Natalie courageously seeks the truths of her life, and life itself. With this comes a remarkable degree of self-awareness: ‘I recognise that, like everybody else, I’m not perfect. I really try to understand that lack of perfection. But, while I don’t think I’m an arrogant person, I also see in myself an integrity, which I will only deviate from under great pressure.’

Her passionate pursuit of truth has also led Natalie to take a great interest in other people, and to be a loyal, kind friend (which I can strongly testify to): ‘Over time I think I have developed an ability to get on with people because I’m genuinely interested in their depths. I think people respond to that really well and because they’ve responded to that I’ve carried on doing it.’

Natalie is perhaps the most determined person I know. She’s overcome many challenges during her life, and so her choice of Life of Pi as her favourite novel is apt. Her strength of purpose led her to create a highly successful property training company in a field that she pioneered. The ultimate recognition of her achievements perhaps came when she became a lecturer at Cambridge University. But the main satisfaction she derives is nurturing young talent within her company: ‘It’s a really wonderful thing to watch another human being grow and to think that you have had a part in it.’

Natalie is upbeat about her future: ‘There are so many directions that I could take, so many exciting choices and opportunities.’ But she also sees that her long-term happiness perhaps can be found by living life at a different kind of tempo. She wants to devote more time to her life with her partner on the Isle of Skye, to nature and to her friends: ‘There is another choice as well. I could stop achieving and just relax.’ I hope and trust that she will find the peace she seeks.

Natalie

‘In all the stages of life you lose something from the previous stage.
So ultimately life is about acceptance.’

How I know Natalie

It might be a bit of a childhood concept, but I’d say Natalie is my ‘best friend’. We met through a mutual friend in our early twenties. We were both rather wild back then, and we had a lot of absurd fun. But we also bonded very deeply, and came to understand each other like siblings. We’ve been there for each other through challenging times. We live a long way apart now, but whenever we meet we pick up as if no time’s passed. I strongly admire Natalie’s resolve, unconventional intelligence and her kindness. And I’m truly grateful for her friendship.

Natalie chose for her video not to be shown publicly