Email Testosterone

The extrovert got broken again by the people and it made her realise she wasn’t such an extrovert after all. Today isn’t dark thoughts just the annoyance of the invasion of mind space with unwanted thoughts that don’t matter to her. Today began with coffee, her own space, her thoughts, her wish to be free, and the impending doom of the office she’s leaving behind soon. It’s not that she doesn’t care, more that she’s now powerless to steer the veering ship and wishes to let go of the wheel now and ride away on a jet ski into the coming waves to find her fate.

Today started in the office with a trail of emails fuelled by the testosterone of male colleagues all fighting for the one-up-manship after a request for resource that was an optional at best. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. She made the mistake of taking advice, of speaking to management of getting their opinion about buy in for the new thing that would affect their people,the double edged sword of tell them now and they don’t have the time or tell them later and she kept it a secret, the witch who tells us how to do our jobs when it’s perfectly okay as we’ve done it before, it’s perfectly okay with the good old thing, we don’t need the new, just butt out redhead. But the redheaded witch is here to bring the new, the kicking and screaming and moaning will all be in the past if they could only just see what the new has to offer. But easy isn’t what they want when easy means change or different or other ways or not what we’re used to.

Exhausted already the witch made amends, she spoke and charmed and reassured, she wrote up the failed experiment that just couldn’t happen, she wrote up the steps that had failed in her lab, in her sandbox, in the offsite lab, the conclusions of experts that it just doesn’t work. She gave them more options, but they were reluctant to look, for the witch has tricks, the witch isn’t one of us, she’s different she doesn’t know what we do, but she does. The witch learns quickly, she sees their motives, their work, she sums up the drama in words that are few, she cuts through the bullshit for the wool can’t be pulled. And that is her strength, she seeks to understand.

So the email warriors too busy to think, the email testosterone too proud to step back had a fight, they drew swords and she distilled their anger with hope of solutions, please let it pay off! The theory is there and the practice is promising but the manpower is lacking and she needs them onside. But she knows that she still learns the lessons regardless, she sees it in action she sees how it works, she leaves the men to their swords and their dramas and battles and casts but a spell from behind the mist that most will not see and she prays for success.

Sometimes she wishes she could spend her days in solitary confinement, alone with her thoughts, free to explore the fruits of her imagination without shackles and rules and people to please. Perhaps one day she’ll just get that wish. Who knows but she’s done with the explaining, the need to justify every last detail. Sometimes they just don’t need to know everything, sometimes they just need to trust what she says. If they gave her the chance just to prove that she knows they would get it much faster with less drama. Perhaps that’s the issue, the bored mind makes trouble, the idle mind sticks it’s nose in, the tired mind makes mistakes and the mind that is closed just will not see what is put before him to make his life better, he only fears change.

The red headed witch feels the toll of her task, the solution is easy, but the people are not…


Keep It Simple Stupid!

I work in a world of tech! I love it! I am always looking at the newest ways to do things, make it quicker, more efficient and of course cheaper with the same amount of boom in the box. I love a bit of research and development, in fact without research and development we would not be where we’re at today. It’s those guys at the forefront doing the clever unimaginable things that make this world progress, for better, or for worse.

But saying that there needs to be a point where research and development stays just there. I’m not talking in the context of the whole world, more in the context of in day to day life because actually the effects of implementing the latest bit of R&D in your real world isn’t even necessary! I see this with apps all the time! Apps do my box in when they get upgraded, they always, and I mean always come with bugs. My latest IOS upgrade made my phone unusable until the patch came out. Why? Probably because someone got excited, checked it in and hit the button too quick to deploy it! Hell, okay first world problems… but still…

In my working life I’m the girl looking after proofs of concept. Exciting isn’t it? Well yes it definitely is, but there’s a responsibility placed on me to make sure what I recommend is for the good of the company and not just because I want a new toy. I am the queen of all things innovation when it comes to data, but actually when the foundations are not there to start with you can’t go pulling the crazy shit you see on the internet just because someone else did.

Today was an interesting day. I’ve been hired at a place that I really love working where there some improvements to be made but also some people who like to read all about the latest things that are going on in the tech world. And here’s where the problem lies. They read it, they play in the online sandbox, and then they want it, even though they don’t really know what it is. We get the technology fan boys too, you know the ones, they have the latest everything of their favourite brand, even though the other cheaper brand does it better.

