My Story - The real me
You've read about the professional me (thanks if you made it this far!) and I imagine a lot of people read my highlight reel and think I'm motivated by work, but I'm not. I love my work and the hours I spend doing it are largely a pleasure, but it's not my reason for existing.
Ultimately, the thing I'm hired for is understanding people. If I know what someone really wants, I can translate that into something I can give them. Working with such diverse people over such a period of time has made me intrinsically empathetic and I've tried to invest time in learning about myself, what I value, what I enjoy - what things I think are worth having an opinion on, where I think my time is worth investing. I've reached a stage in my life where my ultimate goal is to feel content. Millionaires often talk about having several sources of income, but few people talk about having several sources of happiness! Sure work is one of them, but what about the rest?
My single-biggest support group. I'm not going to divulge my entire personal life here, but first and foremost, this is why I work.
When my husky, Amber, developed Polyneuropathy at 2yrs old, she became paralysed and turned my entire world upside down. She was within hours of being put to sleep to stop her spreading paralysis suffocating her when she made a miraculous recovery. The vets said she would never walk again but now you would never know there was anything wrong with her. It's fair to say she completely threw my perspective of the world out of the window. I have dedicated my life to making sure she has the happiest and most fulfilling life I am capable of giving her.
Not an image, but a lifestyle
You've probably realised by now that I like cars, but this isn't as a measure of status or wealth. I want to share with you a little insight for those who don't get it.
Around 5 years ago, I took a gamble on a 1974 Chevrolet Camaro. If you're a normal person and you don't know what that is, think of Bumblebee from Transformers (...alright, he was a '76). There's no nice way to say it, it was a shed and I was a moron for thinking I could restore it. But I had a vision!
That's not a photoshop. I really built that. Not much of a story right?
Well you see, shortly after I bought that, I realised I had no idea what I was doing. So I took the car to a client and there, I met a new friend. He worked tirelessly to help me and we set up a car club. We met another local business owner who very quickly became both a friend and a club member. In doing so we met more friends and they all became club members. Soon many of those friends began to start their own businesses and now I could help them back. Except instead of competing with one another, they all helped one another and very soon an entire automotive business network was born. Now we have an annual show in the town that we all support, bringing thousands of attendees with it, hosted by one of our friends. The club became a brand that could support the network and soon, other clubs sprang up too. Now the town is enjoying a renaissance of car culture that it hasn't seen since I was a teenager.
I took a good friend of mine to her wedding in it, along with her dad.
No joke, I let this kid sit in the car and rev the engine and he came very close to blowing it up! We will both always remember that.
The marketing manager at Pistonheads liked the car so much, he wanted to make a video of it.
So I got to be really uncomfortable on-camera and used the opportunity to support my friends by plugging their businesses.
I was asked to have the car in a music video for some emerging talent. I agreed but offered them my friends workshop to film in, which they agreed to.
In an unusual turn of events, I was asked if Universal could use my car to promote the upcoming Fast X film along with two movie-prop cars.
Not long after this I was asked by a neighbour to take her son to his prom along with his friend. Another friend of mine successfully managed to hide a cassette tape of 'two little boys' by prolific sex offender Rolf Harris under the seat which the young man hilariously (and entirely accidentally) kicked on his way out of the car before nervously passing me the tape. This is a totally unrelated photo of the Police also showing interest in the car.
A group of local budding automotive photographers asked if they could use the car to expand their own portfolios, which I obliged to and spent a lovely evening in the peak district.
I even managed to sneak the car into a job.
A terrible financial decision. A chunk of metal and plastic. A fossil. A car.
A collection of memories, a group of friends, a network of profitable businesses, a music video, a prank, a movie promotion. She will always get to ride shotgun!