Thank you for visiting!
I have created these pages to share information about me, but mostly to share what is on my mind, what I am thinking about, learning about, feeling excited about, and also concerned about. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to read through my posts, and would also love for it to become an exchange, so do not hesitate to get in touch. For now, here is a little bit about my background, and the different things feeding into who I am today.
I grew up in a beautiful part of the world, the Alsace region of France, right on the border with Germany. My father ran a dairy farm, and much of our time outside of school was spent helping on the farm (although at a certain age I managed to turn skiving into an art form..).
After my first years in the village school, and nearby high school, I went to "the big city", Strasbourg, to complete my final years of school leading to my "Baccalaureat", which specialised in maths and sciences.
With this important milestone behind me, I decided to try and develop my artistic side, and turn my interest for architecture into a form of expertise, and moved to the "even bigger city", Paris, to join an architecture school.
Unfortunately, I was lacking a somewhat critical skill (at the time), drawing, which hindered my progression and led me to quit these studies after the first year, re-orienting myself towards more traditional business studies, and keeping architecture as an area of keen interest, for others to practice!
I might have failed at fulfilling my artistic ambitions, however I was still determined to follow another ambition, and turn my love for all things Disney, and in particular Disneyland Paris, into a job, which I did as soon as I turned 18 in the summer of 1997.
I spent that summer working in Space Mountain, over the moon to be playing a small part in bringing the Disney magic to life. From that point, I would spent all my weekends, holidays, and other available time, working there in different capacities for the following 5 years.
It remains an unforgettable and fantastic experience, allowing me to learn plenty of skills, including languages, make lifelong friends, and also be in a safe and inclusive space at a critical time of my life, giving me support when I came out as gay.
Fast forward to summer 2004, when I graduated with me Masters in HR, ready to conquer the world of work! Or was I?...
After taking up a role in recruitment, which wasn't exactly fulfilling, and experiencing a sort of post-graduation blues (which I would find years later to actually be clinical depression), I decided to make a big change, made myself entirely mobile and flexible my quitting my job, leaving my flat and sleeping on my brother's sofa, to enable me to consider starting a new job and a new life anywhere.
And this is how I came across an advert for a role with IBM, in the North of England, put in an application and after a couple of interviews found myself starting this new life in England in early 2005.
It is only a few months after moving to the UK, and through the wonders of internet dating, that I met my partner Paulo. The only glitch in the story is that we live in opposite ends of the country, me in the North, him in the South...
And after 6 months of travelling up and down the country, a decision had to be made, and I ended up moving to Portsmouth, for yet another new life! And a happy one it is, as we are still together in Southsea nearly 18 years later, and now in an official civil partnership.
As for everyone, these 18 years have been full of the twists and turns of life, be it regarding health matters, jobs, losses, but most importantly full of happy moments, travels, adventures and laughter.
While the first 10 years of my career left me with little time or energy to focus on much else, I have learned overtime to put things in perspective, and focus on the right priorities.
This has involved looking after my health, mental and physical, taking up walking and trekking (the highlight being completing the trek to Everest Base Camp with my brother). And in the last couple of years giving myself a new challenge, going back to university to pursue an MSc in Organisational Psychology. This is bringing me yet again fresh perspectives on many things, and has triggered changes beyond what I had hoped, as I am now studying full time towards a PhD, with a view to transition into a career in academia. An exciting new chapter of an ever evolving adventure!