15 MARCH 2016
Today I quit my job.
It was an incredibly difficult decision to make and I have agonised over it for months, but I know it is the right one.
I thought I would feel relieved but I don’t, I feel very sad, and without trying to sound melodramatic, like I’ve left an old friend behind.
My profession and my life have been intertwined for so long that I worry I will lose my sense of self if I am not doing that job anymore.
It is the first time in my life I have been unemployed since I started working as a shelf stacker at Marks and Spencer at the age of 16.
I have been a journalist for 15 years, starting at my first paper aged 21 when I was fresh out of university.
The past four and a bit years have been spent at the Press Association, which is a great place to work, and where I have learnt a lot.
I know I am lucky to be in a position where I can make the decision not to return to my job when my maternity leave ends next month.
I know that it is the right decision so that I can be around for my children while they are small.
It is time I will never get back and I used to struggle with being away from Arlo when I was working long hours and travelling all over the place.
My boss was lovely and told me that I was a brilliant journalist and that the door would be left open if I wanted to go back once the kids are at school.
My colleague Tom, who also covers the South East patch for PA, was lovely too and understands why I have come to this decision.
I will miss him. He’s an all-round lovely chap, fantastic journalist and brilliant person who I have enjoyed working alongside. He’s also just sent me a lovely email which made me cry.
I’ve been lucky in that I have had the opportunity to experience many things a lot of people never get the chance to do because of my job.
But even though this is a big change, I still plan on working.
We have enough money saved to keep me going for a few months, and I already have some work lined up.
This is a chance to make the most of the time I will have with my children.
This is my chance to build a successful career as a freelance journalist, copywriter and social media manager.
I just need to have the belief and confidence in myself; and that other people see in me, to embrace this change, grab it by the balls and to give it all I’ve got.