If someone read my palm 12 months ago and said: 'you'll leave London, wave good bye to your marketing role and become a professional cricketer in Yorkshire', I'd have laughed them out of the room…
2020, you've been a whirlwind.
If I can thank COVID19 for anything, it would be: time. The time it has given me to pause, reflect and think. The time to remove myself from the hamster wheel of life. I was balancing: a full-time job, cricket training, a cricket coaching qualification, starting a social platform: tipnflip, socialising and dating. And in the mix of this, I'd decided, 'I want to become a full-time cricketer'.
April 2020 was the end of my tenancy in the wonderful Peckham. It brought me back to the most beautiful, yet simple Yorkshire life: sport, family time, ridiculous games and hilarious dinner table chats. And what isn't to enjoy about making sure every car journey you drive 'over the tops'? (i.e driving over the moors for any southerner reading).
COVID19 removed choices and societal pressures, giving me the clarity to focus on my personal goal: becoming the best possible cricketer.
When the decision came to becoming a professional cricketer, the overwhelming societal pressures of being a female 29 year old kicked back in. Surely I should be buying a house? Settling down? Finding a life partner? Ticking the life boxes society presents to us. Then the practical questions, what if I fall pregnant playing sport? What if sport only lasts a few years? What happens if I get an injury? What if it all goes wrong?
My head was spinning, I wanted to play cricket, travel, see the world but these weren't the things that were normalised for a female encroaching her 30's. Being a professional cricketer had always been a distant dream and finally it was attainable. For once, I listened to the voice in my head, chose the challenge and truly believed my passion would over-rule societal and personal pressures.
Being a professional cricketer has been the best decision of my life. I'm the most content I've ever been, I'm learning my discipline, I laugh every day and I'm surrounded by passionate people that champion equality in sport.
It's not what I thought was my plan (standard thoughts… married, 2 kids, house, booming career by 30). But I truly believe, genuinely listening to the voice in my head is the best plan I've ever had.
From now on, I'm trying my hardest to make compassionate decisions, ignore my wandering ego telling me I should be 'buying a house', 'earning more money' and comparing 'what people your age have'. Those big life tick boxes will come when/if they need to. I have confidence in myself and its the proudest I've ever felt.
There's no right or wrong way in life. My message this international women's day is: life's a whirlwind but, trust, believe and own your journey. Listen to that little voice in your head. It's your best pal after all.