“It was 6:30am and as I heard the front door close behind him, I had no idea this was the moment that would change my life forever!”

This is how I imagine my book would start. The truth is, one small unconscious decision that I took exactly 5 years ago to the day, changed my life as I knew it and it has never been the same since.

At the time it seemed completely insignificant, that I had agreed, without really having to think about it, to go out for a drink with 2 of my work colleagues (outsourced IT partner to be precise!). One of those, is my now husband, Mark. On the surface of it, you may wonder why this has been so life changing, aside the fact we have just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and have 3 small kiddies ;), whilst these are life changing events in themselves, this isn’t what I am referring too.

I was brought up in a devout religion. It was a community of like minded people that would worship 3 times a week, be there to support you in times of need; I had many friends and a good social life. Making friends and associations outside of the religion, were frowned upon, as were career aspirations, acquiring material possessions, sex before marriage was prohibited, as were celebration of Christmas and birthdays, just to name a few of the beliefs and values that I had become my everyday ‘norm’. I believed this was right and everyone else had it so very wrong.

That night 5 years ago having made the decision to go out for a drink, looking back, was a little out of character for me! Especially, as it was on a night whereby I should have been at one of our ‘meetings’ of worship. The months leading up to that night, I had become terribly unhappy, so much so, that I had developed an eating disorder and had used alcohol to blank out those feelings of unhappiness – despite my many friends, I felt lonely and so indescribably lost. I only realised that months after Mark and I had got together.

The whole evening with Mark is a story in itself, and maybe not for now. All I knew is that we had made a connection on every level; I never wanted that night to end, and it didn’t! When I woke up with him beside me, it all felt like a dream – what just happened? Why him? Why now?

Six weeks on, he told me that he loved me. 4 months in, in a tent in Hamble, we decided that we wanted to be together always and start a family. 2 months after that I found out I was pregnant. It was at this point I knew I had to bite the bullet and face my friends and family. I knew that I would no longer be accepted for not only seeing someone outside of the religion, but having sex, moving in together and being pregnant all outside of marriage – I had always known the consequences to these actions, although to me they had all happened unconsciously and seemed so natural. That did not prepare me for the reality of losing all my friends and some of my family and adjusting to life has, at times, proved to be challenging!

Imagine, not having celebrated a Christmas or Birthday until you were 30, never having tasted champagne, never having aspirations or to be involved with charity work, voting, or having sex! Imagine your parents and close friends not sharing your most special and happy time, being at your wedding or sharing the joy of giving birth to your children. I know exactly how all of that feels! I don’t want sympathy, because without all of this, I wouldn’t be the person I am today or be in the position I am today.

This blog is about where I started 5 years ago, my journey to date through many many difficult, trying and often challenging times and my now great plans for the future. I am writing this for many reasons not least because I am now feel able to share and doing so is quite cathartic! So many people live a life of beliefs that are, perhaps, not their own. Beliefs, which limit them in ways they do not realise. It’s only when you break through those limitations and see what a world of possibilities, sadness and happiness live on the other side.

Before I finish this first entry I want to make it clear this is my journey, my beliefs and my life and I have the utmost respect for anyone who has different beliefs and if they wish to lead a life within them then I applaud them for sticking to the beliefs so strongly. This is in no way meant to blame, criticise, or belittle anyone’s beliefs. If however you or someone you know would like to change their most fundamental of beliefs and values, spiritual or religious, and don’t know where to turn or feel isolated, then I want you to know I have done it, I have walked that path and would love to share what challenges I have faced and how I have managed to create a life of endless possibilities where my only limitations are me and my imagination.

Yours in an inspirational journey!

Sarah xXx