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This is the story of how a normal every day woman, remembered her long forgotten passion and talent, which aided her in achieving her dream!
I’ve met Tina before, through my good friend Stephanie and she’s a lovely warm welcoming lady. I can just imagine her students looking forward to having lessons with her. I was speaking to my friend Stephanie about the amazing life she’s made for herself and hopefully, if she stays in the country long enough, we’ll sit together, and I’ll write a blog about how she turned a devastating situation, to a life style that people long for. And she said, you know who you should speak to…
The beginning
Let’s go back to 16th March 1969 to a 10-year old Tina. 
Tina has always had a love for music and as a 10-year-old that passion was fixed within her. As she was across the road from her home at a dancing competition, she was blissfully unaware of news she would receive that would set her life on a completely different path. If you could choose a point in life where a decision or event, diverted you on a different course, this would certainly be it for Tina. 
Tina returned home to the news that her dad, who had been reading he paper when she went across the road for her exam, had suffered a fatal heart attack!
The girl that she was supposed to grow into never appeared and hadn’t appeared for 50 years, until now. 
Tina sits before me confident, sure of herself, stating that the person I am meeting today, had things been different, would have been drawn towards something similar to what is happening now, much earlier on in her life. 
“Tina’s life abruptly changed”
When her father died, her mother was in her early 30s and didn’t go out to work. They lived in a pub and so lost their home. The nearest family being almost a hundred miles away and being the oldest child of two, Tina assumed her unspoken role in the family; gave priority to the way her mother was feeling and kept an eye on her little brother, normally before her own needs. The death of her father was not mentioned for over 20 years! Everyone around tried to carry on as though nothing had happened! Tina found it difficult to continue without having an outlet for her grief, so this made its appearance in other ways. 
For the next 50 years Tina took responsibility for everyone else. As a mother of three children who were faced with a range difficulties and issues, Tina had little time to follow her own dreams. Now they are grown, left home and doing the best they can within the confines of whatever their situations are; Tina feels freed up to focus on herself for the first time since her father died in 1969. 
Positive people and Influences 
I have often written and posted on social media about positive support and influences around you, which I think are important for people to achieve their dreams. Making it clear, that I am not saying you need anyone’s permission, but to have that positive encouragement and someone who will challenge your own negativity, makes your journey a whole lot easier. Tina describes her husband’s support as vital to following her passion. 
Tina has a very supportive husband of 25 years, who like my own other half, thinks she’s nuts, but is still encouraging and supportive of her. Over the years, if her teacher husband had to attend union meetings and conferences, unquestioningly she just got on with looking after the children and working as a teacher.
Although it feels completely natural for her to want to do what she is doing, she still gets pangs of guilt, because for the first time since she was 10 years old, she is looking out for Number One. Her husband’s response is:
“You let me do that for all those years, now it’s my turn to do the same” 
This support has freed her up immensely to do what she wants to do and for that, she is grateful. The kid she put on hold at 10 is finally able to blossom.
The positive effects of daring to go for your dreams
Tina, at the wonderful age of 61, has never felt so calm, so in control of herself and her life. Her children think of her as a rogue mum. She’s just had a third tattoo which reads:
                                           ‘Well behaved women seldom make history.’
Having lost her father at such a young age, Tina has suffered from depression, had break-downs and been to very very dark places. However, these days, The Black Dog has taken a back seat in her life.
What started Tina’s Journey Towards Her Passion? 
It began when Tina was asked out of the blue, if she could take some photographs for friends, who had organised a music festival. They had been let down last minute and, reluctantly, she agreed. Having an interest in photography, but more things and places, she warned her friends “I don’t do people!” They were very relaxed and reassured as they knew that she would try her best. 
Tina panicked and rang a photographer friend for a quick tutorial at the pub, which went completely over her head. The only thing she could remember was:
“…and here’s my camera!”
She found herself holding a ‘scary looking’ piece of technology and off she went, not knowing how to use it, despite the hour-long intense tutorial. 
Nevertheless, Tina had an amazing time! She got up close and personal with the bands, having no idea if the pictures would be good enough. On the third day of the festival, something unexpected happened to the camera that she was afraid to tackle, so that was the end of that!
Tina went home to look at the outcome of this technical camera in her inexperienced hands and was pleasantly surprised by the results! She tentatively sent the pictures to the festival organisers who were amazed! Delighted with the results of Tina’s inexperienced, yet well executed images, they passed her details onto another festival organiser, and two weeks later, Tina found herself taking pictures of other bands, having fun and revisiting her passion for music from a different perspective. 
The Image that set Tina on the path towards her dream!
After this, she was booked out for every weekend until after Christmas 2018! Now, 9 months into her journey, she is still surprised by her ability to take these incredible pictures. Tina gives the credit to other people around her and their belief in her and her abilities. But truth be told, in my opinion, without her guts to say ‘yes’, self-belief and a dash of positivity, she couldn’t have done what she did. 
