Life changes so freaking fast, in the blink of an eye everything is completely different and you can barely catch your breath as you think back over all that’s happened and – gulp – all there is to come.
Next Monday I’m heading off to my former town (and to be honest it still feels like home when I go back) to sit in the audience for the mayor making. It’s the seventh year in a row I’ll have been to this particular event. In years 2010 to 2013, I attended as a reporter for one of the weekly papers in the town. I sat on the press bench next to one of the council’s press officers, wrote notes and the next day went into work and compiled a story about the new mayor (and sometimes there were other juicy goings on but this is not the time to get into listing exciting stories I covered!).
By 2014, I had co-founded my own charitable organisation focusing on mental health in the town. Mental health had also become a huge theme in my own life, much bigger than ever before. I had to obtain permission from the nurses on the mental health ward I was staying on at the time to leave for the evening (I was an informal patient meaning I wasn’t sectioned) to go to the meeting. I sat in the audience for the first time, with my boss over on the press desk instead of me. I watched as we were named one of the mayor’s charities for the year. I was hugely pleased but also scared, I was a week into the recovery period following the second of two overdoses and I had no idea how or when I was going to get better and sit on that bench again. Turns out I never would, but for completely different reasons.
In 2015, the event had rolled around again and I was now living in another county, I wasn’t a reporter anymore, I was engaged and I was pregnant. Talk about a whirlwind year. I sat in the public gallery again, for the second time. This time I knew what direction my life was heading in. I set next to Dylan and I felt happy and looked forward to the future.
Next Monday, I’ll be there sat next to Dylan and Alexandra. My life has changed so utterly and completely from those early years on the press bench.
In some ways, it’s sad. I miss running around getting stories. I miss covering elections and debates and people’s life events. I miss talking all day every day to anyone and everyone. But in other ways how can I miss that at all? I get to spend every day with the most precious, beautiful little thing. I get to giggle at every funny thing she does. I get to be someone’s mommy and that’s the best job in the whole world.
So for me next week will be a chance to reflect on all that’s changed over the past couples of years and who knows what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be in the next few?
Harriet and Alexandra x