Free to Be Me 27 Feb 2023

Free to be me 2023 Feb 27th 1248pm1217

Any doubts that I am a writer are quickly demolished as soon as I sit down to write.  I have done so much in my life, varied careers since I started in the Civil Service at the tender age of seventeen – after I had completed two months of a secretarial course – enough to get establish a proficiency in typing – one which I have improved hugely over the years – I have done a lot more than the 10,000 some experts say is needed.  The shorthand I have not used since 1985.  Though like most writers I have established my own brand of shorthand over the years – not always legible, but all good.

I went down the usual route, starting with a permanent and pensionable job in the Civil Service, Bolton Street college for a diploma and commencing a degree in 1992 in DCU.  I didn’t complete my degree, not because I don’t like learning, but because I left the Civil Service, resigning from my post as Senior Computer Programmer in 1996 to begin life as a hackney taxi driver.  Slight variation in career choice.  But at the time I felt I needed to escape – the idea of sitting at a desk all day didn’t appeal to me at all.  Slightly ironic given that some days I sit at my desk from sunup to sundown and beyond.  I feel at peace when I write.

Driving a cab gave me freedom, each day different and I met so many amazing people.  Someone once said I should write a book about it – I kept a lot of notes from the time.  And maybe I will.

I started to study again when drove a taxi for a few years, until my baby bump became more precious to me.  Then started to study again.  I started with Child Development – naturally – I was just about to become a mum, and Sports Psychology because I have always been interested in the mind.  I dabbled in some painting too.  I have amassed 70+ diplomas, certificates and qualifications over the years, from Child Development to Criminology and many ‘ologys’ in between.  I am a lifelong learner, and it all adds to my experience.  A few people question why I study so much ‘What are you doing with those qualifications?’  I know now that I am living!  Equipped with a variety of knowledge.  Handy when you are a writer!

I have on worked on assembly lines – televisions, retail – sports shop, secretarial – estate agent.  I have been a bus driver and a bus escort, though not at the same time.  While these were all interesting jobs, especially the estate agents, I needed something more in line with being a single mum.  Becoming a special needs assistant seemed an obvious choice.  I had been coaching on and off since I was eighteen and I loved working with children, and having more or less the same holidays as my son was perfect.  I loved working as a special needs assistant and once thought I would be an SNA until I retired.

I write every day.  And I love it.  I will always be a writer.  Through procrastination, imposter syndrome, setbacks and roadblocks, I have found my happy place.  When the words in my head are being produced on the page, I feel at home.  The place where I am Free To Be Me.

When do you feel ‘Free to Be’?

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