In my recent post “Risk it for a biscuit”, I tried to convey how sometimes, taking a chance on ourselves (no matter how small) really can shape our lives for the better. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and all that. This post, however, will focus on another element that has been key to helping me on my higgledy-piggledy way… the support of family and friends. Their endless support means that I often take them for granted when instead, I should be acknowledging how fantastic they really are as well as how key they have been in helping me shape my identity.
Many things my parents have told me over the years have definitely turned out to be true (shocker!). None more so than one thing my Dad told me when I was 16. I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but we were having some argument about me never spending any time at home any more. My Dad told me that friends can be fair-weather but that my parents will always be there when I need them. It turns out, not only is this 100% true, they are also there when I don’t need them too, which is awesome.
Throughout my life, my parents have always been my idols. I may have a funny way of showing it at times, but in reality, I couldn’t think of anything better than ending up just like them. They are healthy, active, I swear they look younger now than they did ten years ago! It must be all the cycling they do! They are still 30 at heart, and always up for an adventure. We haven’t always seen eye to eye, especially through those troublesome teenage years, but somehow, they always seem to have the answers. As a team they are unstoppable… also a bit weird. (see picture!)
As I start to relax and just be myself, I can really see everything that they have taught me and encouraged me to do. For a start, my creative side, my overall personality and knack for thriftiness definitely comes from my mum where as my dad has been my main influence with staying at the forefront of new technology, travel and motorbikes! Everybody has parents, some good, some bad but I will tell anybody that wants to know… mine are definitely the best! I only hope that I will be as good a parent to my children as they have been and are to me. Hopefully one day we will get to live in the same country again and have some more good times together if we’re not all too busy jetting off around the world. They are off backpacking to New Zealand for Christmas… doesn’t everybody do that in their late 40’s?
As an added bonus, I have also been looked after and supported by many family friends. Perhaps the most influential has been Pauline. One day in 2007, Pauline casually invited me to move in with her and do some work experience at her company for six months. Three years, lots of learning curves and a whole lot of events and conferences later, I finally moved out. Not only did Pauline become like my second mum, she also showed me how to be a great events manager. She even taught me how not to make home-made ketchup with a colourful demonstration that has left a lasting impression on me, not to mention the kitchen ceiling!
The lesson here is: we all have somebody that supports us even if we can’t see it sometimes… Let’s not take them for granted because we couldn’t do it without them!