You really know you've changed when you visit old haunts from the past and meet old friends and colleagues, who firstly hardly recognize you, and secondly are shocked when you say what you are doing.
Yes, we've been abroad for the last 5 years, living in France, and facing all the struggles we experienced, which led us to move on to Portugal and have a chance to recharge, re-evaluate, and learn many new skills.
When you push yourself outside of your own comfort zone, you begin to grow.
I took on numerous physical challenges cycling up the Pyrenees mountains, with a drive to not stop as I climbed.
I achieved this 5 times in the 2nd year of attempting these monster climbs.
Bearing in mind my respiratory was not brilliant after being subjected to many years of chemicals and carcinogens from Fire Service life.
And then cycling across the Algarve in 1 day to raise not only awareness of PTSD and mental health but also funds for charities. This was the 28th Oct last year 2022.
Wow! You see I have grown in many many ways. The drive to help others still remains.
This event brought people together and did what it set out to do. So much so that people are wearing the FTE around the world helping promote and spread the message of hope for anyone suffering.
But I'm writing now because I was quite surprised by some people's reaction to us not only returning to the UK but also that I have taken on a job again. You see I am still employeable!
Our reasons for returning our primarily to be closer to family, that's all you need to know.
And whilst visiting them the other day I was quite taken aback by a comment when I explained what role I had taken on and the position within the company.
"How the *uck did you get that job?" said in a way that felt they had little knowledge of who I am and of my worth.
And yet after having 3 hour long interviews, I am completely worthy of starting this role.
On reflection of how many skills we have obtained during service, they actually realized it was indeed possible after all. I can see my worth.
You see it's people's perception of us that can be the limiting factor. The way the image of the role, and the snippets of information are leaked, are often how some people make up their minds and judge others.
And yet holding tightly onto this mindset, find a struggle to expand and grow and see that the person in front of them has changed.
I've completed a diploma online, CBT, REBT, Depression and Anxiety, Tai Chi, and Yoga, and carried out daily exercises to improve my health as well as my wellbeing, for the last 3 years without fail.
And yes, I am a different person, but only because I have new skills and have done a lot of self-work.
My compassion for others and tolerance for their unspoken and mostly unheard struggles has grown too. So, rather than taking any of the comments personally, I allow them to go and contemplate why the other person has said it. Maybe due to their own fixed mindset and lack of growth.
My worth isn't and never will be based on someone else's opinion.
I will not continue to try and get my point across to someone who is blocked and stuck, unable to see both sides and seek a compromise.
My worth and value are no longer fit for the environment it was in.
Some people don't want to see it because it doesn't help them.
I know senior management just saw me as a nuisance because I would, and rightly so, challenge and question the crazy changes put upon us that would affect the crew and the public. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't, and yet this standing up for what's safe and right, didn't go unnoticed.
I was regularly given a bollocking, which I would listen to, and then give back, and of course, for doing all this, I was naturally overlooked with promotions.
I wouldn't change it for anything.
I stand with integrity as do so many others I know. Because we all know our own worth.
Do not be influenced to change or dull it down.
If you are not held high in worth, then you truly are in the wrong place.
I am incredibly excited to start tomorrow, where I can pass on valuable experience and skills to become part of another team. Again making a difference in people's lives.
5 years ago I maybe would not have applied for this role, yet with a new skill set and mindset anything is possible.
5 years ago I was incredibly stressed, overweight, and reacting to skin issues as my autoimmune was all over the place and not in a good place.
I have put many hours into both my mental and physical health to improve, doing so with the intention of getting better. Benefitting not only myself but that of my family and those around me.
I am, once again, very able to help others and not to the detriment of myself.
I do know the value of me, of what I can bring to the table and contribute to help.
With encouragement and support, we can lift many.
Be the person responsible for helping and continuing to grow.
Know your worth.
Know your own mind.
Be true to yourself.
Take a step outside your comfort zone.....
This is where you will grow.
Don't go unnoticed....
Drop me a line, a thumbs up, something, a Like, Follow, and subscribe, and visit my Instagram of FB pages. They are there to bring people together.