What I often find is the implementations of new unknown technology can so often have been a hark back to that 5 year old in the shop that saw the toy and wanted it, even though they didn’t know what it was but everyone else said they had one so they wanted it too! What do you end up with? Well in my case luckily just a couple of virtual Machines, a couple of frightened developers and soon a white paper saying, it’s a bad idea right now.

So here’s what I look for when I’m picking a strategy for technology. First things first, what’s actually broken? A lot of the time it’s not broken, someone just got bored of it and wanted to make a new one. Nothing wrong with that, but is there something more broken that needs your attention, the answer is always yes.

Secondly, why are you looking at the new shiny thing? If you read about it on the internet and thought, well this could fix my problem, great, but now go back to the actual problem and think about it properly rather than build the thing because someone told you it’s the next silver bullet. So many times I’ve seen things get bought, contracts signed with no direction for what it’s actually going to improve.

Lastly, are you doing this because of ego? We love to show off, be the first or perhaps even the bigger boys have it and we want to be just like them. It’s easily done in the competitive world that is business and IT is an area that it happens the most! Very often the new thing requires new skills that people just don’t have and you’re sat with a bunch of guys trying to figure out how the hell to make this work.

Today we can automate our homes, I can make my phone tell the thing in my house to switch the other thing on to make the heating work. I can shout at the box that makes the online shopping store send me my stuff and change my TV channel. But what is the actual value? I’m not sure. When my car goes wrong I spend ages buggering about normally trying to do something to bypass the CPU because technology made my Landrover less efficient, okay out of the factory it drove like a dream but a confused CPU and you’re spending hundreds just fixing something simple! On the other hand my very mechanical motorbike can be striped down and put back together in just a few hours because the people who made it kept it simple. And here’s the message, simple is just better, we don’t make food with a million flavours, we don’t listen to music with all the notes in the chromatic scale playing all at once. And if we want our tech to work properly we have to start small and grow it over time carefully. The Big Bang approach will only have its casualties, normally my sanity.

Keep it simple stupid, is the best advice I ever had. You can write an algorithm that wipes your arse in theory, but actually it’s all theoretical and sometimes you’ve just got to stick with the tried and tested method and that is perfectly and absolutely okay… just relax…


Sometimes there’s no room in your life for sentimentality and the more ties you cut the easier that is to deal with. Just under four months into a new job, today I handed in my notice. I felt guilty but remembered that the job I do is that of a mercenary, you cannot get too tangled in the company you work for regardless of the culture or the people. You work to live and if an offer comes up that will make your quality of life better, you just have to grab it with both hands and go for it.

What does quality of life mean to me? It means the ability to be able to give my daughter everything she needs and within reason some of the things she wants. For me it’s about having the time to do what I want with my life and also the funds. Perhaps it’s also about knowing that the job I’m doing is well received and motivating. I’m the kind of person who cannot just turn up to the office and do my job as it’s been laid out in front of me, I’m constantly pushing for better, I want to fix what doesn’t work and improve on things to make life easier. For such a chaotic person in my personal life, when it comes to work, I love organised structures of the well oiled virtual world, where integrations are clear, where we know what does what and everybody knows what they’re doing. I like to push things as far as they can be pushed, I enjoy the challenge of change for the better. For me it’s about what we can do to make it happen, rather than asking if we can try to do that in the first place. I’m not great with complainers who put up and continue to moan, I’d much rather be the person who says nothing but leads the solution.

I sit and look at my career so far as I’m on the cusp of another step up to get to where I want to be. It’s not been easy, from musician to Data Architect via a myriad of project management, people management and training roles, and yet here I am. Perhaps that’s what makes me different, I’m not a maths graduate, I didn’t learn to code till last year properly, I sat down and learnt it on the job. Why? Because I wanted to. I’m actually in love with the work that I do, the technology I work with and that’s what keeps me motivated. It’s a funny one, when you tell people your background they struggle to find the connection between the Data Architect and the creative mind. But it’s there, it’s there in spades. I have to be able to see the things that people cannot see. I have to be able to explain the things that people cannot see. I have to be able to visualise how it could work, how it can improve things, create options and show people how each scenario plays out. Designing data is actually like creating a music score. Understanding how systems talk is like hearing the different instruments in the orchestra combine. It’s easy when you pull it apart and decide that it’s easy.

