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Love was the key to finding the light again

Talking Point | Published:

Kelly Jeffs, chief executive, of Wolverhampton's Light House says love can arrive when you least expect it

Kelly Jeffs outside The Light House

No, this isn’t about discovering ‘God’ or about fumbling around to find the torch button on an iPhone. And, no, I haven’t suddenly turned into a Richard Curtis screenplay either!

This is just a simple talking point about the age old story of love, friendship and how life brings unexpected changes at any time.

In these days of such uncertainty, anxieties and turmoil, love will always be the key.

Committing to my childhood sweetheart was a blessing in my life and always will be. The light of happiness shone on us many times, culminating in the brightest one of all, our amazing son.

But when that all came to a sad end, it took me a good part of five years to really start to feel I was worth anything again, throwing myself into work, partying hard with supportive family and friends and purposely travelling alone on holiday, often ‘faking it to make it’ as well as walking mile after mile after mile to try and keep my head straight.

Some of those miles were spent walking along canals and I started to dream about the possibility of living a life on the water in the future.

In fact, I started to dream of living many kinds of lives in the future as I was now as free as a bird and the awful ‘fear factor’ of finding myself alone, in my mid-40s with all the conventional future plans and dreams shattered, were now disappearing at last.

Love blossomed

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Suddenly, one Sunday night, right out of the blue I received a text from someone I’d known for years and from that day forwards my future took yet another unexpected direction and this time, a much happier one. The fact that my brilliant new partner actually lived on a narrow boat was just a happy coincidence.

From the get go, we agreed to no games, no lies and certainly no ridiculously high expectations. Just pure love, trust and friendship developing pretty much immediately, like a big lottery win but without the actual money…

The sad side to all this was the realisation of how long it had taken me to accept that I deserved so much better in life.

My confidence had been destroyed but the whole process I went through made me so much stronger, resilient and self-aware.

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So now, after a long, often daunting but interesting ‘finding myself’ journey, my talking point advice would be to say to anyone, man or woman who ends up going through a similar scenario, yes it will be one of the most painful times of your life but the pain will end and there will be joy again.

The light will come back on and it will be the brightest, strongest wattage you will ever experience.

  • After a range of rewarding and challenging roles during her career, Kelly became CEO of Light House Independent Cinema five years ago. Moving away from the realm of public funding and driving the organisation forward into its next critical phase, Kelly successfully continues to safeguard a crucial part of Wolverhampton’s cultural and civic life.

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