Nina's Story

I believe that life experiences are given to us all as a way of training and teaching us.

They can help to equip us with the various tools, knowledge and coping mechanisms essential to make it through this busy, hectic and often crazy world. That`s if we choose to look at things that way.

Some of us choose to “train” within a specific body or college/university to gain accreditations essential to enter certain career paths. For a lot of careers this is certainly a necessary requirement.

Others however may unknowingly be experiencing certain situations and experiences that, once looked back on, highlight the lessons that taught us an incredible amount. Some of these experiences can cover a whole array of emotions from complete happiness and joy to utter devastation and sadness.

These teachings can be invaluable and strengthen our foresight, compassion, wisdom and understanding – attributes that those who don’t reflect, may lack.

My own personal training has taken on both of these dimensions.

I left school to pursue a career in beauty therapy at the age of 17. I continued with this path for around 8 years, and absolutely loved it. I initially studied at college to become qualified, went on to work within a salon environment and finished up working for myself as a mobile therapist. I loved the interaction with the public and enjoyed the job satisfaction I gained.

At around age 26 I went through a very painful and heartbreaking divorce. Thankfully we had no children between us, which was in fact, one of the deciding factors for the break up. Divorce was something I NEVER believed I would go through. I watched my parents go through it and decided fairly early on that it was something I would never allow to happen. Sometimes decisions have to be made to make the changes in life that you know will make you a happier, healthier person even if you know the road will be a hard one. For that period in my life health wasn`t something I was looking at too closely. I just wanted to find my ‘happy me’, but wasn`t sure how to make that happen.

At 27 I decided to apply for a career that I had felt pretty passionate about for a little while but never believed in myself enough to feel I could do. That career was to become a police officer. As a child I had always been incredibly shy and lacked a lot of confidence and self-belief. I knew this role would push me massively out of my comfort zone and force me to make changes within that I knew I needed to make. So, in 2000 I joined the police force in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom and started my 2 year probation period. I LOVED it! I was learning new things every day, interacting with the public most days, helping people who genuinely needed help and went home, a large majority of the time, feeling very fulfilled. There were often very stressful and potentially dangerous situations I was involved in, which taught me how to keep a level of calmness whilst trying to diffuse or deal with certain situations.

At this stage I was a single female and I was able to dedicate a large part of my life to the job.

Just before my 30th birthday I met the man of my dreams at work one day, Tim. He was new to the job and so I set out to teach him all I knew 😉 We clicked instantly and before long knew that we were destined for each other.

We got engaged the following year and both decided to take the next year off work to travel the world (something I had felt a strong desire to do since the age of about 18 but needed to find the right person to do it with). We visited Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the East coast of USA. We had such a fantastic time! So good in fact that we came back 7 months pregnant with a little Keira in my tummy!

We knew at this point that we wanted desperately to emigrate to Australia. We fell in love with the weather and lifestyle out there and knew it would be a great place to raise our children. We had our second daughter, Tia in 2007 and then left for Perth, WA in early 2008. Tim had applied to WA Police and had got a job!!!! Exciting times. Sad too though, saying all the goodbyes to our families.

I’d always wanted to be a stay at home mum once we`d had children. I knew the fast paced schedule of a busy police officer wasn’t the life I saw for our little family. I wanted to invest my time and efforts into raising children. Luckily Tim felt the same. Early in 2009 we had our 3rd daughter, Lilia.

So, for almost 8 years I was a stay at home mum. During 2009 I had 3 children at home full time aged 4 and under. Was I completely mad? Yes, I think I was! Mostly I loved this time, although there were certainly moments where I questioned my sanity!! It was absolutely exhausting. I’d never known tiredness like it. This led me into a bit of a downward spiral where I was finding that I had little to no energy every afternoon. I soon adopted a very bad habit where by 2-3pm I would have a large mug of milky coffee with at least 2 sugars and either a piece of home baked cake or biscuits or a slab of chocolate. I’d always had a sweet tooth, but I found I NEEDED the sugar to get me through the afternoon. I had a serious sugar addiction!!! This resulted in me gaining extra kilos and having a mental fog every day. Not good. I could feel myself slipping down this slope at an alarming speed and I didn’t like it. Something clicked in me as I approached my 40th birthday and I thought “No More!” I joined an on line diet/fitness regime for 12 weeks and started to look after myself more. This was an amazing turn around and led to me being a much happier version of myself; I saw the kilos falling off. I was certainly feeling the endorphins from the exercise and it had a knock on effect with everything else in my life.

Once Lilia, my youngest had started school I was ready to get back out there into the real world. I started to think about and plan my new career path. I had set my heart on becoming a midwife. I applied to do a nursing degree at Bunbury University and was offered a place to start in 2014 once Lilia was at full time school. I was so happy and excited. Life was good.

That was until June 2013 when everything dramatically changed course.

My brain tumour diagnosis. Bugger.

That threw a spanner in the works for sure.