People get intimidated by code, by IT, by the things in the cables that they just can’t see, but actually it’s easy if you let yourself learn. And that is why I do what I do. It’s not about power, it’s about being proud of what I helped create, seeing the design come to life, taking the data and making it pretty. Like that game, mouse trap when you get the whole thing built and set the ball rolling, as you watch the thing flip, the catch go, the basket fall down the wiggly plastic and your contraption works.

Since leaving the company that spotted my enthusiasm and pushed me through various roles harnessing that power for thirteen years, I’ve actually found my niche in life. And when I made that first step out of that company into a new one I realised that it’s no longer about the company I work for, it’s about the job I do wherever I am. Being a mercenary is a good feeling. Knowing what I want out of my life without a named ruler means I no longer feel tied, I can move on to places, I can see new things, I can experience everything. The mercenary goes to the king who pays and motivates the best, and not necessarily the king with the biggest empire. The mercenary does the job that they love and when they’re no longer needed can do that job elsewhere because the mercenary worked on a good reputation.

It’s funny how careers seem to be split into two categories, those for the loyal, the 45 years of service with a gold carriage clock and a handshake at retirement and those that are driven by the practicalities of the everyday excitement of fixing, the excitement of change, from the next and on to the next. I’ve now made my transition into the latter. I’m no longer afraid of things getting stale, because my sparkle will follow me where ever I go. I’m no longer scared of leaping and trying something new. I was always going to be okay, I just didn’t know it. It goes for everything in my life, if it no longer works I change it. I don’t let it get me down, I don’t worry. I don’t fret, I sleep so much better…. in spite of insomnia… it’s not worry that keeps me awake at night, it’s new ideas and the urgency to make them happen. It’s a great place to be in your life when you realise that no matter what happens it will be okay. That you don’t have to hold on to anything if it’s holding back your happiness. I think that’s the meaning of true freedom, loosing the sentimentality of association regardless of what it is, not feeling trapped by social convention, because at that point you realise your path is the one you chose yourself…

Lone female in the board room alert!

Uh Oh! Do we have a female in our midst?!? She must be a witch? Burn her! Hmmm yeah… or perhaps listen to her singular sentences, she may just be talking common sense…

What is it with insecure men? Yes at home you clearly don’t wear the trousers, we get it but here just because you are doesn’t give you license to overrule a good idea. Isn’t it funny how sometimes a female in the office is treated with such suspicion when she dares to interject with an idea, or perhaps question the rationale of a strategy? Our gender roles are still very much what defines us to an extent, even when the laws of equality in the workplace tell us otherwise. Women are for… well what are we for? Okay, well my approach is different, I nurture rather than destroy. I grow ideas, plant them allow someone to run with them. That is what I do.

Dare I challenge he of the sword wielding variety? Well today is definitely the day. The Viking warrior revealed to be a woman gives me hope. We can call be warriors in our own remit if we dare to be. And thus comes the duality of being a woman and where my gender role and my professional roles are different. Who’s to say the Viking warrior wasn’t also a mother? However getting that across is sometimes difficult. This isn’t meant as a sweeping statement because a lot of men are perfectly happy to work with female colleagues and take expertise on face value. But you do come across the odd “man’s man” and this is where you need to work in a different way to gain the respect you should have been given in the first place.

We all saw the article about the guy who replied to an email using his female colleague’s account and was horrified at the difference in response. This isn’t uncommon, in fact I would suspect that this happens everywhere to some degree. I’ve met plenty of sales reps in my field of work who see me as the forty and not the expert… honey… I’m the one justifying the reason for your purchase order to be signed… so take note!

But how does this happen? Some of it is a hangover from days gone by where women were secretaries and made the tea until they got married at which point they stopped working to look after the children. I was horrified as a teenager when my grandmother told me she went to grammar school and they were all coached how to be a good secretary whilst the boys got trained for whatever role in middle management they desired. Remember in those times, CEO’s came from different backgrounds, social mobility was only beginning. I was going to grammar school to reach for whichever damned star I desired! However; perhaps it’s worth considering this was still the done thing, even as late as the 80’s so the change has been rapid to get to where we are now. We have to consider social background and attitudes too, this isn’t a working class thing, this is an all class thing, the outlier in difference here being the class formerly known as the Middle class background. But of course in today’s apparent classless society where we can apparently be what we want to be without boundaries, we have to play nice together regardless of background if we’re to be successful. The old boys club is still present but it’s strength is severely diminished and we have to work to keep it that way.

