Last year in August, my dreams came true when I was invited to present a show on BBC Radio Sheffield. For the past few months Nowt So Strange As Folk has been going out on a Wednesday evening from 7-9pm and it’s been an absolute joy!
Then at Christmas last year, I was called into see the boss along with my copresenter, after panicking we were going to be told off, we were asked if we’d like to stand in for the mid morning presenter whilst she was on holiday! We said yes immediately but over the past few weeks, doubts have been creeping in.
Those fears, insecurities and that nasty voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough have been poking and whispering to me that I’m not good enough to do it.
What if I messed it all up? What if everyone laughed at me? What if she actually meant to ask someone else and it’s all a big accident and then I turn up and she says “what are you doing here?! Of COURSE I didn’t mean you!!
I know I come across as a confident person, but believe me, these are the internal conversations I have most days!!!
But if I’ve learnt one thing over the past five years and seven surgeries, it is not to trust those fears.
I have been so fearful over my life, heading into surgery after surgery, losing my bowel and learning to live with an ostomy bag, having surgeries that didn’t work, being in HDU and spending weeks on end in hospital and months on end recovering. There have been times when the fears became too much, when they shattered my confidence and broke down my mental health.
There have been times when it all felt like too much, when I didn’t know if I was able to carry on. When it took everything I had just to get out of bed in the morning.
Yet here I am. Still standing. Still smiling. Still living.
And so I have learnt not to trust those fears, because they did not know my strengths.
And this week I have been on BBC radio on one of their most popular shows, I have presented for 3 hours a day, I’ve interviewed some amazing people including comedian Lucy Porter, ABC singer Martin Fry and the Sheffield branch leader of the Women’s Equality Party Charlotte Mead.
Ive had to learn new skills and how to go to news, travel and weather (with the fabulous Owain Wyn Evans!) It’s been challenging and at times scary but honestly it’s been the most brilliant experience and I feel so blessed and honoured to have done it.
Doing five shows this week plus our usual Wednesday evening show has been exhausting. I also had to rejig my work hours at Scope and work afternoons PLUS Timm and Thom came down with the gross sickness bug that has been going round. It has been a really tough week, one that at times I thought might be too much for me.
But I made it through! And it has been the most amazing experience. And more than that it has taught me yet again that I can’t trust the fears and need to remember that I have more strength than I know.