Graham Clark, Features Writer
Author Interview: Carolyn Hobdey:All The Tw*ts I Met Along The Way
For decades, Carolyn Hobdey's personal life didn't quite match up to the success of her professional life. A senior and respected business leader in HR, she regularly smashed career goals, while her personal life consisted of love triangles, divorce (albeit amicable) following the discovery her husband of 15 years was gay, car crashes and a controlling and abusive partner.
Carolyn's first book, All The Tw*ts I Met Along The Way
, is a memoir about what happens when you so deeply believe something you were told as a child that it becomes the driving force behind almost every thought, feeling and action for the rest of your life - until you decide to take control and change your life entirely.
Carolyn's story aims to inspire those who think they can't let the ‘perfect' or ‘successful' professional façade slip. Despite the heavy themes, Carolyn's personality fills the pages and it's a candid, humorous, at times heartbreakingly raw story that many women are going to resonate with, laugh along with, sigh and cry with. It's a story of growing up, moving on, falling down and getting back up again
Why did you decide to write the book?
As I say at the back of the book, my worlds had caved in and it was time to press re-set button on myself. I got some therapy from someone impartial, then I realised I had a story to tell.
In the book you seem to have been surrounded by some very toxic people, is that the case?
A lot of people do not start out to be bad, I tolerated too many bad behaviours and I didn’t value myself, I found that that you couldn’t change then but you can change yourself. The book is about how having low self esteem didn’t work and how you expect to be treated.
Has it made you a stronger person?
So much more. I didn’t want to come across as the victim in the book but the experiences I went through have made me 100% stronger and more confident.
For anyone else going through a bad relationship at the moment, what advice would you give to them?
The first piece of advice I would say is to trust your instincts and do not make excuses for other people. The second is that you are not on your own, do not feel ashamed for what has happened- you need to come out and say something and speak out.
Has exercise helped you a lot?
Yes it has, I didn’t really go to the gym before but I discovered boxing and it clicked with me and grabbed me, it was a real revelation for me as it had transformed physically and mentally how I am. I started off with small goals to aim for and my confidence has grown so much, I was 45 years old when I started- it is never too late to start.
Have you found happiness now with another partner?
I’m not sure if I am looking, I am quite happy and comfortable with myself at the moment - I have an amazing set of good friends. I don’t need another person to complete me; it is not a vital ingredient to have a happy life.
You live in Harrogate, what do you like about the town?
It’s different from anything else in Yorkshire with the beautiful architecture, cosmopolitan cafe culture, boutique shops and of course walking across The Stray too. One minute you can be walking across the tree-lined Stray and in a few minutes later you can be out in the North Yorkshire countryside.
Do you have any favourite places to visit in Yorkshire?
The Yorkshire Dales definitely. I used to live in Nidderdale and I loved the rolling hills, the little winding roads, the dry stone walls and the country pubs. At the opposite side of the scale you have the big city in Leeds with everything that city life gives you.
What keeps you in a positive state of mind?
I have one fundamental rule and that is not to have any regrets in life, none of us can go backwards. Keeping positive helps you to deal with the bad days and gives you the strength to pull through.
I meditate, fitness helps an awful lot in keeping you positive as well as having a strong mind; friends and family around you is another thing too. My main drive on my website is about re-defining yourself and how to look after yourself both mentally and physically.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are good and feel good that can rub off around people who are around you.
All The Tw*ts I Met Along The Way
is out on Monday 18th January - Filament Publishing, paperback and ebook.
More about Carolyn at carolynhobdey.com