I have been friends with Jo since college, which
– although seems like yesterday
– was nearly twenty years ago! Jo moved to London to pursue her dreams of being a dancer. We grew close, staying in touch, sharing stories and meeting up whenever we could. After leaving professional training, Jo struggled to get that dream job. I never really understood why after seeing her dance better than everyone on stage, but I now know after learning about the self that it came down to one thing: belief.
Jo battled with the rejection of the industry internally but you would never know it. She was always the life and soul, laughing and joking and always making others feel good. That was her talent: making others feel good all the while battling with her own self.
After a few years of trying, Jo dedicated her life to teaching others and was amazing at it. She continued living in London, topped up her degree and got job after job building her portfolio and experience, but she still felt like a failure lacking self belief.
In 2006, Jo faced the hardest battle yet when she lost her dad to MND. Broken and hurting, still she struggled upon returning to London, but she did it. It was then I saw her real strength. Amazed and humbled, our friendship grew even more. Professionally, for the next 10 years, Jo continued on getting better jobs and building an amazing reputation.
Personally Jo struggled to find that one solid relationship she so craved and emotionally took a beating after being let down again and again by the men in her life. Her confidence in her body, ability and being suffered. I never understood why she couldn't see what the rest of us could: an amazing solid beautiful soul who still – despite everything – cared for everyone in her life. Jo was my rock, helping me overcome every hurdle, and there were many!
I want to give Jo – never judging and always there – the gift of belief. Thank you Jo for always believing in me but now it's time to BELIEVE in yourself. Love you!