The summer of 2010, I found myself in tears. I was having a conversation with my mum.  "But I don't want to go, I don't even like children," I told her.
"I know Clo, but it's only for a few months until you start Uni. It's not forever and you need some money" she replied, frustrated.

My new job wasn't as bad as I had expected. The hours were long and I hated singing to crying babies. But it was okay, working at the nursery. I needed the money, and I actually bonded with some of the children. I liked painting with them, they made me laugh, and there's something kind of wonderful about having an excuse to play as an adult.

While I was at Uni, I returned to work at the nursery between term times. When you're a student, money is money. I graduated with a BA(honours) degree in Fashion and returned to that job while looking for something new. I found a new job, it seemed perfect, it wasn't. The pay was shit, and when my probation was up, despite being great at every other aspect of the job,  I was told I not confident enough doing the one part of the job I hated. I returned to my search and the comfort of my old job, retelling the Gruffalo without one having to look down at the words. I got a job on a makeup counter. I decided it wasn't for me. I found myself, back in that familiar building, singing with Preschoolers, and changing nappies all over again.

I worked at a job I never wanted for 8 years. Sometimes I liked it.  There were days I laughed with my colleagues, my friends. The children called me pretty if I wore makeup (which was rare). They drew me pictures of rainbows, I stuck them to my bedroom wall like a proud parent displaying finger paintings on the fridge.
There were days I locked myself in the staff toilet and cried. Days parents complained, no matter how hard I worked. Sometimes the children played up, as children do. When they wouldn't listen, I felt out of control, not just of them, of my entire life. On these days, I hated myself because I dreamed of more. These days outweighed the ones I felt lucky.

Despite the hints of joy, my life felt mediocre. I felt embarrassed talking to my friends from Uni. I let go of friendships because I felt so ashamed,  my life wasn't enough for me. Despite working hard, having a job which some people love, I was always so aware it was not what I wanted. Being told I was good at it, or that I was lucky to have a job I could count on, did not change the simple fact, that it wasn't, isn't, what I want to spend my days doing.

I blogged in the background but felt foreground worthy. I wrote countless diary entries, spent my bus journeys typing poetry into the notes on my iPhone. I read books. I longed to write more, to write better. So I took a course. It made me realise, I didn't just want to write better, I want to be an actual real-life writer, you know, who earns a living from it (on realising that, I wrote this blogpost).

I wrote more. I encouraged 3 years old to eat their veg. I wrote more. I helped children master potty training. I wrote. I gave out stickers for good behaviour while daydreaming of writing more. 

I did another course  'How to Write and Pitch for (Women's) Magazine with Laura Jane Williams, although I struggle to tweet without a typo (I'm working on it folks), the feedback seemed to indicate, I'm actually pretty alright at writing, I just need to send the pitches. My sister told me I'm a very talented writer, a friend started crocheting my poetry to display at an exhibition, and my friends text me to say they connected with my blog posts. The Universe was gently nudging me and quietly whispering, that maybe, I'm not the only that can see value in my words.

I started getting dizzy spells. I'd suddenly feel overcome with a feeling of faint. One Wednesday afternoon,  I found myself, at work, laying on the kitchen floor, feet elevated, waiting for the world to come back into focus. It was as though felt my body was telling me something.

I decided something had to change. I handed in my notice, with no job to go to. I didn't give it a second thought. I made the decision something had to change, so now was the time to change something.

I couldn't build my dreams, earning little money, working long hours and a place which is tainted with my feelings of inadequacy.

So I decided to take advantage of the privilege that comes alongside being an adult living with a parent, trust my gut and get the hell out that job.

I'm 26, slightly terrified, and technically unemployed. I'm also excited.  I'm not sure what's next but my leap of faith is forcing me to keep writing, to look for people who fall in love with my words.

I'm intending on becoming a real writer. Yes, people look at me as though I'm crazy when I tell them I've left my job, but for the first time ever I feel I'm thinking clearly, I'm putting what I want first, despite the risk. I'm sick of my mediocre life, so it's time to build that career that exists in my mind.

For the first time in a long time, I'm hopeful. I'm trusting my gut, I'm trusting the Universe, and I can't wait for what's to come.

Photography by Madeleiine Grace
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