When I decided to go to college I was in a place where I knew I needed to make a change. I didn’t know what or how but I wanted to do something for me. Where I would learn something new. Meet new different people and be part of something beyond being a wife, mum, doing a job that I liked, but wasn’t setting my world on fire.
I felt like I was existing. Going through the motions. But more than anything I was feeling very lonely. I might just have well been alone. Spending most of my time all by myself unless I was going out and having fun with friends. I did that more and more. But it wasn’t enough. I needed something to challenge me. To make me think. To bring me back to life. To remind myself who the hell I was.
I was good friends with BH at the time. I remember him saying how cool it was that I was going back to school. That given half the chance he would do the same. He was my essay writing helper for the first year. I hadn’t written an essay since I was at school. He gave me tips and tricks. . I was pretty bright at school although I always dumbed down. Didn’t do me no favours to be a clever kid and I knew I wasn’t going to college or uni anyways so I just coasted.
I remember when I finished my training BH saying how amazing it was. He helped in moments when I needed his logic head. An unlikely friend. Actually not so unlikely when I think of it now. I always like the people who are different to me, individual, have something unique and special about them and make me laugh.
All my closest friends are like that.
I am always impressed more by who they are as a person than what they do or what they have.
Every single one of my friends is the greatest person you could ever hope to meet. I’m not exaggerating.
Anyways me and BH always got on which is funny as he hardly said anything. He is a writer and when I quizzed him once on what he would do if he had the chance, he told me that he would be a university lecturer in films. I remember laughing and saying I could absolutely imagine it.
For a moment I think so could he. A little while after he became a dad and that dream was no more but a new one replaced it. He would be a sweet dad. He is a nice bloke and a nice friend. The logical giant.
In that initial class I met C. We had an instant connection. I would end up being with her from start to finish.
That first 12 weeks felt so exciting. I loved it so much. Turning up with my special book and pen. In my head it was so much bigger than the few hours in the morning one day a week over 12 weeks. I was practically at university in my head.
When I used to come out after I would take a stroll round Lincoln’s inn fields and then take myself of to different places in London.
I went to the V&A quite a lot. I loved it there. I can’t tell you exactly why other than it felt so classy and grand with an old fashioned elegance and was the home of creation. Filled with beautiful things that made the world more interesting and decorative. I would be inspired by all those visits and a day spent in the Alexander McQueen exhibition, that would eventually see me working there. I loved so much how this little course started to take me to new places that seemed so out of my reach at the time, before that moment. A little like when I was younger when my smarts took me into London working for a variety of prestigious organisations.
It seemed a world away from my beginnings but I found my way in it.
But when I had my girl I was never happier in life tfan being her mum. The simple life worked for me too. I loved being a mum but I was a teaching assistant on the side. Helping kids with their reading and doing creative stuff with them. I loved it.
I loved that first college group. It felt like there was so much genuine care there. All from different backgrounds and no one having any experience in it. It was one of the most sharing and encouraging times of my life. A beautiful group connection in just 12 weeks that felt closer than most groups I have ever been a part of. I think probably helped and held together by a gentle Irish lady who was so nice and encouraged me to keep going. You have it in you she told me. Words that in that moment made me believe in myself. I remember that feeling.
It was incredible!!!