Every morning when I wake up I automatically think about a couple of things I am grateful for and everyday without fail, the people who support Indigo Grace are included in that. It dawned on me this morning that I don’t always express that enough on my social media so I decided to stick pen to paper and explain to you why I’m grateful for you.
I left school early, at age 15 to be exact much to my Mother’s despair. In Ireland that’s two years before we sit our final exams that will take us to College. I remember quite clearly that the school’s guidance counseller locked me in her office for a while to make me re-consider and then told me I would never amount to anything when I refused to give in. She told me I was throwing away my whole future. At 15 years of age that statement was like water of a ducks back, what did she know after all, she never spent time with me personally.
I left school with no job to go to and no prospects but I was determined to live happier than I ever was in school. I engaged with FAS (a state agency that helped people find work or re-train) who told me I was too young to take up any of their programmes. It was suggested that I might go to another school where usually the teenagers who were a handful went. I refused. Thankfully after a while FAS let me get on a programme, I was going to get my ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) – a stupid name for what is basically a computers course. I was sent to Yola Farm where upon registration I found out I was also expected to work in the Geneaology Department, cover Reception and do any other jobs the Farm could find but it didn’t phase me. I stuck it out for the 9 months and got my certification. I was still only 16 at this point so I was then sent on to do Accounts and Communications in the FDYS centre in Wexford. It was only 2 days a week and it super easy but even then I knew I wasn’t doing anything I loved at all. From there I went to another centre called Youth Train who actively engaged with me to discover what I wanted to do and all I wanted to was travel and work abroad. So they encouraged me to look into College Courses related to Travel and Tourism but I didn’t have the confidence to go for it at that time. It took me another couple of years before I applied for college, working dead in jobs in between. I was accepted to college for an international Travel and Tourism course and while I was there I applied to go work in Spain and got that job. So then I went and fulfilled my mission!
When I came home from Spain I was 22 and pregnant with Safia and I remember although I was excited and happy, I also felt a little defeated. I didn’t know what my life’s purpose was but whatever it was, it was never going to be fulfilled now. And I suppose that’s how things started to go downhill. I started accepting instead of pushing for my better. I settled to being a stay at home mum, I settled that my travelling days were done, I settled to marry someone I didn’t love, I settled for a very ordinary, un-fulfilling life. And in all that settling I lost sight of me, the girl who had worked hard to get to her dream, the girl with guts and gusto, the girl who put herself first.
Your probably aware of my story of anxiety and depression by now, if not I promise I’ll write about it another day for you but that was my life for a few years, Salma came along, life just kept slipping down hill. I no longer recognized myself. And then Spirituality came along, at the perfect moment and everything changed. Suddenly I found myself in a more empowered position, suddenly I felt like I had a say in my life, I left my marriage. I got a job, I got new friends, I got a purpose. I felt abundantly blessed and I knew I had to help more people.
I don’t often talk about this next part but opening the business was one of the scariest things I have ever done. It made me shake at the knees even thinking about it. I was never a very confident person but now the thoughts of having people looking at me, knowing I was into something “different”, talking about me made me feel physically sick most days but I kept pushing. I knew I felt good again and for the most part better than I had ever felt before and I had to prove to myself that I could and I was determined to prove to my girls no matter what life throws your way, you just keep getting up and doing your best everyday and you go chase them dreams. Now every time I feel comfortable, I push myself to do something else new, exciting and scary!
So I want to thank you all today, thank you for being part of this journey, thank you for your likes, shares, comments and support, thank you for encouraging me everyday to do my best, thank you for saving me from settling but above all else. Thank you for helping me to teach my girls that the world is your Oyster and there’s no piece of paper that can stop you from reaching your dreams.