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Why are you worrying about what’s happening now? Worry about where you’ll be in 10 years time…
Children are fascinating aren’t they? Recently, I get to spend more precious time with many of the young people in my life and it has radically reverted my imagination. Ask a 5 year what he/she wants to be when they grow up. Chances are, whatever they will say will make you smile… Look at yourself this afternoon say around 2pm, are you smiling like that 5 year old? Or has your dream been squashed with “No’s, “Can’t” or “Get a real job” a few times too many?
Experience has shown me that no amount of loyalty whilst carrying out the wrong task will get you where you want to be. Don’t be scared to move away from those things/people/ circumstances that are no longer encouraging you.
Tomorrow, could you decide to spend 6 months of the year doing whatever you please? Climbing mountains, starting a charity/foundation, knocking back cocktails on your own private beach, setting up your own film/publishing/design company? If you are not working towards “having the freedom to do whatever it is you want”, think about what steps you could take to do that.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing now or whatever you may think is holding you back, or whatever career you’ve pursued so far, or even what people might think. If it’s not the path you originally set out for yourself. Change it. Go after whatever it is you want, if you want it enough.
Calvin Coolidge said: Nothing in this world can take the place of persistance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistance and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”.
Writing is Therapy. It’s taken me so long to write this as April has been a tough month, probably one of the toughest ever. I almost didn’t write it, but with the hope it helps someone who is going through something similar, for the first time, I’m ready to share some of my life. I have developed ceiling rippling insomnia, alopecia and suffered a breakdown. All in the last 6 months October 2012- April 2013. Life has tested me, yet the smile on my face will ALWAYS and continue to tell you otherwise.
Last March, I was fortunate enough to land my self a job in BBC Factual Development after working on a documentary pitch for BBC Three. Alongside two of the best award winning (female!) producers in the industry, we developed a three page treatment and taster tape. The first paragraph sounded something like this…
“When Cerriann was young she never questioned why her older brother couldn’t take her to the shops; in fact they’ve never been on holiday together. However, this documentary will follow the moments their lives will change forever;
The day he moves out.”
Johann is my brother, he is 33 years old and has severe learning disabilities, scoliosis, is incontinent and sufferers from epileptic seizures. Having had these disabilities from before I was born, I grew up with what I believed to be a relatively ‘normal’ childhood. Whilst coming to terms with my family situation, viewers will follow my family’s ups and downs, uncovering the journey of someone who has continuing healthcare needs and their ‘real-time moving out’ experience (commencing Dec 2012). As my mum (retired teacher, now successful business owner) makes preparations for my brother to live independently, I will find out who else in the UK has been through a similar experience, how it comes about and who is involved in supporting such a life changing decision. In England alone there are currently over 53,000 people who are receiving continuing health care. Each family is different and so is the care that the disabled person needs. Every story is different. My story begins when I was 11.”
The day Johann’s move was all finalised to go ahead in November 2012, was a few days after our Granddad passed, I clearly remember ‘announcing to my twitter clan’ that my life was going to change. Change and drama were coming, I was scared. Honestly, I never thought these events would come, neither of them, and at least not together. As a teen I argued with my Mum whenever the conversation of Johann living independently was ever brought up, refusing to speak to her for weeks at one point. Yet, at 23 years old, now fully able to understand what it takes to look after my brother, I was involved, I had sought my ways of coping and this was it, it was happening. How can you prepare for overwhelming emotion to take over your body, and consume you like the plague? In all truth, I’ve been trying to mentally prepare for April 2013 for the last 5 years.
In January, it began to feel real as I emailed everyone I was working closely with to tell them of my absence from London until further notice.
From a young age, whenever we’d go out, people would stare at him, I would stare back, sometimes even asking if they had lost something. They still do stare today, but I realise it’s more a reflection of them, not me or my brother.
