Amalgamation: the action, process or result of combining or uniting.
Turning 30 earlier this year stimulated a great deal of reflection upon my life so far. Recalling major life events, losses, experiences and relationships as a new decade approached.
As I revisited some of the key experiences in my life to date, I was struck by just how rich and full it had all been. I grew up in a household with high levels of anxiety, shame and depression yet deep love. My father died when I was 16 and my brother whilst I was at university. After dropping out of my A levels, I returned to finish them a few years later and went on to study for undergraduate and masters degrees. I have traveled, spending 4 years living in two completely different cultures to the one in which I was raised. I have loved hard, and lost equally as hard. I have worked with animals, children and adults, leaving academia behind for the charity sector. More recently I have studied and practiced mindfulness and self compassion and now support others in their own journeys with their mental health. And just two months into 30 itself, I have separated from a partner whom I believed my future would be alongside.
All of these experiences have contributed to my struggles with depression, anxiety, low self esteem and emotional reactivity. But they have also contributed to me learning new ways of coping and managing my mental health, building resilience and strength and also nourishing the skills needed to support others.
So as I welcome and celebrate a new decade of my life, I also welcome and celebrate the experiences that have shaped and led to the amalgamation of me…so far.