At precisely 4.15am on the morning of the 12 September 1977, in Welwyn Garden City of Hertfordshire, a little baby girl was born.
Her mum was asleep at the time apparently.
Being a small woman, the pain relief drugs had completely knocked her out.
The baby girl was Johleen of House Jeffs, the first of her name, Queen of the Andals, Mother of.....
Sorry, I'm getting my stories mixed up.
Ok, the baby girl was me.
The one and only child of Richard Jeffs and Lee Kiap Lim (or so I thought).
It's funny how the timeline of our lives seems to be pinned together by particularly strong and vibrant memories. Perhaps the best way to do a 'Who Am I' post is to kinda island hop through some of these.
One of my earliest memories is of my first boyfriend, Stuart.
A fine young man.
Great dress sense as I remember.
We were 2 years old and I'm pretty sure I gave him my kalaidoscope as a token of my love. It was a short lived romance though, as my family and I moved away – down South – when I was 5.
There my Dad fulfilled his dream of owning a boat.
It was a little wooden thing with a motor that he kept chained up on the beach. He loved that thing, I remember him telling me that it represented freedom.
Although in all honesty, you wouldn't get very far in it.
Perhaps that's where my obsession with freedom started.
It's been my goal for many years.
Time freedom, geographical freedom and financial freedom.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
At the age of 6 I started piano lessons. We weren't a rich family, so having lessons meant that I also signed up to studiously practicing every day. For the next 10 years I sat at my piano for an hour a day without fail.
I grew up sitting at that piano.
I still have it now – it's over 100 years old.
My piano knew me better than anyone else when I was growing up.
It knew about that time I pretended to be ill so I didn't have to go to school and stand in front of the headmasters office as a punishment for running around in class.
It knew that I thought boy's willys were like octopus tentacles until the age of about 9.
It knew about the secret club I started with my best friend called “Save the Unwanted Dogs”. Or STUD for short.
It knew that I knew my mum and Dad never talked to each other, and didn't really love each other.
It knew exactly how I felt when I discovered that I actually had 2 brothers.
It knew that it took me years and years to get over that time when I was 6 and I was punished with a tennis racket for eating the chocolates out of my advent calendar too quickly.
It knew I started puking up my food after eating. Every day. For years.
Man I was really good at playing that piano.
But spring always follows winter as they say. And with the new buds and growths of leaves, it becomes clear that winter is a beautiful and necessary part of life. Leading to renewal, growth and fresh starts.
At the age of 18 I travelled up to Sheffield to begin my life as an adult, studying medicine at Sheffield University.
I was living in a house affectionately named “Toe Job” with 13 other fresh faced 18 year olds (one of whom is now my husband).
I conscientiously went to my lectures, on those first couple of days at least.
I learned how to carve the skin off the fingers of a cadaver and then decided that actually what I was supposed to be doing was smoking, drinking, snorting, dropping and otherwise partying from dawn 'til dawn.
I threw myself into this task with gusto.
We were on top of the world! We had our whole lives ahead of us! We were going to go on so many wonderful holidays together!
Love was all and sleep and sobriety be damned!
Happy, foolish, foolish days.
You could say that filing for bankruptcy at the age of 23 with nothing to show for my adult life other than booze fuelled conversations, fuzzy memories and a solitary album I'd made with my band, was a bit of a wake up call.
Did someone say existential crisis?
But oh were it not for this foolishness I may not have discovered meditation, and yoga. I may not have realised that life is not about taking – it's about giving. I may not have, finally, healed the hurts that needed healing.
I read and read... I discovered Eckhart Tolle, Napoleon Hill, Neville Goddard and other such visionaries. I needed to figure out what life was about and how I could live in a meaningful and productive way.
I stopped being a dick.
My head slowly but surely came out of my arse.
I pulled myself together and got a job (the first of many), and joined the real world, finally, in my mid-twenties.
I never gave up on those goals of freedom though.
I ended up training to be a hypnotherapist and a raw food coach (of all things), which I did for a while.... but they weren't right. They still weren't the things I was looking for.
I became an actress for a bit, with small parts in short films and a little tv series.
That was fun but I was pretty sucky at it.
Finally, after the birth of our second son, I started working as a copywriter for SEO companies. And then I decided to learn SEO and went on a course run by some of the top SEO consultants in the world.
It was an eye opener and I found that I'd finally hit on the thing that would fulfil my freedom goals.
Time freedom: I worked for myself.
Geographical freedom: All I needed was a laptop.
Financial freedom: I'm now earning money from building my own online assets, writing copy and affiliate marketing.
And that kinda brings us up to date in a bit of a rushed way. I'll confess to getting a little bored of writing about myself now (perhaps because my computer crashed halfway through and I had to start again).
But my guess is that perhaps you're ready to move on too.
So, I'll finish by saying that I'm here living in Sheffield with my soul mate and my three boys and we really couldn't be any happier. Life is grand, there are big things ahead and love and laughter fills our days.
And I am one grateful lady. :)
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