So, I just got a notification to say that 3 years ago today I published my first blog.
My first blog (Which you can read here) was me absolutely gassing myself up because I received the paperwork that made Out of the Shadows my own company. It was a mad feeling.
I’m sitting here now reading that blog for the first time in 3 years and its like reading a long-forgotten diary entry.
I was a different person then. Not complete different…but in a different mindset for sure.
One of the first things I say in the blog is that “I have never been given a single thing on a plate. Everything I have, I have had to fight for”.
I can honestly say that I smiled as I read that. Today I have been working all day. Training. My day job. I have had an important meeting and had to empty every single thing out of storage room in my garden. I ache. I am exhausted. But I am happy. Happy and free. But yes, I still must fight for everything I have.
I go on to say that this is the start of my new journey. Bwoy…. That is an understatement. I’m not sure that if I knew that day, what I do now, in terms of what that journey would look like…if I would still go ahead. Because it has been a mad 3 years. Many ups and many downs. Mostly ups. I have lost friends, made new friends. I have achieved things I never thought I could. But it has been hard work. So much hard work.
I remember when I started the blog that I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do with it. I knew I had things to say, but I wasn’t sure who would listen. Who would care? I had no intention of writing anything about my past.
I do not know where that came from to be honest.
But I did. And I am glad I did. I have used my blogs to be angry and mad. To tell people things that have made me happy and my achievements.
I have written some blogs whilst crying.
I have written blogs in such rage that I was not sure if the words would even make sense.
I have had to go back and correct my spelling. A lot.
The blogs have become part of who I am. Its almost like therapy at times and I encourage everyone to blog. You will feel so much better.
When I started the blog, I had decided that I was going to try and make change. I had decided that I would create myself a platform where people had no choice but to at least read what I said……even if they did not agree.
I wanted the blogs to tell people what needed to change. What needed to happen next.
When I started this blog, I had not even started my MA. Now that’s scary.
Now I find myself going through my blogs, like pages of a diary, and it makes me smile.
Do you know my very next blog was titled “Calling out Theresa May” where I kick off about knife crime. I think that was a sign of things to come to be honest. Like…what kind of person who has never blogged before, thinks they can just steam in and call out Theresa May. I do make myself smile sometimes.
My third blog, which is days later, talks about a mad Saturday I am having. My life as a single parent. I feel emotional as I read it. In the blog, one of my sons is still living at home at this point and one away at uni. Now…3 years later…both live away, both working, one of them currently completing a MA. I miss them being here. My daughter in the blog is 9. She is now 12. You have no idea how much I would pay to go back and spend 5 minutes with her at 9. I didn’t know it would go so quick.
And it says how much harder it allis because I don’t drive. I still do not drive!!! (But watch this space)
Oh, now I am crying like an idiot. I go on to say how I try to sleep but my cat, Pumpkin, Makes my life hell. Eating my eyelashes as I pretend to sleep (With pretend snores and everything). That cat…was not just a cat. Swear down. This cat was like another child. And when he died, I took it so bad that people thought something had happened to one of my kids! I’m not dramatic like that. I can except a pet is a pet and that.
But Pumpkin…next level. In another life we were siblings or something.
And forward 3 years…no pumpkin.
I talk about having talks all day with my daughter about stranger sanger and online safety and such, because she wants to play out with the other kids.
She still is not allowed. However, I do let her walk to the shop every now and then. That’s progress…. right….
Ohhh…and then in the middle of the day Pumpkin eats a butterfly in front of my daughter. Like…he held eye contact with her whilst he done it. I was there. It was savage. And my daughter spent ages crying and asking if butterflies cry……now she slams the door, rolls her eyes, and turns her nose up in disgust at my mere existence.
In the blog I say my son is off to see his girlfriend for the weekend.
They are engaged now. Both my sons are. Ones getting married next summer, Like…. what the hell!!!
It goes on and on. Just drivel about my day. And I have loved reading ever second of it. I miss that life more than anyone will ever know. I am grateful that I have snapshot of it.
Blog after blog I have written that others have written for me when I started having guest blogs. And do not even get me started on Blondy’s people.
Probably the real reason all this started…. if I am honest.
I didn’t know it at the time but “out of the shadows”, a name suggested by my best friend, could not have been more on point.
Because it was like Blondy was in the shadows. Hidden. Not wanted. Not wanted by me.
And slowly…blog by blog…. she started to emerge. She started to have her voice. She started to tell people her story.
And I am enormously proud of that. She is now part of me again.
Blondys people (Which you can see here) is one of the most powerful things I have ever done. I had no idea what I was really doing (As always) when it started but it turned out to be the most freeing experience of my life. And that would never have taken place if I had not started this blog.
The last blog I put up (the one before this) Is me talking about the failings of a young person. It talks about the fact that he is a victim but somehow that got forgotten and now he is only viewed as a perpetrator. I have received a lot of emails and messages about it. People outraged that this is still even going on.
Which I think is a good representation of where I am as a person.
I am calmer. I think clearer. I am more educated both academically and practically. I am not afraid to say what need to be said. Where before I would hesitate on a blog…wonder if I would get in trouble…. now I don’t care. Because I am noy toing to be “that” person.
I will never be the kind of person who does not do the right thing when it comes to the safeguarding of a child. No matter the consequences.
I know I have a voice now. And I know how to use it. Sometimes I us that voice to make a statement. Sometimes I use that voice to tell another part of Blondy’s story, when she needs it.
So, thank you to every single person that has read one of my blogs. It honestly means a lot and it also means that I no longer have to wonder…Can you hear me now?
Because I have taken that into my own hands.