I never had a BIG WHY.
Or rather I never asked myself "What is my life's purpose?", "Why am I even here?"
Like many women, I got caught on the treadmill of life, I followed a path that had been laid down for me by society, my parents, peers and friends.
From a young age I KNEW that this was what was EXPECTED of me and that actually it didn't really matter if I was fulfilled or truly happy and satisfied with my life, just that I was doing what I should in order to "make a good living" and not be a financial burden to society or my parents.
So I got the degree and I got the corporate job, I got the good salary and some perks - no company car for me, I wasn't that high up and this irked me some what as I wanted to rise higher, yet I could never quite make it out of the starting blocks.
Sure I applied for the promotions and did all of the recommended training set out by the companies to be able to progress, it just never worked out that way. I was never enough, never the "right fit" when it came down to decision making time, it was always given to someone external....
I used to wonder why?
I tried so hard, I was good at what I did and even though what the companies did was not lighting my fire AT ALL, I believed in their mission and vision, because that is what a good employee does right?
The thing is, it was me.
I challenged the status quo, I asked too many questions, I put myself out there and put my head above the parapet and voiced my opinions. This was NOT appreciated and unwittingly I was silently ending my career prospects every time I did.
You may be wondering, "So this must have been the point that she left as clearly this is not going to work for her, the corporate environment is not going to give her what she wants or needs."
You give me far too much credit my friend.
For I was completely unconscious to all of the obvious signs that this is NOT where I was meant to be. Being sidelined, ignored, suppressed and repressed by an environment that did not support me was not ENOUGH to wake me up.
So what was?
Well, it took almost dying.
Yup, I am THAT woman.
But let me take you back to before I almost died.
It was September 2016 and I had just been moved to a new role within another part of the business I currently worked in, my part of the business had been made redundant and for 6 months I had been working as part of a small team to help set up and build a new business that was an amalgamation of my area and the same area in another company - a merger to create a brand new company in my industry.
I met my boss who seemed nice and then 2 weeks later she announced that she was leaving and that she would be replaced with a Consultant at her level until they employed someone full-time.
They started in October that year and that was when all the proverbial shit hit the fan for me.
I found out that I was pregnant with twins and I was both shocked and delighted in equal measures.
And yet there was also this underlying anxiety, and it was coming from the fact that I would have to tell my new boss and new company - because even though they were called the same, my part of the business was governed differently to the one I was now part of - that I was pregnant.
The thing is I had been pregnant before, as I write he is 8, almost 9 years old and yet I didn't feel this anxiety when I told my then boss the news almost 6 years prior.
This was different, I felt uneasy.
And it was with good reason.
I told my now boss the news that not only was I pregnant but I was a high-risk pregnancy and that would mean fortnightly scans and visits to the hospital, oh and I could only carry to 36 weeks so I would need to go on maternity leave early.
Congratulations were said, but the smile never quite reached the eyes, you know what I mean?
I had felt that they had been assessing each and every one of us since they started, slowly working out who the weakest link was in the team and I had just shot myself to first place.
The treatment that I then received after that is something that I cannot really talk about.
But more on that later...
It is 13th May 2017 and I am waiting to be induced at the hospital, it was my designated day and I was MORE THAN READY to get these babies out. I had been feeling out of sorts lately - even more so than usual when carrying two mini humans inside of you - dizzy, spots in front of my eyes...
Some of the more seasoned of you may already be onto the diagnosis.
I had the "pee in the tube" test and when the Nurse returned I KNEW something was wrong. She checked my blood pressure and said THOSE words:
"Right Mrs Beete we are going to bypass all the other drugs and get you straight into HDU - High Dependency Unit - and get you into labour NOW. You have protein in your urine and your blood pressure is through the roof. You have pre-eclampsia and if we don't get these babies out ASAP your organs will fail and you will die."
Nothing like a bit of drama to check if you were listening, those were not her exact words, they would have been less E.R and more well, British.
Several hours later - but not too long - my babies were born, healthy, happy(ish) and fine.
I birthed the placentas (yes 2 because my twins are non-identical) and BLACKED OUT.
I had lost 2 pints of blood, or maybe more I don't really remember and the bleeding would not stop, my husband who is an ex-Royal Marines Officer and served 2 tours in Afghanistan and been through his own trauma out there thought that I was going to die and he would literally be left holding the babies.
We were lucky, someone decided it was not my time and I pulled through.
I had no idea what had happened, my husband had to tell me that I had almost died and I actually laughed, I thought he was joking, it felt like I had gone for a nap for a few minutes.
Then I saw his face and I knew, he was serious. And then I was grateful to be alive, and then a shift started within me. I didn't know what it was or what it meant but in more ways than one I knew that our lives would NEVER be the same again.
I write that date in isolation because it has SO much meaning for me.
It was the month I resigned from my corporate role and life for good, it was the month I turned 36 years old and for the first time in my life I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Scary AF does not even cut it.
It was the month that I had THE phone call where my previous employer basically admitted they had mistreated me whilst pregnant, offered to pay me a lump sum and in return would I be so kind as to sign an NDA and never speak of what happened to me in detail OR name them.
So for 3 months salary I was silenced and gagged.
Please do not think that I saw the pound (£) signs and signed on the dotted line, there had been gruelling and horrific procedures I was forced to go through whilst suffering severe anxiety due to my treatment and heavily pregnant - because when you are pregnant with twins you are never not heavy.
I knew that to take them to court would break me mentally, emotionally and physically, I knew that because it was a he said/she said case it would be unlikely I would walk away with anything at all.
So I made a difficult choice, if I knew what I know now would I have signed?
Yes I would because we needed to live.
If I do go against my NDA I will have to pay them back in full and probably pay some legal fees and goodness knows what else whilst they try sue me.
So you see, my hands are tied behind my back. Or are they?
Because whilst I can't talk specifics, I can tell you I suffered from maternity and pregnancy discrimination. And I am not the only one.
This is why I trained to be a Coach, this is why I do what I do.
Every cell in my body, every fibre of my being is committed to empowering women that have suffered at the hands of an idiot boss and an unsupportive company whilst pregnant, made to sign an NDA and given a lump sum, to CHOOSE.
To CHOOSE an alternative.
To CHOOSE to be the architect of their life.
To CHOOSE freedom and flexibility.
To CHOOSE to not have to re-enter the toxic environment that made their lives a living hell in what SHOULD have been the most joyful, amazing experience of their lives.
And most of all to CHOOSE to create independent wealth, share their gifts and their stories by uncovering their BIG WHY and fulfilling it so they live a life of their dreams even after everything that had happened.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, there is a way to be happy again.
I am your lighthouse guiding you back to who you truly are, what you are meant to be doing in this life and most importantly of all WHY.
I am here to empower you to be able to make the same choices I did and never go back to what no longer serves you.
I do it for women, I do it for you.