For those that don’t know, I was born in England in 1979. As far as my memory serves me, I had a stable upbringing. I was and still am, an only child. I’m not sure whether this has been a benefit or not, but I have never felt that I have missed out on anything by not having any brothers or sisters. I am sure everyone could argue for or against this statement based on their own experiences.
I have never wanted for anything, other than those material attainments of youthfulness such as a Sega Megadrive or an Optimus Prime from transformers. I was fortunate enough to be born into a comfortable environment where those youthful desires could be met. And although some may say otherwise, I don’t feel that I belonged to the stereotype of the ‘spoilt only child’. My parents seemed to come from different angles when it came to give and take, discipline and reward, encouragement and education. They both desired the same outcome however and because of this I feel that it has given me balance, allowing me to realize the possibilities of different viewpoints combining to achieve a reasonable outcome. That reasonable outcome being me. Obviously all parents want to provide the best they can for their kids, if there is only one child, then I guess you take up most, if not all, of that love. This could be the reason that those with siblings, see ‘only children’ as spoilt.
Despite being sent to private school from the age of seven we were not what society terms as a rich family. Money was never frittered on expensive belongings or vacations. I remember going on our annual family trip to Wales in a caravan for years in a row; I loved those trips. I was taught the importance of being able to provide for yourself and was encouraged to work a paper round at the first opportunity. Upon leaving school at sixteen, I was on the rent books of my parents’ house and was expected to pay my way. Even at the time, I felt this to be a valuable life lesson and didn’t fight these imposed conditions.
It was my Mum’s suggestion that I join the Police cadets upon leaving school and upon realizing my poor GCSE mock exam results, it appeared to be a good back up plan. I was successful in my application and despite my actual exam results being suitable to further my education, I chose the route of work and a stable career within the police service. Looking back this was to be the biggest defining decision in my history to date. A decision that seemed not to be dwelled upon anymore than choosing which ice cream to get from the ice cream van. I am intrigued to know what my parallel would have been if I had taken the different route, although as I am currently happy in my life, it too gets no more attention than that ice cream.
So, from Cadets came the natural progression to the Police Service. This was to be the ‘moulding ground’ for what I will call my integral routing foundations. For 6 years I learnt so much about society, integrity, friendship, hardship and compassion. There was fun and there was drama. It was real-life drama that appeared to be filtered through a ‘reality veil’. It was almost as if none of it was real. Stepping into other people’s lives, sometimes only fleeting, others regularly, helping people through difficult times or invading their lives, usually for some reason of negativity. It all had to be processed in a way that enabled you to step away from it at the end of the day, therefore making all of it appear to be a dream or just like a program on the television. Yet all of it was real, more real than anything could ever be. Those experiences have made me, in the most part, the person I am today. And for anyone that is reading this who knew me during those days, I thank you for your friendship and strength, you are all very solid people.
Keep living day by day, knowing that what you do is right and that it does make a difference. Even though you may not see that it does, you impact so much around you, the knock on effect is immeasurable. Every little encounter you have, everything you do, affects everything and everyone else, you are more important than you could ever imagine.