So, that time I miscarried …

I am spending the weekend at an intensive for my Diploma in Sound Healing. No idea how I make my words seem so light when snot covers my face and I’ve shed so many tears that my cheeks are hard and stinging, but whatever.

We started the day by going within and listening to our nervous system. Sounds bizarre, but massively interesting. Mine was making all sorts of sounds and there was a lot of darkness and heaviness and sadness. Also, bizarrely, two skeleton heads. This was all very interesting to me because I was feeling quite zen. The external was not reflecting, or even conscious of, the internal machinations of my nervous system.

The day continued and all was okay. We finished with a sound bath that was so beautifully orchestrated, my consciousness left and I was no longer in the room. It was divine.

I left to drive home, feeling very very zen. Returned some messages and started driving. About fifteen minutes into the trip, I started crying, like from nowhere. And I had no idea why.

I’ve been going through a massive transition, and I know I’m shedding all that no longer serves me so that I can ascend, so I surrendered to it and kept driving, just feeling, not overthinking.

Arrived home, had a hot shower, posted a video and Facebook post, ate dinner, ate some shit, watched an episode of Five Bedrooms, started crying again and haven’t stopped.

My thoughts went to friendships. I’m not very good at them. I’m quite dysfunctional, truth be told. And having lived quite an odd life, I’m not married either. I don’t really know how to be with people. I feel like I overstep sometimes, don’t step in enough at others, and pretty much have always just got it wrong. I overthink or over expect and just don’t get it. I also give a lot because I feel I need to so that I’m ‘normal’.

When I miscarried, I told people I had started bleeding. Realistically, that’s all I probably told them. I think I mentioned it was profuse. I didn’t understand it was a miscarriage. I was so cranky for flying when I was trying to get pregnant, knowing it could cause a miscarriage.

Anyway, I thought I’d reached out for help by telling people there was no pregnancy, but no one came. It was a hard time for me. I was alone in a way I never had been. Except for maybe the sexual abuse. Maybe, just maybe, that connection forced the shut down that has been in play ever since. And there were some who offered, but I didn’t know how to say yes.

Tonight, I’m lying here, thinking about how awkward I am in social situations and how I really don’t get friendship because I’ve always fucked it up one way or another, and then I jump to the extreme alone-ness I felt in those two days after I lost my baby.

I think it scarred me. Irreparably. I don’t believe anyone will come. I deal with stuff differently as a result. In a good way. I use my journey to empower and support others. Balanced perception.

I’m terrified of expecting too much from people. I’m terrified I’m getting things wrong and not doing it properly. I am having those feelings where you wish you could just pack the car up and spend the rest of your life running. Meh.

I have been told that I don’t reach out. I do. I just don’t know how to do it so that people get that I’m reaching out. After my miscarriage, I spoke to people about how upset I was that they didn’t come to me.

They all said one of two things: I usually do things on my own or if everyone didn’t know you needed help, then it’s on you for not expressing it clearly.

Tonight, I release that narrative. I surrender that story. I surrender the pain of the miscarriage and not being a mother. I surrender that I’m a failure and not good enough and not deserving of better. I surrender the guilt I felt that I had hurt so many people. I surrender the shame of being broken for so long. I surrender the anger, the unbelievable pain, the frustration, the need and desire for people to be any different to what they are. I surrender that I don’t think I am worth more than this collective misery.

I accept that I am here to serve, to empower, to heal, and I am grateful for all that I have learned through all of my life experiences.

I have fought many battles, many injustices throughout my life, and I’ve fought them alone. I am strong. I do support other people. But I sold myself for less than I was worth, and I surrender the story of victim that enabled that to happen.

I am in transition. That is my new certainty. I do not need to know where I am going. I just need to look for and heed the sign posts.

First though, I’ll feel this old pain through a new narrative, and then I’ll surrender it before I dust my crown off.

And then I’ll blow my fucking nose.

Out of the Darkness

Intense past month or so for me. And many others, I know, I feel you.

I have been (and am) in a massive place of transition at the moment. I can feel it – it’s like I’m lost, utterly lost, but know I need to feel that way to be able to shed and leave behind everything that no longer serves me.

As many of you know, I once thought (and for a very long time) that I wasn’t worth very much and I was pretty much an ugly duckling. I’ve had a recent lesson that has supported me in owning and accepting my worth and my beauty (in and out).

I finally believe that I am worthy and deserving to be my best self and have people around me who are striving to create a beautiful inner and outer world for themselves and others.

I feel like I have developed, through the darkness, a stronger sense of why I am here. It’s a little scary – not in achieving it, but in the machinations of how to achieve it.

I have a vision for this world.

A unity and community borne of, and from, love, as well as a deep connection arising from our collective similarities rather than our differences. I believe it is achievable. And I believe the way to get there is through collective healing.

I’ve had to step back from my normal lifestyle to regenerate and repair my energy. At the end of last term, I was completely exhausted – physically, emotionally and at a deep soul level. I tend to give a lot of energy out. All. Of. The. Time.

I have slowed down. I am realising that too much work brings money in, and takes happiness and fulfillment out. For me, in this moment. Money is great. I’m not knocking it. I’m just not wholly fulfilled earning it the way that I am. So, I’ve started pulling back from that. If I don’t believe I am serving people well, I need to step out. It’s hard, but necessary.

