what I hoped it might be.

I remember P saying to me.. “ you don’t fit with those people. They don’t care about you.”
I remember standing up tall and saying “yes they do”.
I believed it. I really believed it.

When I think how sad I’ve felt over the last month or so I just couldn’t understand why. Why did others judgements bother me so much. But I know it’s not their judgements. Those judgements came ftom a place of ignorance. A lack of understanding and insight.
My reason for feeling so sad is that I needed to be left with that dream. I needed to feel as though they were a family who cared about me as much as I did about them.
I needed to feel that all the trust I placed in that moment and in particular people meant something. That I was right in taking those risks. That I placed that trust in people who cared about me.

Why did I care so much about them?
Because I really liked them. They were all so different, unique, wonderful, interesting. And we were in it together. Sharing something that felt really important. For all of us whether it was realised or not.
It was beyond getting a diploma. The end goal for me became how to survive and not give up. The qualification was just a cherry.

It was always going to be about the experience even though it was completely different to how I had imagined it. I wanted to be tested and challenged but not on that scale. And yet when I finished I don’t think I’ve ever felt prouder of something other than bringing up my beautiful girl. The sane girl who sat at the kitchen table this morning and said
“Mummy (she always calls me that when she wants me to feel loved) Do you know what a kind and lovely person you are.
How the hell did I get so lucky!

But THE most important thing in that whole experience was the people. Friendships.
Their kindness, their belief in me, their love and care was the difference between me staying afloat or going under. And I wanted to be the same for them.
They allowed me to find happiness amongst the sad, dreaminess and magic amongst the real, sparkle amongst the grey.
They gave me my much needed smile.
When others were annoyed about the poor organisation in elements of the course I didn’t give a shit. I just got on with it. I was just fucking happy to be there. I felt lucky. So so lucky. If I was gonna feel the selfish and the guilt I was gonna balance it out by feeling fucking lucky and trying to enjoy every moment of it that I could. There were times when that felt really difficult and I stumbled under the pressure.
I’m just a human and I could not hide it. I was completely real because I did not have the energy to be anything else.
And I became more and more confident. Those 14 little slips of paper that I still have and treasure and all said “lacks self confidence” were being adjusted with every challenge.

And then that moment came when everything became different.
Perhaps I had received my share of compassion.
Maybe if they had seen what the reality looked like beyond that room they might have felt differently.
I wonder whether the incessant moaners would have survived the reality of my world in that moment.
I remember absolutely and completely exhausted and dead on my feet and doing all my washing round someone else’s. As I walked up the road in the dark and the pouring rain the bottom fell out of the black bag containing all my clean washing. It went everywhere. All my knickers scattered over the pavement. Which seems funny as I type it now but In that moment I remember just sitting on the kerb in the rain crying my little eyes out thinking how the hell did I get here.

When I think of the people I see and some of the things they talk about it’s amazing how much I can relate to. I wonder sometimes if they can see it in my eyes. Or that I can see what it looks like for them so clearly because even though it might look differently to my own experiences I know exactly what the feeling attached to that is. Desperation.. I know it. I know what it is to feel desperate.

Sometimes we just need help in finding that other voice that says .. pick your knickers up girl. Tomorrow is another day with magic to be found.

Despite drawing a line, and another and another even bolder and more colourful line I am still walking into the invisible wall that is making it difficult to accept and move on.
And I think it’s because I’m seeing my dream being pulled apart and I am finding myself desperately clawing through the wreckage searching for the magic that that I believed in. The dreamy magic that made it worth all the pain, the upset, the broken hearts and the disappearing dreams.
Well I do have a diploma certificate winging its way to me by recorded delivery.. still haven’t picked it up. Sending with no responsibility for loss or damage.. all costs for replacement to be paid by myself.
It made me laugh. I have cried so much over the last month or so that I think I may be turning a corner into sarcasm.. I know.. the lowest form of wit. The only way is up right!

I can fix my life. There are better things on the horizon. Happier beginnings are awaiting me.
I don’t care about that one person who didn’t believe in me.. I believe in me.
But.. What I need to release me and allow me to walk forward is to know that all that I held so dearly through that journey was real. That I didn’t imagine it. That those special friendships meant something. That it had some meaning beyond just a qualification, a stepping stone to something better, another little course with more friends to collect.
The only thing I really cared about in it all was those beautiful and special friendships. The ones that were there for me in the dark and the rain when no one else knew and In magical moments that will stand the test of time. The type of friends that people talk about from their time at uni. That are made of something special and they remain with  you through a lifetime. You were my uni friends. You were what I cared about.
It fucking means something to me.
You mean something to me.
Please let it mean something to you.


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