But what happens if I fall? But oh my darling, what happens if you fly?”
Every year, we encourage our members and community to create a vision board, in the firm belief that by taking the time to let our brains wander to where we actually want to go and having a visual reminder, it’ll happen.
I’d never done one before until our member Rachel Hunter hosted a member workshop just before the pandemic hit.
That was definitely not on the Vision Board.
And yet, since I left teaching 13 years ago, I’ve always had a vision to have our own building. A place where the community can thrive, we have a base with all the kit we need and a forever home for the business.
Earlier in the year, February 2022, we took ownership of a former nine-bedroom hotel and pub in Consett – a lengthy process of extreme highs and lows.
I’m not sure I can describe the multitude of emotions on finally seeing my vision start to unfold in front of my eyes.
I’m currently powered by a heady mix of excitement, incredulity and absolute terror.
It became a family project. My dad, cousin, sister and brother-in-law giving hour after hour to help my husband Mike and I bring the building up to standard.
On top of that, the generosity of the MINT team and members giving their time to help paint won’t ever be forgotten.
Seeing the team in their, still-as-yet-unfinished, offices is a joy.
But settling into our new space is taking some time. Getting acquainted with our surroundings isn’t as easy as imagined.
Systems, procedures, building management, fire alarms, recycling, teabags, cleaning the loo, heating a huge building, where are the light switches… all the things that we’d never thought about have added a new dimension to going to the office.
By April, our wonderful MINTie friends and colleagues were in their new offices. Kieran and Michelle, Moira, Hannah, Kate and Ian all become our tenants and we get to support their business dreams further.
We held a couple of members-only events, showing off the space way before it was even nearly finished, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
And by June, we were inviting members of the general public into the building for a week of celebratory events.
Now, we all sit poised and ready to welcome people through the doors EVERY DAY from 1st July with the opening of our shop and the launch of hot-desking and lounge working space.
People keep asking me if I’m proud.
I say “yes”, looking around me but the truth is, it’s not real yet. I don’t actually believe it’s happening.
That this space is actually ours and we don’t have to move again.
In my neurodiverse world, I have never thought I’d achieve my potential. I haven’t ever realised what that could even look like. Fighting against my ADHD brain to fit into a neurotypical world is challenging.
But I’m grateful for this differently wired brain of mine because for 13 years it’s never stopped tripping on the idea of having our own space.
Falling was expected. But flying? Well that’s a delicious feeling after all.