As a retired teacher Tina is in a position to be able to take opportunities around the clock. Her dream has taken her from Nottingham to Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, Doncaster and beyond; working 2 to 3 times a week at the well-known venues such as Rock City, The Motorpoint Arena and The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. 
As opportunities present themselves; left, right and centre, Tina says ‘yes’ and thinks about it later! 
In March within the same week, Tina had gigs with The Stranglers, Dr.Feelgood, George Ezra, SIGRID, Bang Bang Romeo ,The Modfathers, plus 5 lesser well-known bands who were on a one night festival.  
I asked Tina how she’s coping with this dramatic change? She told me:
“In my head, I’m having an absolute rave!” 
Sigrid by Tina @ Rock Shotz
It’s quite apparent, when speaking to her that Tina is so happy and having an amazing experience. Her ‘why factor’ being completely intrinsic, allows her to continue following those opportunities, embracing challenges that come her way. She tells me that it doesn’t pay, but that is beside the point and not the reason for her doing this. 
Let’s step back a minute: agreeing to taking pictures at that festival 9 months ago has led to Tina now becoming a freelance journalist and music photographer. She contributes to Leftlion Magazine, a Nottingham arts and culture publication, who now refer to her as “Our Tina.” She also contributes to Notts Night Out and Music Notts
She now has her pages on Facebook:
Tina began as Rock Shotz, this changed to Rock Shotz Live Music Imaging and has evolved further to Rock Shotz Soundz, reviewing new releases from around the world!
Rock on Tina! 
Overcoming Self Doubt & Self-Limiting Thoughts
Being thrown in at the deep end, Tina says that she didn’t have time to let those thoughts manifest and have to battle with them. Her attitude towards facing fear of rejection is the worst that someone can do is say ‘no’. Tina puts this down to age and confidence. Which comes with experience. This analogy, to me, gives even more reason to go out and seek those experiences, face your fears and take up those challenges, which I write about in my blog “Facing the Fear.”
However, after a prolonged period of amazing experiences came the quieter period, Tina had time to reflect over the Christmas holidays. Those thoughts of self-doubt and negativity crept in and depression took hold. Tina’s self-doubt grew within this time, making her think:
“I don’t know what I’m doing.” 
“This isn’t going anywhere.” 
“People must think I’m stupid, a 60-year-old woman doing this!” 
She hit a real crisis for a short amount of time and like all of us, she continues to get tiny blips of negative thought from time to time. Tina works through these by leaning on her intrinsic motives; doing this for herself first and foremost. She remembers that people don’t have to look at her photography if they don’t want to; she’s not getting paid. It’s not a job, it’s a passion and she does it because she enjoys it and, what matters more is that, she is having fun! 
We chatted about the reasons for self-doubt, as sometimes it comes from nowhere and I explained my self-made theory, which I write about in my blog Living Limitlessly.
Epic shot of George Ezra by Tina @ Rock Shotz
The Importance of Failure 
Tina explained how, as a teacher, she became very frustrated with the system, under pressure to get everyone to the same level, when people aren’t all the same. She believes in helping students explore their particular talent to help them grow and develop, which we both agreed is the best way to approach this. Something else Tina said will stick with me forever:
“The longer it is before you fail, the harder it is when you do” 
We discussed how failures make people reflect and evaluate their experiences; to improve it forces them to take a different approach and therefore learn from it.
Tina described how after her father had died, no-one ever spoke about him or his death and she had to deal with it on her own, in her own way. In the early 70’s the schooling system was very different and how children had to pass the 11 plus exam to go to grammar school and if they didn’t, they were sent to the secondary school were all the “failures” went. In Tina’s home town, grammar school education was segregated. In order to attend the girls’ grammar school, they had to take an extra ninety-minute written exam and have an interview with the Head Teacher and the entire Board of Governors!  A week after her father’s death, Tina discovered she had passed the 11 plus and had to face this dreaded process. 
No consideration was given to Tina’s situation and she didn’t do well in the interview. Subsequently, she was sent to the school for “failures”, (as it was perceived in the town). This is where she learnt a valuable life lesson, even though anywhere else in the country, she would have been at grammar school by then! Understandably, she didn’t really take her schooling too seriously. She did just enough to get into Teacher Training college. Tina believes that failure is about learning from it, not just accepting that that is the end. 
We spoke about the idea of successful people and how social media sometimes makes people look as if they have had overnight success, when the probability of this kind of success is almost impossible…but that’s a topic for a whole different blog! 
I really enjoyed speaking with Tina of Rock Shotz. I learnt a lot from what she said and from her journey of becoming the girl she always should have been. Our conversation, for me, confirmed a lot of what I’ve already written about in previous blogs and I am very excited for Tina’s future! 
Just as we were saying our good byes Tina told me that she had just got her first paid job in Sheffield and was off to it that weekend… One word of advice that Tina would give anyone who is wanting to achieve their dreams is
“people can only say ‘no’ and that ‘no’ does not mean you’re a failure. There’ll be a ‘yes’ around the corner somewhere!”
Thank you for telling me your story Tina and I’d love to catch-up with you in a few months’ time to see where your passion has taken you!   
To support and follow Tina’s journey, head across to her Facebook page and Instagram account by clicking the links below. 
Until next time…
Serena x 
Got a story to tell and want to feature in one of my blogs? Drop me an email on
Inspired by Tina’s story and want to keep up with more? Subscribe to my site for (spam free) notifications of new blogs every two weeks! 
Or drop me a like or a comment below! 
Thanks again for reading! 

