The following post reflects on how I got to where I am now… and why this is so important to me.
If there’s one thing that has come out of the lockdown, it’s that we have all been offered the time to reflect on our position. Personally, the lockdown has provided me with plenty of opportunities to come to a conclusion with my own story.
The most significant part of telling my story is figuring out where to start. I mean, is my childhood relevant? The fact that I once had a rabbit called Flopsy? Maybe, but it’s not at the heart of my story, so where does my story really begin.
Growing up in the post-mining communities of South Wales, job opportunities were often thin on the ground. A fish doesn’t see the water it swims in. It wasn’t until I left the valleys that I realised how badly the area had been hit by the destruction of the mining industry in the 1980s.
After I left school, I didn’t get very far, I worked a Saturday job in retail and passed a few admin based courses in college. In an attempt to earn more than £35 a week, I found a temporary job in a cake factory, followed by Customer & Technical Support for a major internet company.
When my son was born in 2005, I made the decision to not return to work after my maternity leave. This decision was more out of necessity than choice, the only jobs I could get were too far away to be practical. I did, however, train as a teaching assistant, although never managed to find a suitable position.
As my family grew, my job prospects disappeared into the abyss. With little practical training and experience being a distant memory, I knew I wouldn’t be first in line.
After my fifth and final child arrived in 2017, I started thinking about not just a job but a career too. The day I realised I could utilise my 8 years experience as a blogger, was the day the lights came back on for me.
May 2018 saw my first tentative step to becoming a VA and becoming financially independent. The Happy VA provided me with much success. I never wanted millions (and still don’t), I just wanted enough.
Where I am now, I’m happy. It doesn’t mean I want to stay here, but while my children still rely on me in no small degree, I have enough.