I know a thing or two about needing time and a bit of breathing space. There have been times in my life where I have been the fireman, nurse, lawyer, personal assistant and a lot of other professions, all at once. I’m not complaining. Those experiences toughened me up. I had to do what I had to do for those that I love. However, it had gotten to a point where I was fed up. I felt like I was a requirement and not someone who was wanted. I was a necessary commodity not a human who could give more than just what someone asked for. I was slowly being eaten away at with all of the times that I felt like I only existed when my name was called. I didn’t dream. I couldn’t light the fire in me. The hunger to be great didn’t growl with intent. It churned with discontent and it hurt. I could feel myself losing my way. I didn’t do things for myself. I just existed. When you grow up as a child with people who expect great things from you, there’s two sides to that story. You love the belief that they have in you but you hate the pressure it puts on you, especially when unexpected situations in life crop up, and they still expect that you keep progressing at the same rate. It’s one of the reasons why my website is called attitudeandambition.com as the world… It keeps spinning despite your struggles. Sometimes, there isn’t a physical intervention available and with the internet being as accessible as it is, it’s my way of trying to help anyone who might need it. To get that space and to go through recovery, I had to make changes. I will explain them in a future post. This topic is quite heavy and as such, I don’t want to put a grand dollop of this on your plate. Sauce is never good without a proper burger. This post is the sauce. The burger and the meat of the recovery story is a post I shall put together for March so do keep an eye out for that. Right now, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the author behind the title.
Making friends is something I have struggled with since my younger days at school. I had one friend when I was four. That didn’t last long. That friend moved schools. I remember playing on the tricycles alone and walking around aimlessly. Even at that age, I was observant. I would think about what I wanted to be. I would dream. I was never the jealous type thankfully. I did question the groups that would form though. I have had that inquisitive nature since my existence. Even in baby photos I feel like I look like I was always thinking! Anyway…I was confused as to why I was never accepted into those circles.
When I was eight, I used to hand around with some younger kids because it seemed like they were the only ones who would accept me. A little later, I started to have a bit more awareness and I developed some relationships in class but then again, on the playground I’d spend my days alone. When I turned ten or eleven, I joined the school football team and then all of a sudden I had people I’d play football with at lunchtime. I wouldn’t ever say that we were buddies. It was still a positive time for me and one that I always look back on fondly. However, when I think back at it factually, they didn’t ever really pass the ball to me. I was probably better than half of the kids playing. It would wind me up a little bit. I was just happy I was a part of something. It gets to that mindset when you’re never a part of anything, it’s a great coup when you’re just allowed to play! That kind of explains my own opinion of my own self worth for most of my life. That’s why I spend so much time building myself up these days. In fact, I’m still pretty much a lone wolf. I know how to handle it and use it to my advantage. That’s the biggest development. Probably, my biggest strength.
The question I sometimes ask myself is did I try hard enough to maintain the friends that I did make? Yes. I think I did. The question that I ask in response is were any of them worth chasing? Some. The rest I don’t miss. I don’t know what else to say. It wasn’t meant to be. That’s the truth of it.
At secondary school, I was in a group of my own from beginning till the end. Well, I was there. I existed. Mainly ignored. We had people come in and leave. The usual teenage drama ensued and then tailed off. I never felt like I really had any connection with anyone though. The ‘football friends’ had all dispersed to different schools around the city. I didn’t have that anymore so I tried to fit in somewhere. I was looking for my role in that school community. I always felt isolated and judged. I accepted it. My role was to be the odd one out. When I did speak someone seemed to be offended or made me feel like I wasn’t worth listening to so I kept my input to a minimum. I would speak up in class but it didn’t do me any favours. Every time, I thought I’d made progress, I’d find out by lunchtime that I hadn’t when I was ignored. Eventually, I had my day. I accidentally found myself a friend who probably would admit that it was total luck how our friendship came about. It’s the only friend I really believe who believes in me to this day. She’s seen me through grief, tough situations and all the nonsense I’ve said to her! She’s a trooper 🏋️♀️
University – a mistake or a way to a better life?
University is perhaps one of my biggest regrets. I should have made the most of the opportunities that were out there. I wanted to. I tried to. In the end, the truth was that I couldn’t. I had limitations on the times I could afford to my studies. I had responsibilities and no one in my classes understood. They all seemed to be enjoying their PlayStation nights or the inside jokes they’d grown a list of. There were times that I would be sat in my class afraid of the time. I would literally be afraid that I was going to get home late and that people relying on me would think that I didn’t care. At the same time, I couldn’t leave early and let my lecturers think I’m disrespecting them. I would leave stressed. I’d rush to the train station. It was supposed to me a time of my life where I could figure out who I was and who I wanted to become? Instead, I was trying to (at the very least) keep a grip of the good in me that was still there. I knew midway through the first year that this was not what I wanted to do or feel like. I continued because I’m always a hopeful person. I kept believing that as long as I pushed through, there would be some reward in the end. Perhaps, I expected too much. I don’t speak to a single person from my university days. I did for a while but when my youngest sibling passed away, I remember I was talking to this person the night before it happened. After that, I found it hard to reconnect with them.