I don’t think I will ever see my brother as disabled. He wasn’t born disabled, he understands everything the same as everyone else does. He leaves the house every morning at 9 to go to his day centre (work), he communicates with me, we argue, he eats when he feels like it, sleeps when he feels like it, we are terribly mischievous and incredibly close. The documentary was for me to show other families that they are not alone. I personally don’t know any friends with disabled siblings, and felt that most of my time growing up, there wasn’t anyone I knew whose home life I could relate to- I can only touch on how hard that was and still is. Johann has moved to a very small privately run residential care home, which neighbours the most sought after private estate in the West Midlands and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I knew the anxiety my family would feel would exact those around the country, whether it be a disabled relative, elderly relative or a family choosing respite or palliative care for their loved ones. Unless you’ve experienced this type of lifestyle, it’s impossible to empathise. As you can imagine I was so upset when my producers told me that the commissioners had decided not to follow Johann’s move.
A year on, I look back and am so grateful for the commissioners decisions. When I looked in the mirror this morning I now understand why I wasn’t ready, like I said, it was impossible to emotionally prepare for. I see Johann every other day, which is a heck of a lot more than when I was living my high flying media career in London, but I miss him. I sort of now know how he felt when I moved at 16. It wasn’t a sad event, and this too is something to be celebrated, leaving the nest, spreading your wings and becoming all you can be as an independent adult.
Thankfully, being self employed meant I was able to move back to Birmingham in February, to make sure I could be present for every curtain, shelf and mattress choosing decision. It has been a stressful, manic, tearful, fun, transition. A coming of age experience, and by no means is it anywhere near over. I think Mum and Johann are relieved to be away from each other after 33 years, they both deserve a break, let’s not forget he’s a grown man! For me, however, it’s going to take some getting used to.
To Be Continued…
I can’t believe the end of March is in sight, isn’t this year is flying by? I have spent most of this year working my business and planning with my lovely team, all alongside my Journalism where I most recently wrote a blog for The Sunday Times Culture. Last year I walked away from my 8 year TV production career to pursue an opportunity that would allow me to create my own future rather than leaving it in someone else’s hands. It’s hard to believe that I am developing my own income being self employed and i’m only 23! Whats even better is helping other people achieve their own goals. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. If you want to find out more about what I do, get in touch.
A talent magnet, rising to fame as one half of Artful Dodger, now known as Artful, the chart topping British producer/songwriter who helped establish late 90’s garage among a club scene of pedal pusher, platform wearing bundles of energy, is now diving in for more. In 2013 Welsh born Mark ’Artful’ Hill, who holds four Ivor Novello Awards and a back catalogue worth about 10 mill, can’t get by without his wife, children and endless cups of coffee. “Kids forced me to play “Call me Maybe” in the car this morning….oh the pain… don’t talk to me, I think I’ll have a lie down”, he says of modern music.
Parting ways with friends, becoming a radio host and starting his own label Workhouse Records, it’s easy to consider how ‘trendy’ it’s become to board a train of reunion to fame. Nevertheless, this year Artful will embark on a tour as a live band. Having successfully created songs that people once again will run out of the toilets to dance to, continue to lead by example.
Turn your speakers up and click here to listen to the brand new single which premiered on MistaJam’s 1xtra radio show earlier this week. Like Unlike is due for release March 24th.
I’m sitting on a not so high speed train from Birmingham to London, making my weekly trip to meetings and the like, and there’s two smartly dressed women in business suits at the table opposite showing me their tonsils.
I travel a lot, probably in the least jet setter style possible, but what makes it ok for you to have a nap on your way to a meeting? I assume that’s where they are going/coming from.
As I entered the train carriage I chose where I sat based on who I think is least likely to rummage through my coat pockets should I need to leave my seat and use the toilet.
I always have a cheeky little doze on a train in the evening after a hard days work, but with a full face of make up at 1 o’clock in the afternoon? Something that tells me that there’s more to this story, but trust me next time you think about snoring in public, be warned, it doesn’t look good.