We all go through ups and downs in life – happy times and sometimes struggles. The rich tapestry of life… reminding us we’re alive and hopefully living a life worth living.
Sometimes it feels like we’re on top of the world and nothing can stop us, and sometimes life has a habit of smacking you down, and down, and hopefully we’re strong and resilient enough to climb back up to the top of the world again.
I’ve written about this before a bit…
… about how things are good now, and I’m looking forward, but also knowing that there’s been some tough times in the past. Tough times that have knocked me down, but I’ve got back up again.
And about how I’m trying to look forward now, not back.
Here’s a wee idea of what the last 7-8 years has been for me… (with life, friends, family and holidays, ticking along on top of these things)…
– 7 years ago my aunt passed away – and I stepped up to do one of the most important things I’ve ever done in life, and see her off well.
I did it for her, for my family and for my granny. Storms and demons from my past came to stop me, but I stood up and delivered.
– 7 years ago, I gave up part time swimming teaching, it was time for me to move on after 13 years of teaching hundreds (thousands?) kids to swim.
(I let go of something I really loved doing because I didn’t agree with the practices and values of the place I worked – and it freed up my Sunday nights)
– 6 years ago my Mum passed away – my life as I knew it was sent into turmoil – the emotions, the history – fighting against my need to do right for my family / Granny.
I stepped up as joint executor, and then followed 2 years of being in a storm / under a big dark cloud. I got through it and became even stronger and proud as a result.
– 5 years ago my full time career went a bit funny and started to go down the pan due to failures and changes – basically lack of communication and bad management practices. At the time it felt like there wasn’t much I could do about it, but quietly watch, listen and hope for the best.
– 4 years ago, my full time career started to really take a dive bomb, and I tried to re correct it’s course, applying for many internal roles to try to reroute my career into a role where I could thrive again … but it didn’t work.
I was still dealing with the after effect of my Mum passing, and now my rock of my work that I loved, was turning to quick sand. It was soul destroying and seemingly never ending.
– then 3 years ago I got a great opportunity to work in a brilliantly led team of lovely people, was trusted, learned a lot, met some great people, and really thrived, for 18 months.
It truly was ace. I met lots of great people and developed my skills and experience to take forward with me.
– 2 years ago, I went back to the role where my career was dive bombing, and I tried to speak up about the failings (which took about 21 months (!!) and didn’t work). It was hell on Earth when all I was trying to do was speak up for what I felt was right.
– 1 year ago, I found out that the process for speaking up didn’t work, and I slowly learned to realise that I was better off out of there (and there were no roles which would help me to thrive the way I know I can). But I stuck at it, I was persistent or tenacious and I ended up getting what I was after.
Lucky for me, eventually my role was closed, so I got what I originally asked for (almost 2 years prior) which was to be put at risk and eventually made redundant. It will likely be one of the best things to have happened to me. To be set free, to reshape my work and life so I can thrive and grow again.
(A couple of managers said no in 2019, and were likely just defending themselves and the failures I was trying to highlight. But it’s all in the past now, and I’ve moved on with what I was due).
So now – what’s happening?
Well after all of that… a bumpy ride, and feeling like I was standing on quick sand, for about 8 or so years… all of a sudden, I’m finally back, with my feet firmly on the ground. And boy does it feel good.
So once I realised that I really needed to let go of my old work, as it was doing nothing for me, but draining every piece of me and ultimately making me ill and unhappy… I knew there was better out there, but I’d hung on for what I knew I was due.
I looked in January to March this year, I looked elsewhere and managed to secure my new HR role in Social Security Scotland.
I’ve joined what has now become an award winning team – a really supportive, open and friendly and inclusive team.
New people who trust and rely on me, new people who listen and support and encourage me. It all almost feels too good to be true – but it’s all happening and it’s all very real.
A new role and team who value me and my skills, my experience and me as a person. So they’ll now get the benefit, and I’ll get the reward.
My identity is coming back… no longer lost into the abyss because change was handled badly in my last place… my identity is now coming back, as a trusted and inspiring helper (as a recent insight test reminded me).
My need to interact with, and make a difference with and for people is being more than met in my new role. Everything is great and perfect with it.
And then all of a sudden, once that part becomes solid, in august I started swimming coaching again. First coaching adults for Glasgow Triathlon Club very early on a Monday morning, and second helping to coach kids for the club on a Thursday night. 2-3 hours a week, a manageable amount. (And the bonus is that it pays well to keep me in new trainers and goggles).
I came home after swimming coaching on Thursday night with a big beaming smile on my face. Meeting and coaching new people, learning from a very experienced coach, and remembering how good it is to help people to progress with and learn swimming.
Add onto that my choice in May to finally get back into swimming, and do my first ever try of open water swimming, and more open water swimming each month, I’m back to being a swimmer and getting a great sense of achievement and level of fitness from it. Swimming 2,500m – 3,000m (100-120 lengths), 3 times a week, mixed with other exercise. I’m feeling great on it.
And even my sleep, weight and everything is feeling so much better, and overall a lot more balanced, well and happy. I’ve also sensibly invested my redundancy and inheritance wisely… and who knows, it could lead to me be becoming part time some time, perhaps in the long run, I’ll mix my main role with more coaching or fun on the side. We will see.
My Dad always brought me up to be financially (and otherwise) independent, and it’s good to be able to tell and show him how far I’ve come, and what I’ve managed to achieve, both in terms of hurdles and rewards.
Anyway, all of a sudden, after about 8 years of quick sand, and struggles, I’m back on dry land looking out to the horizon, realising just how good I’ve got it.
I’ve faced, dealt with and got through the worst of times. And all the way through I’ve been rewarded with glimmers of hope and what could be described as big windfalls, or maybe my reward for being tenacious, working hard, and getting through it all.
I can’t remember how it exactly started, back when I started out coaching and when I made my cape story up…. but people in some of the big teams I worked in used to call me ‘Super Lorn’, and the name kinda stuck.
But if I’m honest with myself I’ve not been feeling very Super Lorn at all, and for a long time. Yet finally, about 6 months after knowing I needed to move on, and taking the plunge to move to a new career, using my skills, strength and experience to thrive, I’m finally there. And it feels like Super Lorn is most definitely back.
It’s great to be back.