For the past 26 years I’ve been a secondary school teacher, teaching Business, IT, Computing. I’ve held numerous roles, including Head of Year; in 2012 though, I decided to apply to take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, I got in and along with hundreds of other people, from all walks of life started my training programme in 2014 to take part in the 2015/16 edition of the Race. Teaching for me at that point gave me no real excitement, it didn’t challenge me and to be honest, I was in a rut, which is why when I heard about the Race, I immediately wanted to take part Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love teaching, but the system seems broken at the moment, it's incredibly hardwork and extremely demanding mentally as well as physically. I wanted that challenge back in my life, I wanted to come out of my comfort zone and I wanted excitement – all of that I got; it was singularly the most profound and positive experience of my life. Was I scared, hell yeah, but I was taken out of my comfort zone and learnt so much about myself and about my capabilities and how much I can push myself and then more some. While I was putting this together, I thought about this famous quote from JFK and it sums my mentality up perfectly:
“……and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one in which we intend to win…”
John F Kennedy
Looking back on the experience now, it was an incredibly challenging, demanding and such an overarching positive experience; one that I would highly recommend. Each of the yachts in the race, measured 70ft and with a crew of up to 24 people; living and working in close proximity to one another; of course it's going to throw up its challenges, you’re in a microcosm: living and working in an environment which is ever changing, space and privacy are a luxury, but it’s those conditions that allow you to understand the nuances of a crew, yourself and the boat and ultimately how you all learn to co-exist and operate together as a workforce. It’s this that allows you to start re-evaluate, judging yours and others performance, and how team spirit is essential in the success or failure of that crew.
As a person I changed, how could you not; I’ve become mentally a stronger person and one who no longer cares what other people think and most of all I’ll stand-up for myself, none of which before-hand I’d ever do. That hasn’t gone down well with a lot of people, but they’ll just have to get used to it!!
The time away from work, gave me immense freedom, not just because I wasn’t working, but it freed up my brain, I de-stressed and became like my 20 year old self from all those years ago and for all these reasons everything changed for me. Returning to work was never really the same and I knew at some point I’d probably leave the teaching profession and that’s exactly what happened, in July 2018 I took voluntary redundancy. I decided that if I didn’t take the opportunity then the door would probably close and I’d regret the decision for the rest of my life. So once I knew that I was leaving work, I started to develop the Life Style Love Liverpool concept into something that I could work with, I launched it on Facebook, through the Group and then a Page, I’ve created an Instagram account and developed a website from scratch learning as I’ve gone along and it’s something now that I am incredibly proud of; I can’t wait to reveal all the pages and it now won’t be long before that can happen.
And my focus since then has been on Life Style Love Liverpool Girls, although I’ve been teaching again, doing a maternity cover, but that is shortly to come to an end and I’ll focus and put all my time into LSL Liverpool Girls.
The concept of LSL Liverpool Girls is about connecting women, providing opportunities for women to work together and opportunities for businesses to promote themselves, their products and their services.
I’m currently working on the core of the business product, The Style Card, more about that to follow. The aim of The Style Card is to give women what they need, what they’d like to have and what they’d love to have in their lives.
I’m also going to be introducing events, working with local businesses, whether for social occasions for card holders, or for women with their own businesses.
Within the website there is going to be a membership area, which has a magazine style section, a forum, a section for businesses to promote offers, a previews and events sections too.
Not long now……