I want to tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a little girl who looked at houses in awe, wanted to know how they were put together. Used to get pieces of paper and draw little squares, create streets and call them a village. That little girl then went on to do work experience in a surveyors in her summer holidayof year 9 into year 10, went back the following year, kept going back. That girls dream was to be a building surveyor from the age of 14 the first time she stepped into a loft and was amazed at the fact the surveyor was happy to have found an issue! From then on the only goal was to be a building surveyor. A-level teachers told her that she would never make it, set your sight a little lower. She had to retake a year of a levels and in the end only got enough points to make it onto a foundation course at the university. This was her stepping stone, and eventually the little girl that aged 11 has dreamed of designing buildings finally made it onto a building surveying degree on July1st 2011.
That little girl is me.
Tomorrow I go and start my masters in construction project management. To many I feel I look like the girl who graduated 2 and bit years ago, and has done nothing with her degree. The truth is for much of those years I didn’t even want to acknowledge I even had a degree. People would ask me when I was going to go and get a building surveying job and the idea made me sick. The way uni ended caused me to essentially have a breakdown. I am not going to go into much detail but i hated it and in the end hated everything to do with the construction industry. I couldn’t look at any books, any old work, anything… I hated it all and it all made feel a massive rage inside. I was even writing my dissertation and revising for the final exams hating it, but I knew I had to get the degree I couldn’t let myself fail even though I wanted to run away. I never even saw myself achieving anything in life. Everything was a big fat mess and the one thing I had loved since I was 11 I now hated. Then I got help, I had counselling, I had support from a domestic abuse charity, I learnt a lot and I was put on medication for my anxiety. The term Post traumatic stress was used a lot but I tried to ignore it because I always thought “I haven’t been to war”.
To even have the desire to complete this master’s degree is a million steps on from where I was just a couple of years ago,. I am not scared of failing anymore, I am not scared of having fibro and struggling with the fatigue. The memories of the past don’t haunt me like that used too, they dont keep me awake, if they did there is no way I would be able to go back there tomorrow.
I am so excited for what this year can bring for me, but i really do think that it is extremely important to acknowledge the impact the past has had. It is just the past now, and I am a much stronger, confident and determined individual because of it.