By Mel Blackwood @troubleon8wheels
I used to forget that I have a choice. It can easily feel, when you are backed into a corner, that we have no choice.
When I was teaching full-time, playing roller derby and doing my best to be a mum, wife, sister and daughter, I felt pulled in all different directions. I’m actually surprised I didn’t spiral into depression, given that my mum suffered when I was young. I did pretend to anyone that asked that I was fine, though the tiredness in my face certainly showed.
Once I had separated and was living by myself, I found that I always had a choice. I had chosen not to stay within a relationship that was no longer serving me and longer term would have caused harm to everyone in our household. It was the most difficult choice I’ve ever had to make – as I have learned – the right decision is not always the easy decision. In making this choice though, it has helped me to understand that I am stronger than I know. That I will be able to get through other situations that can seem very bleak. That life can often seem like a struggle.
Business I hard right now. I know that we are all struggling with increased cost of living at the moment and it is being reflected in people’s (decreased) spending. I have a choice. I can choose to believe this is a moment and that by remaining here, our company can continue to do its best to bring the joy and power of roller skating to people’s lives. Or I can sell up and return to teaching.
In the shop today, I am gazing at the wall of photographs a bit misty-eyed. I took quite a lot of the photos myself and can remember the delight in each person’s face as they hugged their brand new roller skates. I appreciate the folks who have reached out to share how much they value skate class and the spaces we have created, where they can learn in safety.
I’m not giving up! I have no intention of stopping doing what I love because things are difficult in business. I have lived through more challenging situations in my life and come out stronger.
Today, I choose the struggle.
Remember that you always have a choice.