It's not every day you're on national radio!
It was 8.40am on the 16th January, parked in a layby off the A64 when the tears came.
I was still working part time, as well as running Adventurous Ink. Things weren't going well.
Despite a long career, a senior role, some lauded work and an influential position, my relationship with my boss had hit rock bottom. And with it my sense of self-worth.
I'd never needed a vote of confidence more than when this email arrived:
It was over a month since I'd emailed my suggestion for a track that expressed how I felt about running my own business to Lauren Laverne's #ItsBusinessTime slot.
I'd like to say I'd forgotten all about it.
But of course I hadn't.
I listened every morning, religiously. And every week that #ItsBusinessTime didn't feature Adventurous Ink was another kick in the teeth. Yet more proof that this thing I was doing was just a flight of fancy.
Of course I'd had plenty other praise and plaudits. It's not everyday a famed adventurer turns up on your doorstep to record a podcast over coffee. But that was yet to go out.
That's the way with imposter syndrome. The doubt seizes upon the smallest thing. Magnifying your imminent failure and impending humiliation.
So there I was. On my way to work, pulled over in a layby to listen to the biggest shot in the arm I could ever have had.
And Lauren loved it!
"This is just my kinda thing. I love a good read and a good adventure. You had me at a man in a canoe!" she enthused, referencing our July 2018 feature, The 'Pull of the River', by Matt Gaw.
I always listened to Lauren's show on my daily commute, and found that her music selections had a way of speaking to me. A way of reflecting however I was feeling that morning.
She had become my emotional sounding board, so hearing her singing the Ink's praises was the most powerful endorsement I could ever have imagined.
It wasn't that exact day that I handed in my notice to pursue my passion full time, but it wasn't long after.
And the track I suggested playing? With the benefit of hindsight it speaks volumes about my mindset at that time, as well as everything I love about the freedom of the great wide open.
It was David Byrne's cover of the Cole Porter classic, 'Don't Fence Me In'.