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It has been a hot minute since I have last written. Sometimes we struggle to find the words to write, what direction to make the post. What will capture the audience, be a post that people can relate to ad find comfort in. I could spend hours, even days trying to work out what to write. I have realised through running this blog for almost 5 years now that it isn't about researching the top topics to talk about, or following the trends it is about sitting down and going unscripted.  What feels write to write.  So today I think it is best to talk about our work lives. The directions we choose to take. Are we strong enough to take the road WE want to, or follow the crowd, maybe the one that has been paved out for us with beautiful flowers and luxury stones. There is no way to get around it. It isn't easy paving your own path. It takes long hours, hard work, hard lessons to learn, mistakes and often a lot of upset. At the beginning we may not be able to see the end dream, we have the vision but we are still full of doubts. Am I being silly? Am I aiming too high? Do I have a screw loose?  Self-doubt kills dreams.

I have harboured years of self-doubt over the last few years alone. I can't tell you what are the main things that help me silence them. Often, I don't even achieve the goal of silencing them. I just know what I want and like a bull in a China shop - go for it. It is a swimmer's mentality. Goggles on, step on the block, dive into the unknown. It is YOU and the clock. I didn't shy away from the block because I didn't know the temperature of the water. I took on the challenge anyway. Having faith that in my own way I would deal with the tests as they were thrown at me. It is only the same right now, opportunities come I don't know what the weather is going to be like, what tests I will face? Will I be looked after? Is it a risk? Without taking action we will never know & with action we live and we learn. That is the only way to keep growing as a person. When I am nervous about anything now, self-doubt is creeping in, I think about the fact that I suffer with a chronic illness. It is unpredictable, I don't know what each day will present, how I will cope. All I know is that I have no choice but to deal with whatever is thrown at me. I will always in my own way deal with the tests. Often I get it wrong, but I am human. I make mistakes. I screw up BUT I learn and knowledge is power. Living in a dark room, caged in, playing safe is no good for anyone.  Chronic illness HAS changed me as a person, nobody can't not be affected personally when it comes to chronic illness. Our bodies change, our mental state is tested, we are faced with the hardest lessons and our worlds are turned upside down.  Although for so long I clung to the person people knew me as, the swimmer, always having fits of giggles, bubbly but shy. I isolated myself from the world. Using my house as escape because I couldn't explain & was embarrassed about my life seemingly falling apart. We are all allowed a cry, a little pity party but it can't go on. Our lives are HARD. It is the toughest job any of us will EVER take on. We only get one shot, there isn't a replay, rewind button or a change to re-write your story. The time IS NOW & more importantly it is PRECIOUS It would be easy for me to do something I am not passionate about, hide away and not face the public because I don't want to hear their judgements.  Don't think I haven't been in the place you are in now. I HAVE!  I have cried behind doors, wiped my tears then had to face a room full of people wonder, 'What the hell happened to her?' Walking through a room of whisperers. Trying to stand tall, act normal, act untouched.  I have faced many arguments, many guilt trips and cried so often over the choices I have made career wise. To stubborn to accept anything less than what diving into that pool made me feel. To not just work a job and survive but MAKE A DIFFERENCE, leave a legacy, touch people. Explore my passions, push myself to learn, push myself outside of my comfort zone. In ALL areas of my life. Each day I think it is important to face a fear. To keep working on ourselves. Nobody is there to hand you a manual, you have to work it out for yourself.  It is hard with so many influences all around us. Living in a judgemental society that rarely wishes to explore beyond surface level. Whereas I prefer to dive deep, dive into water where you can't see the bottom. Exploring is the journey. It is the character builder, the best teacher, the memories.  So, yes I am not the same girl I was when I retired from sport, I am certainly not the same girl as I was at 18 when I first begun becoming very poorly. I have had to learn some serious lessons and rebuild my inner soul. Am I where I want to be at? NO. Is anyone? And if someone says they are then they are losing out because there is always more to learn, ways to grow and blossom. Time doesn't stop because you told it too, trends don't stay the same because you said you liked them, the market doesn't keep growing because you are growing. We have to be savvy & move with the times but also always be open to learning.  Knowledge is power & you are already winning if you know this So, this Monday I want you to sit back and think about where YOU are heading, are you on the journey of your dreams, are you paving your own way, putting the building blocks in place everyday? If a piece of the puzzle isn't fitting, change it. IT IS YOUR LIFE - YOUR TIME Sophie xoxo Shine brightly in the way that feeds YOUR soul. 


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