The first hour

I’ve just finished the Systems Changers programme. Literally an hour ago. And here I am in Costa trying to understand what just happened and where I’m going next.

Still ringing in my ears are my dear colleagues closing remarks to each other and to me. Those words, and many more uttered over the last six months will not leave me. While the detail of who and when may fade (my memory is terrible) the meaning will not.

And I now have in my possession one of the most beautiful notebooks I’ve ever owned. When the programme started I treated myself to a super fancy moleskin note pad. It is super professional looking. It was beautiful back then, fresh, crisp, unwritten. But now it’s value is tenfold. In the last 6 months I have scribbled in hundreds of inspirational sound bites, notated dozens of powerful discussions, filled it’s pages with tons of tools for gently and not so gently creating systems change. I have a book of wisdom, a diary of my development full of post its, sticky tape, memories and maybe a couple of tears.

But now here I am. On my own in Costa. A faceless Costa in a blank Tesco, and in limbo with nothing to do but journey forth.

My notebook is only half full.

I don’t know what the ‘what next' will look like and that’s ok. I don’t know where I will end up with the ideas I have in my head. And that’s ok. But I know where I want to start. And I already have.

Looking back I can see that there are so many things that have been sparked as a result of me being on this programme. They are the concrete output and it is incredibly encouraging to see them. There are strategies to be written, policies to update, clients to listen to, housing officers to reach out to and stories to tell.

There is plenty to continue with once I’ve walked out this door.

My notebook is only half full.

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