The Olympics have left me with a mixture of emotions, so proud of what our British athletes were able to achieve, happy that we didn't end up with egg on our faces, and determination that I will get to the gym more than two times in the week. Yet it's also left me feeling a little deflated, the euphoria of seeing someone else win and achieve their dreams is soon followed by that melancholy thought that I might not ever achieve my own.
I am in awe of Jessica Ennis, Nicola Adams, Laura Trotter and co. When you looked into the eyes of all those athletes, you could feel their passion and drive and for an instant you are there with them and the adrenaline is pumping away through your body. When Mo Farrah was running that last 200m for the 5000m Gold, I was literally running on the spot faster and faster to keep up with him.
At the same time, I feel this twinge of envy. It's not really that they achieved their ultimate goal, it's more because they knew what it was. Me on the other hand, see nothing but a blank wall.
If I have to be brutally honest, my goal in life was never to be a mother, I never dreamt of white weddings, pretty houses or babies. My thoughts as a child were (seriously) about standing out from the crowd, becoming a person of interest. I was in all essence, going to be a big success. And so my quest began...
The amazing thing about childhood is the amount of paths that you are allowed to follow, unfortunately as you get older it becomes more like a maze and if you're like me you just keep reaching the dead ends. I swear I have internal markings all over my body from the amount of times I've bumped into that wall!!
I think I lost focus, I wanted to do and be everything, so much so I never actually stuck at anything..what is it that they say - 'the grass is always greener'. I guess maybe I never felt passionate enough about one thing. There was also always this unnerving feeling that I just wasn't quite good enough and that very soon people would also see that - so jump before getting pushed. Of course this is all in my head and if I look back at everything I've done, for the most part, I gave it 100 % and I had many 'YES' moments and sense of self smugness. But none of those were enough to make me feel like I'd found my place or my mark.
Here are a few things that I've done in my life
Waitress at Pizza Express - for the first year of this job I worked double shifts pretty much every day and hustled relentlessly for tips. Worked my way up to assistant manager but walked away from job to go and live in Leeds. Afterthought - should've just transferred and worked my way up to manager as I genuinely loved that job and now food is such a HUGE interest to me
Fitness instructor - spent 10 years on and off doing this, got really good at teaching classes and thrived on making people feel good about themselves. Afterthought - why didn't I do more courses and qualified as a personal trainer when given the opportunity
Public Relations - five years in this game. I achieved national coverage for many clients and helped raise the profile of others. That was good, but I felt like an imposter and that I was lucky rather than good at what I did. Most of the time I felt like I was in a very dark tunnel clutching at glimpses of light. Afterthought - I just needed a good mentor, everything I did I learnt by myself, there were glimpses of passion and a tiny flame that burned in my stomach. Maybe I just needed to be shown the ropes a bit more and guided along the treacherous road that I found to be PR and I 'coulda been a contenda'
Alas, none of the above managed to be 'the one'.
Like I alluded to earlier, some young girls dream of meeting 'the one', the perfect man. For me I was always dreaming of the perfect job and whilst some 30+ plus high flyer out there is crying into their chardonnay about their disastrous or hopeless quest of finding the right guy and ticking internal clock, I'm here at 30+ years old putting my perfect mans dishes in the dishwasher and wiping baby food off the floor!
For those of you who get the impression I didn't want children, that's not how it is at all, I love them with all my heart and they are my passion, but for me it was not an ultimate goal. It sounds wrong to say that I know, but my order in life was to make my mark and then make a mark for my children. It just didn't happen that way and I feel like I failed, like I missed out on a medal because I just didn't focus or try hard enough.
However, for me to be saying all this suggests that there is fire in my belly, I can feel it burning through my fingers as I type, I think I just need to maybe retrace my steps through my maze and finally find the way out. It's just going to take a lot of work, strength and self motivation to do it, but if learnt anything from the Olympics is that if you try hard enough you can make things happen.