She believed she could so she did, Serena believed she could, she remembered who she was and the game changed, Serena Rogers, Nottingham, your why factor, journey of positivity and self belief, positivity and self belief are the key to unlocking your potential

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25 thoughts to “She Remembered Who She Was & The Game Changed! From Retired Teacher to Freelance Journalist…

  • Joanna

    I think that Tina is a very brave women who had the courage to pursue her dream and do something different. So what if she is 60 years old? She does an amazing job with her photos.

  • Elizabeth O

    That is a really nice story. I enjoyed reading .

  • Lorita | Ting and Things

    Inspiring story! Rock on Tina!

  • Hackytips

    Really inspiring.. Positivity is everywhere we just need to look at it.

  • Marjie Mare

    All I could say, it’s a beautiful and empowering story. Sometimes, we find strength and courage in the universe to achieve our dreams

  • Love Fernandez

    Such an amazing and inspiring story. Looking for more stories like this. Thanks for sharing!

  • Poorna Banerjee

    i think that’s the best thing – going after what you want, when you want it.

  • aisasami

    Amazing story. I think I could replate to Tina as I lost my way to the path of dreams before and now trying to go back on it.

  • Streamed TV Fan

    What a truly inspiring post. I throughly enjoyed reading it and am feeling very positive. Thank you.

  • Dipika

    Such stories are real inspirations and best way to get motivated. These are real life heroes who have made a difference.

  • Rudy Stankowitz

    How cool is that to revisit a dream! So inspiring.

  • Kimmy Mason

    Such a positive story. Go Tina!

  • blair villanueva

    Very inspiring story. We have so many things we wants to do in life, and it is up to us to pursue it, or just let it be.

  • Arun Dahiya

    She is an inspiration. It takes so much courage to follow our dreams sometimes. I am so glad that she is finally doing what she is passionate about.

  • Adventures with Shelby

    What an inspiring story! Thanks for the post

  • Monidipa Dutta

    It took me 30 mins to read this post. Tina is really brave. And kudos to you for publishing about her.

  • Puja

    I enjoyed reading Tina’s story. Very inspirational and a great reminder to go after your dreams

  • oprolevorter

    Wonderful blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Cheers!

    • Serena Rogers

      Thank you! I started off on Wix, for its ease of use, is also easy. Most bloggers will say go with a self hosted, but it all depends on your aims.

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