I sometimes wonder if it’s more my difference in approach. I’m direct in my approach and some people don’t like this, being challenged professionally by a woman who can play the boys game as good as the boys is sometimes seen as intimidating. Some men just don’t expect it and are pushed off centre by it. I think essentially this is an insecurity on the man’s part, I see it in relationships all the time. I guess if I own the table, the chairs, the keys to the door and the rest of the whole shebang then what the hell is he gonna bring to the table? That’s why insecure men run from strong women. But, in the board room? There’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The usual reaction is defensiveness, or at worst, undermining and outdoing. At this point it’s time to change my approach, do the opposite, plant the seed and let them come up with the answers. It’s the long game we have to play, but it works.

Pragmatism is an art, to be a success you have to learn how to do it. Gun ho is great if you wanna be lonely in your work, but… sometimes you’ve gotta take the back seat and let them drive till they’re confident enough to accept you’re actually pretty good at giving directions. Takes longer for sure! But when it’s the difference between it getting done or having a war, the long game has to be played…

Be the person not the job

Today’s little thoughts as I was driving back from a riding lesson was all about labels. How we and others see ourselves. Very often the first thing that people ask is or try to find out if they’re stalking us on social media or checking out our profile on a dating site is “what do you do for a living?”. Fair question, it’s always interesting to find that out, but does finding out change that persons perception of you? I think it does.

When I say what I do normally people look confused so I broaden it to I.T. Which of course has other connotations at that point, people think I can of course fix their computer, their wireless router and anything else that involves wiring. Most of the time I can but that’s not what I do. The other image is of course the dismal one of the guy on the Helpdesk, headset on, listening to people’s woes over Outlook, Word, internet connectivity or something like that. And that perception that I fix stuff is yet again there. I guess actually my job is more about designing my bits right so the help desk guy gets as little hassle as possible…

If I had told you I was a refuse collector would you have perceived me differently? I suspect yes, but why? Well that’s because society still classes us by the jobs that we do and not the people we are. Lawyers, doctors, priests, the upstanding citizens of our so called human ecology can be as immoral as the next guy, in fact can be worse. The immunity such a profession can give means that some feel they can manipulate the situation to fit their favoured outcome, and as a society we let them because that’s what we do.

The call centre worker, well I’ve been there before, being shouted at, then looking after or training the poor guys being shouted at, probably demonstrate some of the most powerful problem solving skills and quick thinking in order to resolve the being shouted at situation. It is those on the front line, the anonymous voice who get abused the most and yet they have no power to manipulate the world as the guy in the grey suit with the letters after his name does.

But here’s the thing. Every single profession I’ve mentioned above involves people with likes and dislikes and hopes and dreams. They are merely acting in the paid time that they are held captive by the employer to do what they do. And yet still it defines our perception of the person.

I spend a lot of time playing down my intellect to people when they discover the work that I do if they don’t quite get it. I often feel embarrassed like I’ve been found out. The “Oh so you must be pretty clever then” is almost an accusation of being stealthy in my approach to appear as a human when I clearly am not.

But my life is so much more than the job that I do, and each time my job role has changed I remain the same person, I just learn a little more. Sometimes I’m a mom, sometimes I’m a zookeeper, sometimes I’m a wonderer, a biker, a horse rider, a lazy bitch watching Netflix in bed, at every single point I’m not being clever, I’m simply being me.

Some people certainly live and breath the work that they do. They just don’t stop and whilst it’s admirable it makes them boring to me. Yes the passion is great when someone loves what they do, but you can be too much of a good thing at which point you become that and nothing else.

So next time I see the guy emptying the bins, or the lady at the check out, or speak to the advisor for my insurance, my gas bill or buy things from a shop I’ll try to see the person behind the role and wonder what else lies behind the uniform or the well trained voice. When we remember that everyone else is a human too our prejudices of the unknown melt away. The lady in the burka often persecuted in today’s society is just a woman who has made a decision to demonstrate her faith, the guy in the overalls is fixing or building the things that we need for our everyday lives and so on, without the mix of people in our world we would all be clones. I am lucky to live in a country where choice is allowed, where freedom of speech is encouraged, but it’s sad to be lucky, that’s the way it should be regardless of our location.

