‘Amanda the Damsel’ is on a journey – a treacherous and exciting journey in equal measure …
It is a journey that I was not expecting to have to make – a deviation from the path that I was securely treading – that forced me to reassess my whole life and the reasons for carrying on.
My life’s journey was interrupted some 5 years ago, when my husband ( who I had known & loved for 20 years) decided that he no longer wanted to be with me. This was a short time after we had both lost our mums (within 3 weeks of each other) and so I was devastated and without the support of the 2 most important women in my life.
I had no friends to speak of – as my husband had not been one for either socialising, or allowing me the freedom to spend time to meet friends of my own. I luckily had my dad, older brother & sister (10 & 8 years older) and they did the best they could to support me.
I somehow managed to carry on – lost a sackful of weight – and did some stuff that I had missed doing in 20 odd years – like horse riding, photography and listening to the music that I liked for a change !
My mum was a housewife (originally a nursery-nurse) and gave me the most love-filled childhood that I could have wished for – although she was a worrier and from a generation of women who didn’t have the words ‘self-care’ in their vocabulary. I was therefore brought up in a rather ‘over-protected’ environment and effectively like an only child (because of the age gap between me and my siblings).
She had taught me how to love and feel empathy – but not how to ‘rough it’ in the harsh world that I now found myself in. My dad, however, was the rock upon which I rebuilt my life. Aptly named Peter, my dad was an only child – which I class as very significant in terms of the effect he had on my personality – both in respect of Nature & Nurture…
His career had been as a policeman – although retired by this time- and a man of great integrity and common sense. He had the amazing ability to look for the positive in situations, even after he lost the love of his life. His fearless ability to do what he wanted to do, on his own – and to make friends wherever he went – was inspirational. He was never one to abandon his values for the sake of ‘conforming’ to the flock – and would never have dreamt of compromising the afore-mentioned in order to gain wider acceptance.
I’m telling you about my parents because they are a huge part of who I am – and I am immensely grateful for that. They were both wonderful people and they have enabled me to survive over the past few years because of their legacy – which has guided me through the toughest – but also some of the most enlightening times of my life.
So where am I now ..?
I have decided to leave my job of 35 years – because it makes me stressed and unhappy (and like my dad, I will not compromise my values for a firm who ‘dresses up’ its desire for profit at any cost beneath a veil of pretence that it actually cares about its customers and staff).
I have a new partner, who allows me the freedom to be myself – and supports my creative aspirations. He was the man I was always meant to find and I am so pleased that I have been able to offer him a similar lifeline to the one he has given me. This time, it seems like a proper partnership …
The other ‘Love of my Life’ is Rusty. He is my Fox-Red Labrador – and he has been my constant companion for the past 2 years … He is handsome, loving and frankly hilarious – and he has enriched my life every day – giving me love, cuddles and the opportunity to laugh regularly at his wonderful antics … He is the perfect antidote for a woman who lives alone and who never got around to having any kids.
I have also been able to reclaim the creative aspect of my personality, after it had been effectively stifled for over 20 years. My main passion is Photography – which has the wonderful ability to absorb me so completely – that I have no room for fear or doubt whilst I am looking through my viewfinder. I also love to write – and so hope to combine the two as part of my future career. I have many ideas, although I lack the tools – and often the confidence – to find my next steps along the path ahead.
I truly believe that Damsels in Success – and the support of you all as you take your next steps – will shine a light in the right direction to help me along my way …