Life Struggle

When I was 10 my mother died, before that point in my life there was a lot of love and positive encouragement in my life, even though my father had left when I was around 3 years old. However, after my mother’s death a lot of things happened that were not good, eventually after around 3 – 4 years of abuse I ended up in a children’s home. When I reached the age of 16 /17 years of age, I was being told that with my background I would most likely be a young single mother, an alcoholic or a drug addict, that was really what my life would amount to.

I left school at the grand old age of 17 with a total of 4 x ‘O’ grades, from here I went straight into a job as a nanny, this I discovered, was not for me, the problem was not so much the children but the parents. I had applied for, and had been accepted into a few nursing schools, so I decided at this point to try nursing, both of these jobs had the added bonus of providing accommodation. I completed my training and worked as a qualified nurse for a few years before deciding that nursing was not what I wanted to do. Whilst nursing I met, what I thought, was the man I would marry (we were engaged), but after a few years, it became clear this was not going to be, especially when he became violent. I was hit and knocked over once, I left, leaving everything behind, and moved in with my sister, temporarily. I drifted through a few jobs trying to find something that I enjoyed doing, I worked in security for a local bingo hall, I worked in the bank of a casino and in the bar of an Indian restaurant. Meanwhile I had also moved into a bedsit for a year or two and then into a flat above the Indian restaurant that I worked in, unfortunately when I left this job, I also had to move out of the flat, which made me homeless for a while. I stayed with my brother for a few weeks and then moved into a homeless hostel for a few months before finally finding a flat. Over this period of time I had attended college and received two sets of training one in secretarial and accounts (mostly book-keeping) and the other in secretarial and business administration. Over the next few years I worked in various offices on a temporary basis until finally finding a full-time job with a computer company, working within the engineering department. Life, I felt was starting to settle down a bit again.

After about 7 years working with this company, I was starting to feel as though there had to be a bit more to life than what I was doing, so I decide to do some evening classes, as it happened, the classes I took turned out to be an access course for university and I was advised to apply to do a university degree, the subjects I was studying was Classical Civilization and Social Anthropology. So, I applied for university and was extremely surprised to discover that I was accepted.

When I had been studying for about a year and a half I became quite ill and was diagnosed with a thyroid problem, as it was quite bad my doctor had advised that I should stop my studies until the condition was under control. I gave it some thought and decided that if I stopped, the chances were that I probably wouldn’t go back, or would not have the opportunity to go back to university again. So, I continued, I asked the student disability department at the university for help, and received a great deal of support from both them and the lecturers. I am pleased to say that I got through my undergraduate joint course and graduated with a degree in Archaeology / Classics.

Of course, through the four-year full-time coursework I was also working, sometimes (particularly in the first year) more than one job. After a couple of years, I was able to return to university, again full-time to do a postgraduate course in Mediterranean Archaeology this was for one year, but whilst I was doing this I was also working full time, this time for the company that I have now been working with for 11 years. Although, I successfully got through the course and continued to work full-time I would most definitely not recommend doing this.

A couple of years ago my brother died at the young age of 49, part of his will included that I take my niece for a holiday abroad. As I had always wanted to visit Rome, and as she was happy with this choice we made our very first visit to Italy. We both loved the city, the country, and the people, so much so that I am now preparing to move to Rome to live and work, hopefully for the rest of my days.

During the last year, while I have been researching and planning, whoever said there is free movement between EU countries was talking nonsense, there is a lot of red tape / paperwork involved, I have had some encouragement from some, and from others not so much.

My point for writing this short account of my life is this. Don’t allow others to influence your life expectations / plans. Live your life as you would like, if you don’t try you will never know what could have been, or what can be. Don’t allow others to tell you, you will not amount to much, what they think is immaterial.  Keep the positive people in your life.  Whether you are a young person or an older person, it doesn’t matter, get out there and live your life, otherwise you will regret it.

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