TransTeach is a blog which aims to promote education across a multitude of areas, from translator training and the importance of diversification as a freelancer right through to how the very youngest members of society can better look after their environment and each other (check out our charity ebooks).
In this post, we’re deviating once again because education, like life, can’t be neatly compartmentalised. This is a post written sincerely from the heart – that of our founder, Claire Culliford, to be precise. Whether anyone really needs to be educated about true love is a question that’s open to debate but it certainly doesn’t hurt to hear about it as much as possible. It is, after all, what makes the world go round!
Four years ago this week, I had just returned from the Caribbean, where I’d gone to learn to dive. The trip turned out to be more life changing than I could ever have envisaged; a chance encounter left me having met the love of my life and led to me branching out in my career, to become the director of a charity and a children’s book author. All I knew at the time, however, was that in the space of one evening I’d been introduced to the most interesting man I’d ever met.
Last week, I returned from the Caribbean once again. This time, the same man and I had been there together, only accompanied by a small group of young people. All of them have given of their time and energy, repeatedly, to help support the charity that my now partner and I have worked on building and developing pretty much since the day we met – My Mother’s Love (www.mymotherslove.co.uk). You see I fell not only for a man, but also for his life vision – a desire to make a real difference in the world and to help as many people as possible along the way. His vision was, I realised almost immediately, entirely in line with my own and the intervening 4 years have seen us make it a reality.
I wouldn’t say I’m particularly gifted when it comes to expressing affection verbally. So it’s lucky that I’m with someone who is. I am constantly told how much I’m loved and I think it’s high time I reciprocate. So, as the written word has always been more my thing, here goes…
The last 4 years of my life have been a beautiful journey. One of adventure into the unknown, following my gut, rising to what have sometimes felt like insurmountable challenges and also overcoming fears (some of which I didn’t even realise I had). Every step of the way my hand and heart have been held by a person who I constantly feel fortunate to have found. My whole life I’ve been a fan of dreaming, and of dreaming big, and then turning those dreams into something real, something tangible. However, when I envisioned falling in love in the most earth shattering, filmlike and lifelong way, I’m not sure I thought it was truly possible. It turns out that it is.
I am a very different person from the one I was at the start of December 2011. I’m still a translator, teacher and writer and I try to be a good person every day, just like I did before. However, thanks largely to the man I love, I now believe I’m more generous, with both my time and money, more patient, more courageous, more forgiving, more tolerant and well, the list goes on…
My partner sometimes tells me I’m very self-critical; I say, why wouldn’t I be? Becoming a better human being every day is something that’s always been a personal priority. So, I notice the changes in me, even the small ones, and I’m so grateful for them. I particularly appreciate the fact that many of them may not have occurred had I not met such a wonderful person to share my life with.
The man I’m with has also changed. He was a fabulous guy when I met him, one whose heart and mind I found utterly beguiling. Now, well, in my eyes he’s just perfect. I am proud every day to be able to spend so much time around him – we work together from home – and to have him constantly there reminding me that I can still be more generous, more understanding, more creative, more aspirational, an even better version of myself.
Everyone thinks their love story is special, and indeed they all are. I adore hearing about stories of real-life love. I find them even more endearing than the kind that’s portrayed in fiction. Our story, for example, has involved crazy flights to exotic locations, just to spend a few precious days together. It’s also involved periods of long separation (because a vision is a vision, not a day job!), illness and bereavement, as well as the creation of our own unique, multicultural family. Through it all, we’ve stuck steadfastly together because what love and ‘team’ can create is infinitely more powerful than anything you can do alone and from a less passionate place.
Today, the charity continues to thrive, as do our feelings for each other. I feel blessed and extremely grateful for what we have and what we are building each and every day. If life really is about the journey rather than the destination, then I have been privileged to find such an inspirational travel companion.
The purpose of this post is to inspire rather than to educate. It is to encourage those who are looking either for love or a life vision, or both, and to let them know that they do exist. You just need to be prepared to take risks and open yourself up to every opportunity to find them. My advice? Quite simply, know what you want and believe it can happen. Then, get on out there and live large, dream huge, never ever give up and watch how the world conspires to help you achieve all the things that really matter to you. Oh, and when you do, write and tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org because we love nothing more than hearing about other people’s journey to success and happiness :)