Explore & you will find.
Most of my adult life I have lived in London the town of my birth but a significant portion of my childhood from 7 through teenage years and kidulthood I spent in Ireland. Living in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields, the centre of my everywhere as a child, nine miles from the nearest one horse town surrounded by nature. As a teenager the fields and community began to confine me and constrained my dreams and thirst for adventure. College allowed me to see the possibilities, to broaden my tastes, expand my horizon and reach for opportunities. I discovered my individuality and realised that if I gave myself the freedom to explore I could find my way.
We are the sum of our parts, be proud of your make-up, I know I am.
Being a mix of UK and Irish heritage, I have often felt in the middle. I describe myself as having an Irish heart and an English head even though it’s not really as simple as that. I am an amalgamation of my heritage, upbringing, politics, values, education, religion, history. Informed and changed in ways by the books I’ve read, places I’ve been, things I have seen, people I’ve met, my life choices, successes, failures, working life, relationships, mentors, teachers, connections and experiences. I continue to evolve and change, seeking out knowledge and new experiences without constraint but I never ignore where I came from and what’s at my core.
Be the best mix you can be, don’t put yourself or anyone else in a box.
Some people find where they belong, others search their entire life. There is nothing wrong with that. I have been a country bumpkin, a backpacker, a city slicker. I now find myself on a quest for a better path “kicking the hell out of that bucket list ahead of time”.
Often an outsider never really an insider. Full of contradictions, never playing by the rules, always testing the waters, playing to my limits, driven inexplicably to achieve. I am by nature inquisitive, always asking questions, mostly with a smile on my face and with a constant thirst for knowledge, answers and experiences.
Mix your worlds and don’t believe in boundaries.
I worked in the more formal city banking environment during the week, with a market stall selling art and photography at the weekends. Chairing meetings and briefings and problem solving by day whilst singing in a jazz trio & rock band at night. Constantly taking reportage and portraits with the camera from my bag. Who said we are here for just one thing or path?
Find your part and play it
My decisions on work, and relationships are based on a combination of common values, feeling a connection, the detail, the benefit, the impact and if it feels fair and right.
I loathe negativity and believe in equality, I possess a strong social conscience, wanting the best for the many with the associated higher taxes to be paid.
Possessing a strong work ethic and a desire to excel and create often means I strive in life for success, often against myself , I am my own worst critic and this can sometimes hold me back. It has also impacted my relationships in the past, something that I try to keep a handle on these days.
Winston Churchill is attributed as saying Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential. I believe that everyone has a part to play in society and that part may and will change over time, but it is key we all participate to “find out who we are and what we just might leave behind”.
Originally published at medium.com