Three years ago, I left NZ Police without any regrets. My time was up, 22 years was enough. I joined police so that I could have security of employment and to become a community Constable. I managed to do a little more than that and was so proud to have worked for Police, and still proud of the work they do. Good people doing amazing things and for the most part, unnoticed.
I started a business based on what police had taught me - honesty, determination, and humility. It started with an idea, expanded inside my head, had wonderful support from my family, and guidance from ex-colleagues of NZ police who had gained valuable insight.
Tonight, I reflect on the last three years while on holiday in an amazing place, with my wife. How lucky am I? Yes, it's been hard work, yes I don't know when to slow down, and yes I still make mistakes. But what a fantastic journey.
The pressure from developing new research-based programmes, from ensuring that I cannot be challenged on what I provide, from standing in front of new audiences each day, from being asked to speak to the media about police issues without offending my former colleagues, to providing up to four 2-hour sessions in a single day. Each brings its own challenges.
I still don't know how to provide balance to my life. I teach it, but don't follow it. And I doubt that I ever will. On my headstone will be written "He didn't follow his own rules". What I do enjoy, is helping others. Whether it comes from a genuine desire to help, or to be the centre of attention, is a moot point. I am still helping people, just like when I was in the police.
As I sit with a glass of wine after a great meal following a lovely day, I am feeling so grateful. Grateful for what the police taught me, grateful to those who support me in my work, grateful for the many inspirational messages I receive following my workshops, grateful to my family for supporting me in so many ways.
Why am I writing this post, apart from telling you how grateful I am for my journey from depression to exaltation? Because I never thought that I would be where I am now. I wonder how many of you reading this are in the same place as I was 18 years ago? Treading water trying not to drown.
Life has a way of lifting us up and slapping us down. I have learned one thing in my journey, when things become hopeless, there is always hope. Hope which comes from those around us.
Thank you for reading my rant. I hope it makes sense and might inspire one person to stretch themselves, to reach out, to keep going, to take a chance, to make a difference.