The t4w Story: The choices we make
As women – wives, mothers, daughters, partners, grandmothers – we all make choices…what choice did you make?
Only now, far away from the stress, anxiety and messy desk, do I feel able even to start writing about this project, this great ambition, this crazy inspiration to join all us like-minded women, us much overlooked energetic caring kind coping wonderful women, women not born yesterday and yet unerringly looking forward to tomorrow. Only now can I think on where it came from, this idea to publish and give women a voice.
So where did it all start and where will it end? It started I believe when, in tears on the London Paddington to Oxford at 2.39 pm passing through Reading, I called my husband and said I can’t do this anymore.
I was at the beginning of a miscarriage, my third trying for this second child, and so, my meeting in Lincoln’s Inn thrown to the outreaches of memory, I was on my way home, knowing that with all my body and mind I did not want to do this anymore, this struggle to get to work without my porridge in my hair, the tearful adieu every morning to my 2 year old boy, and the rushing off from the office at 5 pm literally to get on my bike because I couldn’t be any later for him, my heart breaking to see him.
I couldn’t do it anymore, this being exhausted and always rushing rushing doing nothing properly: being an inadequate lawyer and a second rate mother not there for her baby with his sticky eyes, his need for me, his crying for me, his ignoring me when I finally get there because I had been away so very, very long, a lifetime.
So that decision to fling it all away, my training, my profession and my status and, above all, I reflect now, my independence in the form of more income than I knew what to do with, that decision shaped the next 15 years and brought me to here. The right thing to say would be that I don’t regret that decision at all, after all it has allowed me to be me in so many ways: magistrate, part-time lawyer (for a while), mother (full on), mature student, charity volunteer, tennis player, garden lover etc. etc.
And yet what it took away slowly, painfully, yet indisputably was my self esteem, my sense of self worth, my ability to answer that question “And what do you do?” such that now no one bothers asking it, and even my 12-year-old has no idea (“I thought daddy was a solicitor and you were a lawyer but not as important”) and who can blame her – for her I just pack bags and pick stuff up off the floor and neither of them very well. Above all that decision, ironically perhaps, took away my opportunity to be free.
So now I am being free by networking more than I ever thought I could and being in touch with and relying on supportive women everywhere and creatively writing whatever I want to say and publishing what other women want to say and I am loving it…read on for quite how challenging a project this has been and why perhaps no one has done it before and why perhaps no one will again!