I don’t fight for feminism because it’s now a dirty word, sullied by the extremist views of the bra burners, the man haters and the ones who accuse and abuse the rules to make the results in their favour. We often forget that our animalistic biological roles are separate to the intellectual roles that we play in the world. As a mother I try to instil the values that I see as important into my daughter, as a female being dated or in a relationship I am a woman, the potential child bearer, the yin that balances out the yang. But it doesn’t mean that I must always be that role in everything I do. At the gym I lift heavy whenever I can, in my job I out intellect the intellectuals in the chess like mind games of design and solution, but it’s all being lead by the person inside.

Sometimes that person inside is just a small child as she tries to make sense of the world around her with the hope that no one can see her breaking inside as she bluffs her way through trying to hold it together. Sometimes that person is the oldest, wisest witch with the forces of nature behind her and intuition leading her when she feels her strongest. There’s always a balance to be had in the child like wonder and the wise witch who knows the rules of the universe, and when the balance is equal she is at her happiest. She can enjoy the experience with her eyes open wide but interpret it with the wiseness of the child that was always considered to be old for her years.

In my belief we are purely energy driving the machine of the biology we’re born into. When the biology is old our energy is transferred to a new machine to start again and experience some more. The soul which is mine is an old one, the energy is fresh but the experience is vast. There are irrational fears built from experiences before this time that cannot be explained by events of the current phase of life into which I’ve been born. It makes me patient most of the time, but frustrated at behaviour of the world as a whole when I see people are wrongly perceived, persecuted generation after generation. It means that I don’t fear death all that much, but the pain of the process in which it inevitably happens.

So be the person inside, drop the job role, the perception of the way you should act and be the person you are, you’ll be perceived as more genuine. Don’t worry about validation from the people around you, validate yourself and have confidence that when you are being who you are it really doesn’t matter what you do to earn your bread.

Design Decision Tarot

IMG_0554So as you’ve probably guessed by now I like a bit of spontaneity and get some new ideas all the time. Me and my best bestie from my old team often come up with some new ideas for businesses that might just work!

Today’s Idea….

Design Decision Tarot! How’s this gonna work? Well… let me explain… as a data architect I have to come up with a solution to a problem involving data… very often it’s a collaboration between me and some other architects such as solutions and infrastructure. Easy right? Most of the time no… not when the boys get all protective over their idea or miss stuff or forget to tell you something important. It can take forever!!!! And very often what you’re working with is pure intuition on what will work because you don’t know until you’ve tried it! Intuition you say… let’s take that idea and run with it… like so far that we just won a world record for sprinting the fuck away from the original plan. Yep been there. So I’m gonna start using the powers of the universe to help me make a design decision from now on. I’m gonna take along my trusty pack of tarot cards and it’s going to be as good as any in how I decide how the hell we fix this one hell of a fuck up of a bug, or poor legacy design that someone took and buggered to the ends of the earth till it broke baaaad.

Here’s what I’m gonna do;

1. Hand over my precious cards to the business owner and ask them to shuffle.

2. Lay out the designs we all came up with on the table in front of them.

3. Ask the person to deal 3 cards for each solution.

4. Interpret card 1 as background problem, 2 as implementation and 3 as final outcome

What could possibly go wrong?!?

So… here’s a quick over view of how it could pan out;

You got the Tower as Background, the Sun as Implementation and the Ace of Pentacles as your final outcome…. go with that one!!!! Seriously ignore anything else!!! You are fixing something that is totally fucked and delivering it will be a dream, the outcome will be awesome

You get the 10 of cups as back ground, the ten of Wands for implementation, and the 9 of swords as your final outcome… leave well alone, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it style because that’s gonna be a pain in the arse to implement and when you do you are gonna be fixing bug after bug and it’s gonna hurt.

Failing that you could always use the Ouija Board… this will tell you exactly which bit is buggered, be carful though, the spirit of an architect could be good or bad, if it starts at the moon drag your glass to goodbye immediately, no good can come of their input.

I’m going to try it… the others right now are stuck in a place of indecision and mutual suspicion of each other. Sometimes leaving your decision to the divine is the only choice you have because no one can make up their freakin’ mind! Or more often everyone made up their mind before we got into the 2 hours of some prick commandeering a white board and nothing getting solved, me wishing I had those 2 hours of my life back or failing that a button to push that either unleashes my pet dragons or opens up a trapdoor to hell or somewhere… either way, I’m not picky.

