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A Brief-ish History of Me - Part 1 - Issue1

Originally released 15th July 2022

Where to start with my Blogs?

All good blogs should start with an opinion or a question. Well in my opinion, they shouldn’t have to, although it does add that personal touch and drag a reader in. This is my first Blog for me, and it is about me. I want to tell you a little more about who I am and let you begin to see why I am so driven to build a community that values things a little differently. A community that is focused on building, or lifting, others up. 

A Picture of me in Bideford

My full name, David Alan Ray Swinbank. I am 37 years old and I live in Bideford, North Devon, England. It is a very picturesque part of England. And whilst I was born locally, I spent the vast majority of my life living elsewhere in England. I am single and have been for just over 4 years, before then I was in a long term relationship, and had been since I was 21. 

Education, some. I did very well until I was 16, without ever having to try, I completed A levels, which is education until 18 (or 19 in my case - I enjoyed those 3 years haha). My work career is varied, but the common theme is people. I was a manager of an off-licence (liqueur shop, or bottle shop for the Aussie’s) for nearly 5 years and then moved into call centre work. Initially in sales, then into customer service.

Where I worked for a car insurance firm in the UK. I progressed to a decision maker in the contact centre, via a supervisor role and then worked as the Operations Work Stream Analyst. I represented the operational department to build the requirements for a new in house system. This was to bring everything under one system, fraud checks, claims, rating engine, MI, finance, staff portals and a customer portal. When the system went live, I moved into the project management team. 

My key roles were to find process improvements for end users (staff, other departments or customers),  communicate system updates, priorities updates with the Dev team, write user stories, test new features and complete the cost benefit analysis.  

I was then made redundant when the company relocated a lot of operational staff. I took some time off and then took a sales job. This wasn’t very enjoyable for a number of reasons. Primarily, I didn’t fully believe in the product and I was out of the house for 12 hours a day. Shortly after I got the role, I suffered a lot of loss. I will touch on this shortly. After my partner left me and we eventually sold the house, I quit the sales job. Found a job managing a renewal book at a small landlord building insurance broker and was really enjoying work until Covid put a spanner in things. 

The River Torridge looking inland from Bideford Quay

During Covid I moved back to Devon, to start life as a self employed gardener and ground worker. I was doing well at this until I found NFT’s. Since then I have not been able to push my gardening business and have been too focused on the web3 space. Due to the current financial climate, and my old company being in the market for an employee, I am back working 4 days a week for the Building Insurance Broker from 01st August and have been doing contract work since May. 

There is a lot of factual stuff above, but the juicy info. Well that is all about my emotional growth and history. The first thing to say is I have always lacked self confidence, and maybe still do, although it isn’t as obvious anymore. I never felt I was accepted for me, but I believe that was because of me. I placed a lot of expectations on my shoulders for everyone else. 

At the end of 2017 my elderly Granddad got diagnosed with terminal cancer and a short time frame. Whilst he was undergoing care, and still faring relatively well, my Nana had a fall just before Christmas. She went into palliative care and passed away on New Years Eve. This was unexpected, she wasn’t supposed to die first. The family was completely unprepared for this and shocked by it as well. My Granddad held on until my Nana’s funeral. And then deteriorated fast. He passed away just a couple of weeks after. On reflection I am glad they weren’t apart for too long, they had been married for over 60 years. 

Less than 2 months after my Granddad’s funeral, my partner walked out on me. I did not expect this, at all. Although, on reflection, I really should have done. We had not been in a good place for a while, and whilst that was not my fault, I played my part in it. My communication wasn’t very good. I did not express my feelings, for a multitude of reasons and I was on a course of medicinal steroids that was affecting my mentality among many other things. 

The loss was more than my partner though. I have seen her parents once since, very briefly. I lived in their house for over 3 years whilst we saved to get a deposit, and they were family to me. In less than 6 months, I had 5 huge parts of my life ripped away from me. Only one of them was expected. It was a tough time and I ended up in a dark place for over 6 months. I felt I was a burden to family and friends. I basically worked and sat/lay on my sofa, that was it.

The recovery from that period of my life has been an incredible journey and has brought me to where I am today. I will save the full story of my recovery for another post, although that is also steeped in loss and emotion. It could easily be as long as this one, and I would like a reader or two when I get that one out! 

I have always believed in kindness and supporting others. That a kind word goes a long way. That we can be better as humans, to each other. Over the last few years, I have realised that I can be better for me too. And that has a much better impact on the people I interact with. As Mum always said, be the change you want to see. 

I will end with this. I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for all of the emotions I have worn, the feelings I have felt and the interactions I have had. I am the sum of my emotions and experiences and I am proud of that. In learning to accept my emotions I am able to see the positive a lot more, especially in difficult circumstances. And I hunt for smiles. Smiles are important. Make sure you search for yours. 

Sunset from Westward Ho! beach looking out over the Atlantic Ocean - Photography is something I enjoy

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