Sunday, 7 September 2014

i'm just a girl

It's all just moving a little too quickly isn't it?  There's nothing like a screensaver dissolving through your photo history to remind you of days gone by. 

There I was sitting in a bog-standard Essex secondary comp, twiddling with my school tie day-dreaming about my life as England football captain with some novel writing on the side, and  a bit of Olympic running during the summer months. All set to  soundtrack featuring Duran Duran. That was me set. For life. 

What I didn't see coming was the flash forward of exams, interviews, romances, arguments, shopping trips, gigs, achievements, failures, jobs, friends coming and going, abodes, cities, holidays, mistakes, parties, cringes, bosses, weddings, babies. And then I found myself here and when I look around yeah, I did good. Things aren't perfect but are they ever? Health and happiness and an abundance of the greatest of people in our lives.  What I didn't know was that a little black London girl, growing up in very white suburbia, could lose the shackles of insecurity to survive in the capital city to become a wife, mother to three, teacher, and I hope a special friend.  What I didn't believe was that despite not achieving the schoolgirl dreams of yesteryear, new hopes come alive and can keep a post-forty  striving for more. 

Although those Essex days taught me a lot about how to survive and the power of friends, it also took its toll on my confidence and self-worth. I loved school, from the sweaty changing rooms before much loved PE lessons, to the bustle of shoving corridors as I was swept along to inspirational English lessons. I am sometimes reminded of my own strength as I tuck away memories of being mercilessly thrown racist taunts by older girls and remember school for the laughs with mates and wonderful teachers.