Tomorrow I’m taking my cards to the office… if it catches on I’m totally gonna run with it!!! I mean someone came up with scrum poker for sizing work… so why not Design Decision Tarot? The decision logs will be much simpler  to fill out, 3 columns one for each card and as most people prefer pictures the answer will speak for itself 5 years down the line when we’re trying to work out who in the world made that decision. Also it takes away the blame culture, if the universe advised it then there was a reason that we should not question.

I’ll let you know how it goes…


Same city different times


It occurred to me today how many people we encounter on a day to day basis and yet how lonely you can feel in a crowded city surrounded by people. I take a break every morning when I’m at work and stand outside my office building that stands right opposite a bar where my last boyfriend frequents, and yet we will never bump into one another in spite of the close proximity of our two separate existences.

I not through choice but necessity awake during the day to go to work and carry out my various responsibilities before eventually hitting the hay for a few hours to repeat the next day. He is awake during the night because the business he chooses to run is predominantly carried out after office hours with people trying to make it to leave the 9-5 drag or people like him who have no real routine or perhaps even responsibilities in life other than perhaps feeding themselves and keeping a roof over their heads.

I used to feel envious of the freedoms they held but actually now I no longer am, the apparent freedom for many is a trap, they drag themselves down and each other with the notion of the struggling artist and the idea that one must have no ties to stop their creativity from happening.

Why can’t it be both? For me the romanticism of the struggling artist is just that, actually it doesn’t have to be that way at all. Why must success always be so painful? Do I really have to cut off my own ear and die poor for my art to be sold for millions hundreds of years after my death? My answer is no. Because what would be the point?

So here are my two sides of the city, the one’s who are working to achieve success and the one’s who are working to well… for what? Pain and suffering I guess. Is taking a good wage really selling out? Or is it actually accepting the value of your worth for the work that you do?

We all have to do the things we dislike sometimes in order to do the things we enjoy. Getting up for work in the morning is a daily struggle but I do it for the things that I can achieve by doing it. The joys of seeing my daughter smile, the joy of knowing the roof over my head is mine, the joy of simple things like planting flowers, reading books, seeing friends to go to a gig. All of which I would not be able to do were it not for the 35 hours a week I sacrifice. But then, is it really such a sacrifice when there are things I gain? The interactions with people I would never have met, the chance to learn something new and be part of something great.

When I told myself aged 18 I would never be able to work in an office I had a dismal view of the world of work, the idea of being free to be who I wanted to be, outside of the norm, but then I have never been a part of the norm.

So the two sides to the city, whilst I rest he works, whilst I work he rests but I gain from my day things that he could never understand. And no longer wish for the life of suffering, no longer see my choice as a sacrifice, more an enabler to do what I want, to become great in my fairy tail and rule my own kingdom. The only limits are those that I put in myself, I’m not tied, I can run if I wish, but for now I’ll stay. Running away doesn’t solve the problems you are running from. But staying and dealing and overcoming them makes your life that much richer.

The life I have I did not necessarily choose but then again perhaps I did, because I chose to succeed where others told me I couldn’t, I chose to work hard when others told me not to. At a young age I had two choices, suck it up and make your daughter proud or lie down and let others deal, I chose the former and have no regrets because everything I have I worked for, nothing was handed to me in a plate. My university fees I mostly paid myself, my house deposit provided by me, my car paid for by my own hard work. My future will be built by me. When I could not afford bread, I worked harder, when my flat was cold, I worked harder. Today I stand on my own two feet and I’m strong because of the lessons I leant, you can have whatever you want when you put your mind to it and work hard. Yes some get the help of inheritance or parental support to give them a start, that is great as long as they use that help to make themselves a success and show that a wise investment was made. This is why I have no guilty feelings when I invest in myself. You cannot be strong for others if you haven’t. My life was not created for me to suffer for some art that may never be discovered, and nor was anyone else’s. Find something each day that makes you love what you do. And never wish for the life of another without fully understanding the implications of that. There is no honour in martyrdom, but there is honour in gratitude for what you have and the talents you have gained in getting there. Enjoy your life and everything it brings, the challenges are just that, don’t give up on your dreams or limit yourself to the views of others, it’s your story to write make it a good one.