Floristry is something I've dreamed of exploring for many years, however I've never even pushed myself to try arranging flowers.
I was always preoccupied with something else - mostly something "sensible" and "mature" and "the done thing", and my dream laid dormant at the back of my mind. At 18 I met a man, got engaged and moved in with him, married at 22 and had a beautiful baby girl at the age of 25. We later split up and divorced, and I am now a single parent who works full time in administration. I don't have time for anything else, right? I can't possibly be selfish and do something I love to do - I need to remain in a steady job and wait until my daughter is older and independant before I make drastic changes. Right?
This attitude all changed recently when, as my 32nd birthday came and went, after years of working in an office setting, I decided once and for all that I was well and truly fed up with it and that I needed to embark on following my dream. Why at 32? I have no idea. One "normally" has this kind of epiphany when they hit a "milestone" birthday, but at 30 my life, not to mention my mindset, was quite different - the past has, however, made me the person I am today. Clichéd perhaps, but the absolute truth. At 32, I am finally realising that I need to make the most of my life - why do we realise these things when we are so many years into adulthood? It makes no sense to me. I should have learned from others - oh but we humans never do this do we? We always have to learn the hard way, and waste precious time in the process.
Ah, I digress. Back on topic.
I had no idea how or where to start. I telephoned all the local florists asking if they would consider allowing me to volunteer in their shop. One sounded like a hopeful prospect and I sent in my CV, only to hear absolutely nothing from her. One of the florists I spoke with was a total delight and I found myself being incredibly disappointed that she couldn't accommodate me for some volunteer work. Back to the drawing board I went.
Over the space of a few weeks, I researched flower arranging and floristry courses. Most were full time courses therefore not an option for me. I absolutely want this to be my new life, but I still need to cling onto a slight amount of sensibility and remain employed elsewhere - there are bills to pay after all. I almost enrolled on a one day course with a local florist but the fact it cost £250 unfortunately swayed my decision towards the negative - it was not a payment I could justify - yet another disappointment.
I was about to give up, when a prospectus for Stamford College magically appeared on my doormat. I'm certain it was the Flower Fairies who placed it there. There it was. A course that is spread over five consecutive Tuesday evenings - Flower Arranging For Beginners. Twenty five whole UK Pounds was the cost. I excitedly enrolled, and my lovely Mum agreed to babysit for the whole five weeks. I will continue for a further five Tuesdays after this as I have also enrolled on the Intermediate Flower Arranging Course.
On Tuesday night, it was finally time for my first evening at college. On arrival, I realised that the tutor was none other than the delight of a florist I had spoken to on the 'phone only a few weeks prior. Does anyone else believe in fate, or is this coincidence?
It was a fabulous evening - our tutor demonstrated a simple small tray arrangement, and then we were let loose with actual flowers of our very own. 15 ladies all using their individual creativity - we were given the exact same amount of flowers and foliage, and we each produced something different to the next.
I looked at my creation and could have cried right there and then out of happiness and pride in myself. I could not stop smiling, and immediately after the class I wanted to go back and do more. I have brought my arrangement home, and every time I walk past I give it a little smile and look forward to the next time...
Tuesday evenings are the new "Me Time"!