Lately I’ve been wondering whether to go back to full-time employment and although this is something I’ve always sworn I would never do again, the thought of staff meetings in swanky office rooms and talking to actual people throughout my 9-5 day, has become too much and I think I’m ready to dive back in.
I asked myself a question the other day: would my 10-year-old self be proud of where I am today or would she run to her Mum whilst sobbing about how much she doesn’t want to ever grow up and live that life? Okay, so the latter is slightly dramatic but you get the picture.
When I was 10, I was day dreaming about becoming a journalist and flying off to Hollywood to interview the likes of Brad Pitt and Jonny Depp. I used to sit in my room with a notepad and pen and pretend I was asking questions to some of the worlds most famous celebs.
As I got older, and the Internet became more and more popular, I would find forums where fans would write fictional stories about their favourite band members and these stories would consume me for hours– my brain lost in the words of some love struck teenager.
By the time I started writing my own short stories, I was head over heels in love with horse riding so naturally, most my stories were filled with adventures of me and my very own horse. My imagination as a child seemed more free than it is now, and I was able to let the words flow out of me and onto paper much easier than I am able to now that I’m an adult. I often wonder what kind of writer I would be today had I continued to feed and nurture my imagination into my teens and young adult life. Instead, as many of us do, I got swept up in friendships, boys and following the crowd.
This is one of my biggest regrets in life– following my friends instead of listening to what made my heart sing with joy. Did Geography make my heart leap? No, but all my friends chose this subject so I chose it too, even though I had/have a much bigger interest in History. The stupid thing about this is, I was put into a completely different class to them so I sat by myself struggling with work which was as interesting to me as watching paint dry. I hated that class so much. Maybe I would have been sat by myself in History but at least I’d be learning about something of interest.
Hindsight is a lovely thing.
My obsession with moving to Hollywood was stronger than ever, but for some reason unbeknown to me, my love of writing was nowhere to be seen and instead, at the mere age of 16, I decided to become a makeup artist. Yes, you read that correctly– an actual makeup artist to the stars.
I studied this subject for 3 years– 2 of those at college and 1 of them at Manchester University, which I only applied for because yet again, a friend of mine was going there and I didn’t want to get left behind. My love of photography was surfacing at this point and if I’d wanted to, I had the choice of changing subjects right there and then, but I didn’t because that would have meant stepping out from the crowd and making my own way in life, which let’s face it, at 18, is a scary thing to do. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the end of the Uni course, leaving after just 1 year, returning home with my tail between my legs and a minor student loan to repay. Speaking of which, I haven’t heard from them in a while. Mum, if you’re reading this, please can you let me know if any important looking post arrives for me? Thanks.
Funny thing is, one of my friends who happened to see the course through, is now living in LA with her film producer husband. They have a gorgeous home in Hollywood with a swimming pool and she is now make-up artist to Matt Le Blanc– you know, Joey from friends? Yeah him.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.
Fast forward 10 years or so, and here I am– small business owner and wedding photographer. Sounds a bit shit in comparison doesn’t it? And here’s the thing: would my 10-year-old self be proud? I guess if she were told the majority of her income would come from cleaning, then no, I very much doubt my 10-year-old self would even believe this, let alone be proud of it. I mean, has anyone ever gone to bed dreaming of the day they will buy their first marigolds and land their first house to clean? I think not.
But what if you told them their job would be so much more than cleaning up other people’s mess? What if you told them they would start a small business all by themselves with absolutely no funding or help from anyone? What if they knew their role would involve helping people who are unable to do things for themselves, or brighten up an elderly persons day just by being there to talk to?
Over the years, my cleaning job has become so much more than just cleaning. I’ve walked dogs, helped toddlers clean their teeth so tired parents can have 5 minutes rest, I’ve cared for the elderly and disabled– dressing wounds, giving manicure’s, helping them go to the toilet, clothing them, doing their laundry, shopping, cooking, gardening– you name it– I’ve more than likely done it. And at times I moaned about it, the fact I ended up doing the job of a carer used to bother me beyond belief.
So why did I do it?
I did it because I am not one of those people who can walk away from those in need. I could not refuse an elderly disabled woman who needed to go to the toilet because her carer wasn’t arriving for another hour or so, I couldn’t watch as her frail husband struggled to cook yet another meal for them because she could no longer do it. I decided he deserved a break– albeit only 2 out of 7 mornings a week– but he deserved it and it felt good to be able to make his day that little bit easier.
And that’s what my business is about– helping others and making a difference in their lives, whether that’s going above and beyond my job role as a cleaner, or whether it’s simply doing exactly what I’m paid to do– clean. Either way, I know I have touched the hearts of so many people over the past 6 years and if that isn’t something to be proud of, then I don’t know what is.
Would your 10-year-old self be proud of where you are today? I want to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below!