A new decade, and a new career beckons..!
Having spent the first three decades of my life in the public eye, my forth decade was - in comparison, relatively quiet. Now I am approaching my fifth decade, I intend to come back with an explosion - as an inspirational speaker!
For those who know me, know that I am honest and will always speak the truth. And the truth is that I miss those days where I was the centre of attention.
I was thrust into the public limelight at a very young age due to a very public London High Court case as a result of a doctors' negligence that left me deaf. Then, I successfully secured a place on the popular BBC's series, Love Hurts in the early 1990's. Not long after that I became a professional pool player, entertaining all kinds of audiences and alongside that I did a lot of high profile charity events, namely the North Pole expedition which gained a huge amount of media attention.
As a result, I was never able to live a nice and quiet life - until I gave everything up to care for m parents when they were diagnosed with terminal cancer. Either side of moving to Yorkshire, my children were born and a 'normal' life ensued. For the first time in my life, I was just 'Carl from down the road' and not 'the pool player' or anything else, constantly being asked if I 'fancied a game'!
I was able to eat every day at 4.30pm with the children - something so simple that only people who have lived certain lifestyles would understand but for me, it was a dream come true to have some proper, quality time with my family. I was successful in keeping my past hidden which I consider to be a great success, given the information available within the realm of the internet!
As the children grew, I began to think about the next stage of my life. What did I want to do? What could I do? Soon, the children would be at school and I would be at a loose end.
I didn't want to go back into pool full time - it entails too much travelling and time away form the children. I'd play pool, but I'd be selective as to what events I'd enter.
Then I was asked if I would consider giving a talk to a group of deaf teenagers. This particular group had come from broken homes and had low self esteem. Constantly being told they would amount to nothing because of their disability, this struck a chord with me and reminded me of certain times of my childhood when I experienced the very same thing.
For a long time, I had buried and shut away the negative feelings associated with growing up as a deaf child, but here - faced with children who have had it so much worse than me, I was unable to deliver the talk without having to take several breaks to recompose myself - I was reopening woulds that had been tightly sealed for nearly thirty years.
Fortunately though, despite my throat constricting to barely the width of a straw, I was still able to communicate through sign language and just mouthing the words!
What struck me at that time and has stayed with me ever since, was the look of growing belief that they - too, can do it, whatever it is that they wanted to do, but never had the confidence.
That is when I knew my purpose and my destiny.
It was only then, when I looked back on my life in a. different light, that I realised how much I had been helped along the way - not only by my parents, but by so many different people.
So now I am in a position as a result of that help - and my own great determination, iy is my time to give back.
And what better way to do it, than to inspire through talking!