I didn’t know it at the time but that day was to change my whole outlook on life. What happened planted a seed in my mind that was to grow over the next few years.
I was in my early 20s, just married and in my second job following graduation. I had a career ahead of me and any thoughts about children were way in the future. Although everything may have seemed fine on the outside, on the inside I was struggling. Battling with depression as a side effect of the contraceptive pill, I was finding it hard to get through each day. I wouldn’t say I was actively suicidal but the thought of my life ending abruptly wasn’t unappealing.
It was at this time that I had a review with my line manager.
He had noticed that I’d had a few days off sick, not a lot but a few. He’d noticed that I was struggling and didn’t seem at all surprised when I confessed that I was seeing the doctor about my depression. (I had stopped the medication but was still climbing back out of the pit.)
I was encouraged to hear him say he understood, he’d been there but his next words knocked me for six:
‘Well, we clearly don’t want to push you over the edge but we do need you to work extra hours.’
Extra hours??? I was barely making it through 9-5, 5 days a week!!! And for what? Extra hours wasn’t going to earn me any extra money or even develop my career path, it was simply to be able to bill the client more and put more money in the pockets of the shareholders. How pointless that seemed then.
I left that job shortly after but it wasn’t until years later that I discovered how to work for myself. I wish I had known then but life’s experiences have shaped who I am now so no regrets. I now have 4 children and run my own business selling Flamingo cards and stationery. I’m not making millions, which isn’t surprising as my family are my priority just now not my work. Like any business you only get out what you put in and right now I’m investing in my family but quietly building a business for when I do have a little more time to make it grow bigger.
Being with my young children is priceless and I wouldn’t change a thing. Being my own boss suits me just fine. Life is really too short.
Only I can push me over the edge and I choose not to.