The Vulnerability Battle 

One of the hardest things in small business for me is the unknown. Another thing that I find difficult, but am working through conscientiously, is my sense of value. 

I am okay. Just today’s observations as January closes. 

As an English teacher in the public school system you would think I would now be used to being undervalued lol. However, it would appear that I am not. When I set my rates for tutoring, a few friends strongly reminded me not to undersell the skills I possess. I did some research and felt comfortable with my rates. 

I have been told, repeatedly, that I am expensive. Hmmm … 

1. You get what you pay for: 24 years experience teaching high school English to kids that often didn’t want to learn. 

2. I am massively experienced, highly competent and basically, a gifted teacher. The expense will never be long term; I teach the skills required for success. 

Yes, I can state this easily. But stating it is accompanied by an anxious belly. And that goes to something far beyond how much I charge for tutoring. 

This year, this reckless gap year or mid life crisis, is forcing me to confront my shadow fears and my shadow self.

I believe that I am an amazing creature. Yet, I live in fear that I may be mistaken lol. It’s a small but real fear. What if my definitions are out. And yes, I realize how crazy this sounds. 

I think though, that changing it up forces us to confront ourselves on a different level. I can go back to my job but I don’t want to just yet. I feel that this uncertainty will teach me something. I feel that I have more to offer myself and this world than I currently do. I feel that there is unexplored terrain that is calling me to explore it.

I don’t want to stagnate, to settle, to be compliant, to exist. I’m craving something more. 

Self-absorbed? Probably. 

Self-serving? Probably. 

But, the benefit from this growth in my self serves everyone. When I am functioning at my best, I am a beacon of light and a promise of hope. 

Arrogant?

Nup. Just keeping it real. 

I believe that when we live our best life we become our best selves which serves everyone and the world at large.

Oprah. Audrey. Martin Luther King Jr. Nelson Mandela. Meryl Streep. Susan Sarandon. The list goes on (where are my Australian role models???). 

What a rollercoaster of emotion lol. 

People have said I am brave. 

It doesn’t feel that way on the inside, but maybe bravery is just doing even when you’re feeling like it’s dumb and safety would be easier. Meh. 

It is what it is. I can’t go back yet. I’m not ready. 

Ch ch ch ch changes 

My friends are heading back to their first day with kids at school today. I’m sitting at Paul Wakeling Hyundai whilst my car receives its 15000 km service, capped at $249. I live Facebooked my Year 12 class this morning and replied to a message from the bestie, heading to school without her Sister of Destruction meeting her there. 

This is the first time in 24 years that I have not had somewhere school-related to be on the first day with kids (in 2010 I was in Europe but was heading back to work soon). 

It’s a very weird feeling. 

I spent my holidays catching up with people. For this introvert, every day activities resulted in two two-day migraines, the only times I stopped before heading to Tasmania on a cruise ship last Monday. 

And, Tasmania marked the end of anxiety about money for the upcoming year as I remembered the benefits and beauty of travel. Hobart is beautiful. What I saw of Tasmania is beautiful. The freedom to explore, also beautiful. 

Having faith that you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are doing, and will survive it all is hard when you just don’t know. I have taken certainty out of my life for this year, until the first week of December when I return to work. However, booking in tutoring for people settled those doubts yesterday and when I start casual teaching, I’m sure I will feel even better. 

I am carrying anger and resentment about the investigation last year. And whilst I want the tags liar and self-serving removed from the documents, I am not sure it will be healthy for me psychologically to continue the fight to have those words redacted. I know that I didn’t lie, and anyone that has interacted with me in the world of public education throughout the last twenty four years knows that I am far from self-serving. 

So, does it really matter if a couple of investigators, neither the person who made the final resolution, which speaks against both words, wrote that about me? People who have never been in the context that I was, or worked as closely with kids as I have, or understand the broader impact my work has made on so many people’s lives? 

I don’t know. That’s the question I am asking now. 

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe to heal I need to let go of it all, burn the file, and just keep moving forward. Maybe by fighting it, I open a hornet’s nest, and create more trouble for myself. 

Am I strong enough to withstand that pressure again. 

Meh. 

I rolled down a hill in Tasmania. Liberation. The hill was green. Small hill. But, called me to roll. And I could not ignore the call. I rolled the anxiety away lol. I’ll post it, because it’s funny, and I love that I embraced my inner child even though I look like a teletubbie trying to get up at the end. I was dizzy – my defense and I’m standing by it lol. 

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Hmmm, it’s not letting me post the video. Possibly saving me from assured humiliation. Hmmm, still no. Some photos instead. 


