MY STORY

Well, if you haven’t already guessed, my name is Hannah Hawkshaw. I’m a 18 year old Irish girl currently living in Spain with an intense passion for the arts and a deep love of life.

I have always had an incredibly strong passion for music and began writing songs as a very little girl, and I have been performing at every opportunity since. Music is my calling in life and it is my dream to share my music with the world but I also have a love for blogging, and happen to be the driving force behind one of Ireland’s best known fashion blogs, www.hannahsfashionblog.com. As a competitive little kid I was always doing something, be it swimming, soccer, tennis… ANYTHING that I could learn, practise, and hopefully excel in.

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When the going gets tough…

However, when I was 12, just after starting in my first year of secondary school, my life as I knew it completely fell apart and I fell ill. For weeks, which soon became months, my family and I had NO IDEA what was wrong. I eventually began to believe I was making my symptoms up in my head and that there was in fact nothing wrong with me, I felt like I was going crazy! We remained in the dark up until we met with a specialist pediatrician who was able to give us the answers we so desperately sought after, diagnosing me with Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, which is very similar to what many of you will know as M.E.

At first, I was happy with the idea of having some time off school, I mean, what 12 year old wouldn’t be? But as one week became two, and four became six, I was completely miserable, falling deeper and deeper into this black hole that was fast becoming my life. Thankfully, the illness is not life-threatening, but it’s also not treatable. There is no magic pill – so it was difficult for my parents and I to figure out a plan for moving forward. I gradually built up my schooling over the course of 2 years, taking more subjects on one by one, eventually being back in school full time by my 3rd year. Exam year.

We never expected me to do as well as I did in my Junior Certificate, achieving all honours in higher level subjects. I was thrilled! But being the perfectionist that I am, I felt had the circumstances in my life been different, I could have really excelled academically. The following year, aged 15, I started my Transition year, which in Ireland is a year to improve life skills, put on a musical and complete work experience. Life was great. I wasn’t completely better but I was coping and felt on top of the world. I FINALLY had a social life and felt like my life was just beginning!

But things took a turn again.

And in my 5th year, my health began declining rapidly. After two months, I was coming home from school and collapsing. There was no quality of life and I felt completely and utterly useless. I had never expected to be the ‘sick’ girl again. In my head, I was better. I was not mentally prepared to fall again. My body just couldn’t handle the pressures of school and the 3 hour+ homework load that was expected on top of the 7 hour school day and I knew I had to stop. I couldn’t end up back at square one again.

So, for the past year I have been trying to find myself, and discover my path in life. I have spent months sifting through my options… homeschooling… going back to formal education… becoming part of the world’s workforce and starting a 9-5 day job that would most likely make me miserable.

That’s when I realised I shouldn’t do what society wants me to do, but what I want to do. I need to create a plan that suits ME.

I have always been very entrepreneurial. As a young girl, I remember selling old toys at boot sales, homemade Nutella milkshakes in my driveway with my friends and even setting up my own dog walking company in my neighbourhood. I remember being SO happy when I made my first €2 for walking a neighbour’s puppy! I have always felt destined for something bigger.

Everything happens for a reason!

Although at times my life has been so hard to deal with, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. One thing I know is had I not become sick, I would never have started my fashion blog, and then I would never have even contemplated setting up an online business. I now fully appreciate every day I am lucky enough to live healthily and I’m so grateful to know what really matters in life, and for me, that’s my family and being happy.

The laptop lifestyle suits me because it means I can focus on my other passions, like my music and travel. If you’d also like the freedom to ENJOY life, then comment below and we can talk :)

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One of my WHY’S – Travel. Here I am enjoying that side of life with my sister, Sarah, in the rooftop pool on the Sunborn Yacht Hotel in Gibraltar :)

And so my journey towards financial freedom and achieving complete happiness begins! I want to transform my life and my family’s and I am determined to do so. I hope you guys will join me on my adventure and I hope I can help you in some way :)

Talk soon!

Hannah :)

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