a slight change in careers
When I was younger (around 10 years old) I remember a vivid conversation with my mum around what I was good at. Afterwards though, I became anxious that I had no talent.
Whilst my friends were beginning to find their direction – joining sports clubs, playing musical instruments and even horse riding – I felt that I was being left behind, unsure of where I fit in.
Instead, whenever I asked my mum if I had any talent, she would repeat the same word – kindness. My talent was kindness.
I often thought this was just a polite way to call me boring or it was a quick way to change the subject. Little did I know how important this word would become – but I’ll come back to that later.
From aspiring actress to mental health nurse
To build up my confidence at school, my teacher decided to nominate me to audition for the Shakespeare School’s festival. This festival consisted of schools across Milton Keynes performing classic plays written by Shakespeare. Before this experience, I had never considered acting or performing arts as a hobby.
However, I had managed to memorise all the lines of the part I wanted to play before the audition, and I realised that this memorization came naturally. Not only did I get the main part of the show, but I went on to continue to win various performing arts awards for drama within primary and later secondary school.
Finally I felt that I had a sense of identity. And more importantly I felt “talented”. I would later go on to successfully audition for a specialist performing arts school, winning a place on a sixth form acting course. The plan was that this would lead to me attending an acclaimed drama school, which in turn would prepare me for the glitz and glam of the showbiz industry.
But I quickly realised that performing arts school was not for me. Although I loved the people, the teachers, and the course content, I had a gut feeling something was missing. Something indefinable at that point. This feeling was later reinforced during the first national lockdown in Spring 2020.
It was during this time that I began to explore a long-standing passion for wellbeing, and I concluded that I wanted to pursue Mental Health Nursing.
Mental Health Nursing
After experiencing my own mental health difficulties and learning from my performing arts course, I really felt that I had a talent for working with and connecting to others. It seemed perfectly natural that this would be the right direction – it just felt right. So I quickly enrolled onto a health and social care course – it’s turned out to be the best choice I have ever made.
From that starting point I feel like I’ve already made great achievements. I am proud to hold a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) qualification provided by Thrive (https://itstime2thrive.co.uk/). This course enhanced my understanding on how to support patients as a new Nurse Cadet.
I’ve spread awareness from my MHFA training into my welfare ambassador role for the college, as well gaining insight onto the stigma that individuals with mental health difficulties still face every day. Overall, I am proud to say that my real talent all along had indeed been kindness.
I discovered that being able to naturally connect and empathise with individuals sparked a
deep and passionate interest in advocating good health and wellbeing.
I can now proudly say that I not only have an identity, but I am ready to begin my journey towards my Mental Health Nursing degree.
Never be afraid to change direction and never stop being kind.