In fact, it was my final year at University that my sibling got very sick. Even before that we all knew something was wrong but the doctors didn’t diagnose it until it was too late. By that point, terminal illness were the words I heard as a diagnosis. I was sat in a hospital room on a strange day in cold December and it was the last thing I was expecting to hear. I remember there was a Scooby Doo movie tape on the tv and a dog barking somewhere. The whole day was strange. It’s the little details that affect me when I think back like the Scooby Doo movie and the dog, as I mentioned. However…..The look in my mothers eye is one that I will never forget. The realisation of what was happening and how I’d now have to muster up the strength to get my family through this was a sinking sadness like I’d never imagined existed. All of the other responsibilities, I couldn’t think about them for two or three days. I cried on my way out of the hospital. I remember walking towards the lift feeling like a feather. I had no weight. I was carrying some bags but it was like I was a gas in thin air. I cried to myself on the train home. I could feel the tears so I would intermittently wipe them while staring out of the window. It was then my duty to deliver the news to my family. My grandparents. My uncles and aunts. My brother. The hardest one was my brother. I tried not to cry and deliver him devastating news with as much positivity as I could. It was the most difficult thing to do except for the day where again, I was responsible for letting him know our sibling had passed away. I really wish one day I can give him some good news because two of the biggest difficult events of our life, I’ve been the one to tell him. That’s why I work hard and dream. To right the wrongs. Maybe, that’s the wrong phrase but I’m sure you understand what I mean.
My final year at University became a blur. In the end, I missed some modules and had to defer to go back later. The week I was supposed to go back my youngest sibling passed away. My journey at Uni is one that I look back on with a lot of regret and sadness. Some of the things I could control and some, I couldn’t. I learned from it. I got a degree out of it. I matured through it. It’s a tough one. I guess I can be honest enough to say that I struggled through it and mature enough to realise that it was a struggle that actually has shaped the good in me to what it is today.
Working (in the millennial era)
Finding a job was hard because the only real experience I had was working for the local football stadium in conferences and events. I’d served tea and croissants at conferences. Hot dogs at events. Obviously, I attained a lot from working in a fast paced environment and blending into a team. It wasn’t something that stood out though. Trying to explain to people why I hadn’t gathered any more experience in the gap between my degree and that specific point seemed like such a long story. It was too hard. It’s not always easy to sum the reasons of why you did or didn’t do something up in thirty seconds. Most people don’t want to know. A lot of people don’t have the time to listen. Eventually, I was given a job over the phone. I literally applied online. I gave a telephone interview. I started the next day. It was temporary but it was a start. I was gassed! So happy.
From that point on, I’ve worked on a lot of temporary or contracted positions. I’ve either chosen to leave at the end of the roles when I felt the time was right or at times, I’ve been forced to with certain goings on outside of work. I wanted to focus on myself and give myself a break for the longest time. I guess that’s where I have been at recently. Either trying to forge out a new career path or something. I did have plans. I probably look like an idiot. I don’t care. I have blessings that other people don’t have in the same way I have struggles that other people don’t understand.
Achieving & Dreaming
What can I say?! Even though, this whole post sounds very depressing. I can promise you that I have not had that attitude in my life. Sure, I sulk and get upset from time to time. I didn’t let the tough times drown me and I don’t plan to. I tell jokes. I laugh at myself. I try to enjoy the great that is in my life.
The most difficult thing….
It has been difficult accepting that I have to accept myself before expecting anyone else to accept me. In one of my recent roles, I did have that in abundance and I am super grateful for that experience. I had to leave that role for personal ambitions. It hasn’t quite worked out how I wanted but I’m still here! I’m defiant. I’m determined. I’m looking to do what I haven’t done. That’s a good place to be. Better places are where I’m going.
The biggest lessons had to break me down to build me up. The looks of disapproval. The disappointments. The rise and fall in my own faith of my decisions. It’s been a blessing in disguise! Could I have learned and been able to put smiles on peoples faces without these experiences?! No. No, I could not.
I’ve seen people go through a lot worse and come out the other side like champions. On the flip side, I’ve seen people go through similar or seemingly lesser levels of difficulty and suffer very badly. I have to be grateful. That innate belief that I’ve always had where I believe I can do great things has been quietly confident. Always. Sometimes too quiet! The main point is it has been there (on some level) through those lonely lunchtimes at schools, through the clock watching at University and at every other point of reference! It keeps me pushing. Keeps me believing. Keeps me dreaming.
People reading this will have been through bigger and more testing struggles. The key is not to compare. The master key is to learn from each other.
Motivation isn’t just about money. It’s about you.
The motivation that I promote isn’t for the sake of money. I want you to be the best you. Money will come and go. You only get one life!
I received a comment on a previous blog post earlier that cheered up my day so much! Shout out to enchirist for that 😁 It reminds me that the journey I’m on will be with hiccups, heartache and happiness. It’s a rollercoaster. It’s embarking on an abundance of new and old cliches. I can’t sit here and cry about the past. I know it seems like that, this post, it seems like that. To be honest, I am taking the moment to reflect. It’s all about using the events of the past to move forward. To gain or regain a positive attitude. To go get that win and happiness from achieving your ambitions!
I believe in you. Do you?! I decided to believe in myself a bit more. You should too.