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Crisis of Confidence

I finished last year on such a high. My Indian experience truly transformed my life by empowering me to integrate the different aspects of self and identity roles. I was unable to return home and not make significant change. This was a process. By following the signs and saying yes to different opportunities, I finally opted to take leave from permanent full time teaching this year. A massive decision. My identity as a teacher has sustained me for many years. 

During the last four weeks, my identity labeling has shifted. I am now considering myself as more than a high school English teacher. And man, that is terrifying. 

But today, interestingly and ironically, Mike Baird has resigned as Premier of my home state, New South Wales. He has cited the necessity to spend more time with his family as his main reason. I hope there isn’t a scandal waiting in the wings because his reason has impressed me. 

As a people, we seem to have surrendered the important things in life for work, addiction, fear. It doesn’t seem that many of us are living our best and most authentic lives. Most people I speak to feel a yearning, irrespective of how small, for something different. And most of us use fear as a reason for not seeking it. 

I am feeling that fear every day. I am so worried that I won’t have enough money for all of my adventures, then not enough time for everything I want to achieve. Bloody fear. It won’t stop me from walking this path. I have paid many deposits for a variety of travels and have paid in full my flights to Perth and Minnesota/Las Vegas. I will write my book and I will empower my business to do what it needs to do, but I am scared. 

Today I pulled out a Butterfly Affirmation Card and I giggled: 


I have faith that all will be well and that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I just want to acknowledge out loud that it isn’t easy. I am hoping that disclosing it will calm my mind and pacify my fear. 

You have to laugh. 

Mike Baird answered questions at the end of his resignation speech. The journalists attacked him, expectedly. Why did you promise to continue as recently as December last year? When did you make this decision? Where were you? Why are you doing this? 

It takes courage to stand against expectation, to walk a different path, your own organic path, to put yourself first, to create a new reality for your life, but I think it costs the soul more if you don’t. 

Kudos to Mike Baird today, for his resignation has reminded me that my choices are right for me. As a result, this upcoming year of transition, transformation, and discovery will continue to permit growth, and enable me to live fully and authentically. 

Scared but infinitely blessed. 

🙏🏻

Identity

I have been so busy. I wanted to make this year The Year of Living. I wanted to trust that the universe would provide what I needed to make my life happen. I wanted to reconnect with the people I love and adore. 

And, I have, am and will be. 

I saw the new year in at Eden, on vast acreage, overlooking the coastal towns with Donna, John, their cats Odin and Loki, and my two boys. Max didn’t cope with the wide open space or the cats so surprisingly, found himself happier on the lead whilst Sammy was fine to roam. I spent a few nervous moments thinking the eagles soaring and protecting the property would swoop and steal Sammy (thanks to The Proposal for this fear) but settled eventually. 

The three of us started planning a retreat we hope to host in June/July with building a scarecrow one of the feature activities. It sounds weird, but the mindfulness required and the act of creating something tangible and useful was highly therapeutic. Meet Hilda the Healer …


I drove home on the 3rd feeling hopeful but nervous. I love Nimmitabel, a village out of Cooma. I want to buy land there, lots of land. At the end of this year, it may easily be do-able. I’m excited about this. 

I am surrounded by reinforcers and inspirers. Ginny and Marcus, also moving in different directions, are also hoping to host and run retreats in the Mountains eventually. In a sense, we have been building our own community and seem to be on the verge of auctioning it all. Again, exciting. And terrifying. 

Lunch with Amanda, Nathan and newborn Brody, and when family has babies I no longer feel that sense of painful longing. I possess an inner acceptance of where I am and where I am not. And their willingness to accept me back has been a real blessing for me after a few years of necessary hibernation and healing. 

An then an important shift started to happen for me. I am seeing myself less as a high school teacher and more of a small business owner, life teacher. I am loving how the transition in identity feels. It is wholly empowering. And today, I’m feeling less terrified and more excited. 

Birthday celebrations for Karyn and more catch ups. Quality time with quality people, reinforcing old bonds. 

Time at Swansea, revitalizing my love for camping, and more quality catch up time with more extended family. And my obligatory summer burn. Once every year. I never learn. A childhood longing to be brown. 


Home to more catch ups on a bloody hot day …


And, this weekend working on promoting my first course for the year, assignments, planning before another week of catching up before cruising to see January out. 

My cousin comes to stay in February. I am heading to Perth to see one of my soul tribe from India. And somewhere in there I need to work to raise money to fund this new life. 

It is liberating. I had a vision for the life I wanted to be living. I’m heading there. The journey is happening. 

I am blessed. And exceptionally grateful that the trauma of last year has forced me to liberate myself. I feel alive. I am not just existing. Life is transition and flux and chaos and the unknown. I will not have regrets. 

Namaste 🙏🏻