The brief history of me, and how I've got here. Where my struggles may have arisen and how I am choosing to face them head on and take control of my reality.
The quickest recap of major events. Without getting into it too much ! Because I have stories for days. Let's just start with the basics. I am Australian, but as a family we left when I was 11 with my dad's work. Now before you jump and say “well that doesn’t really count” or “you were so young how can you claim Australia?” That is my heritage. My parents. My grandparents. Their parents. But because of the age I was when we left and the cultures I've experienced outside of my own, I no longer really belong to any one country. Too Australian for America, and too American for Australia.
We moved to Singapore. This is where I was exposed to culture and a diversity in religion my pre teen self could not appreciate. The opportunity I was given to see and experience this part of the world was unparalleled. As an adult I’m like damn, why wasn’t I hungrier and embracing all that surrounded me. But hey I was 11-14.
My views were narrow, but this broaden my spiritual horizons in a way I couldn’t comprehend until I became a mum. At this time, I embraced my weirdness fully. Every weekend my friends and I had movie project we would work on. Lugging an old desktop Mac computer, back and forth between our houses so we could stay on top of the editing. I don’t know if I ever felt more accepted by others for my unique ways.
But I felt seen and fully confident in who I was. No doubts. No second guessing my choices.
Then it was Seattle. The most polar opposite place to hot and sunny Singapore. Public school for the first time. Starting high school. No school uniforms. All the changes, all at once. I felt like a fish out of water. This vibrant self assured version of me began to recoil. Doubting everything I had grown to love about myself. Hiding out in the bathroom during lunch periods.
Whether it was the kids, the culture, or the age I don’t know. Probably a combination of it all. It was the first time I remember experiencing crippling self doubt.
My parents sensed my uneasiness in this environment, and arranged for me to head back to Australia go to my old school and live with my aunts family. Now school wasn’t socially much better, but I found my people. Together, we hand created clothes to wear to parties. Wore neon ski suits to grocery store to buy snacks. And danced freely even when there was no music.
I was appreciated for who I was. Too much for some. But I was ok with that. I had rediscovered what made me happy. Sadly, this didn’t last long. And while visiting my family back in Seattle over school vacation my aunt asked me not to return. Talk about a gutted 17 year old.
I finished high school in Seattle. Had insecurities of others projected on me. As my new classmates discussed the ins and outs of my ever changing high school career. Stories. Gossip. Assumptions. Yet never any direct and honest communication. I moved lunch time to the library and began the countdown until I’d be free from this teen girl hell.
Off to college. Which if I am completely honest, was something I should’ve excelled at. But instead my focus was scattered and I didn’t achieve much academically. Coming off that senior year of high school, my focus was on being bold, big, and bizarre. It was eye opening but it took a toll on the relationship I had with my family. I became selfish. Closed off. Angry. Out of control.
So fast forward to nowish. I am a mum of two boys. A wife to a self employed full time videographer who is gone close to 200 days a year. And a small business owner who is here creating purposeful pieces and sharing random ass advice when I can.
But when I first became a mum, it was hard. It wasn't all rainbows and fairy dust. Shit was hard. Postpartum depression paired with fear of the future. Everything was too much. There was little I felt I could do to live and create a life I was excited by and wake up each day to. I struggled with suicidal thoughts, feeling powerless. I became unrecognizable to myself.
A shell. Here to serve others. Losing myself. Forgetting what happy feels like. Putting on a smile, because it made everyone else more comfortable. Not letting anyone really know or see the hurt I was dealing with.
Seven years ago I couldn’t dream of being in the emotional and mental state I am now. My kids and my husband are my everything, but I’ve discovered my value along the way and that has made all the difference.
Who I’ve been has paved the way for who I am. Even in the moments that were filled with heart ache and pain, they have taught me. Gently guided me, while giving me the skills I needed along the way.
It has been a long journey filled with twists and turns. Never linear. A constant state of unlearning old patterns and learning new ones. Life is bad ass. I’m hoping to use this space to ramble and show you what has worked for me. While offering a space so I can learn and hear from you, because we are doing this together. Life is better when you are surrounded by those who love and support you as you are.