I have also realised that I am worthy of a deep and profound love. I do second guess it a bit, but in my core, I am worthy.

I have chatted to a couple of people over the last couple of days, overwhelmed that people can see me as amazing when I’m just being me.

I’ve been me my whole life, and have never been regarded with as much enthusiasm and validation as I have since India in November of 2016. Just recently, it has amped up even more.

My healing intentions for the world are being supported and people are ‘impressed’ by me. Freaks me out. Little girl lost is finding herself. I wish that for everyone.

I’m ready to evolve. Ascending higher. I know that won’t be solitary work. And it will be fraught with challenges for me to learn and grow from. But, I’m learning that there is a larger plan, that I need to be patient, that everyone who enters my life enters to teach me something, and that not everyone is here to stay. And, that’s okay.

A little lost still. Reread a book today and finished another book. Peaceful, but a little lonely. An interesting feeling for me because it’s a foreign feeling. I also feel raw, open and exceptionally vulnerable. Yet, I blog. I’m such a weirdo.

I am grateful for this darker period. I am grateful for the light occasionally flickering to remind me it is temporary. I am grateful for the deep connections I am able to build with people. I am grateful that I have courage. I am grateful that I am me. I am grateful for growth. I am grateful for pain. I am grateful for loveliness. All serve to remind me of where I have come from and where I am.

A Healthy Ego v Arrogance

I was chatting to one of my sister tribe this morning. I’ve said a hundred times before that whilst I was a teacher, I became used to keeping myself small. I was safe there, being small, working within the parameters I was given by an institution. It suited me to not expect very much from myself. I was scared of so much.

It took me fifteen years to acknowledge to myself and then to others that I was an amazing teacher. I still am.

I build amazing relationships with my students and I work from a place of love. And, I myself, am a lifelong learner. Education is holistic – it involves significantly more than delivering content and enabling skills.

I am now developing into an amazing business woman, but I am a work in progress and wouldn’t have come this far in my businesses without the help of four women specifically ~ Karyn, Donna, Mai Mai and Michelle.

And then, wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and extended family ~ people who love me and support me through the every day. I may not see them often, definitely not as much as I want to, but they are in my heart every day and I know they are in my corner which enables me to keep moving forward.

I am humble in my arrogance. Hehe. And I will never allow myself to be small again.

In our society, as women, we believe (are taught) that to stand in our truth, the truth of who we are, and express what we are good at, what we have achieved, what we can achieve, what we have done, is wrong.

It isn’t.

There is a distinct difference between a healthy ego and arrogance.

We should be able to speak our truth. We should be encouraged to speak our truth. We should stand proud when we speak our truth.

I’ve worked fucking hard in my life and on myself to be the strong resilient woman that I am. I have had very low lows and some amazing highs. I’ve lived a full life of extremes and of balance. I’ve weathered storms and basked in sunlight. I’ve had it all. I’m proud of myself.

Every day, I wake up, blessed (and bloody tired lol) and ready to serve. Every day, I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am. Every day, I take steps towards achieving the life I want to live, and every day, I live the life I want to live.

I own this. I own me.

If you call me arrogant, I ask you to look within yourself and ask where that need to judge comes from. If you think you shouldn’t own the best in you, ask who is keeping you small and who that serves.

Me being amazing does not diminish your amazing-ness. There is enough light in this world for us all to shine.

Today, mentally, vocally, in writing, List the qualities, the things, that make you amazing. And then, stand proud in your truth.

We are phenomenal people.

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The Detour – the impact of IVF and the importance of shared narrative

I’ve had an amazing couple of weeks of connections. Like, truly amazing. And I’m learning some interesting things and having to grapple with learning from some interesting things.

Yesterday, I was meeting with someone at the Square. I’m not often in Campbelltown anymore – too many people in those public places. But, as I walked from the car into the centre, I heard my name called.

I turned around and two beautiful people I’ve known for, gosh, twenty years or thereabouts, were walking with their young children. We stopped and chatted and they said they were going to Big W – in the opposite direction to where we were heading. I was surprised. Trace laughed and said, We saw you and we took a detour.

I was humbled. I have not been an easy person to know throughout the years for any of the long-standing friends I have; I disappear frequently and for long periods of time at times. I become very immersed in wherever my life currently is. These two fit into this category.

My IVF journey made seeing friends with little children and babies even harder, so I didn’t, I couldn’t. It’s easier watching their children grow, the children from that period, in pictures on Facebook. Nowadays though, it’s nice seeing those pictures come to life. Man, this isn’t going where I thought it was.

The day before yesterday, Wednesday, I established a soul connection friendship. We shared our stories. Many similarities, many differences. We navigated the terrain of difference together and learned how to communicate effectively and authentically with on another. I left her home, almost six hours later, knowing I had reconnected with another member of my soul tribe.

Part of our sharing of stories involved me talking about my IVF journey. I don’t really ever talk about the whole process for me – there doesn’t seem to be much need and I blogged most of it here. It was nice talking about it though.

It was a difficult journey. It was hell emotional. It was my detour I think. I had to go through that to get here – empowered, whole, authentic.

I wouldn’t wish the uncertainty, the drugs and their ensuing impact, the alone-ness of the journey, on anyone. However, I am stronger for it.

The person I met yesterday, to talk about reiki and attunements, has walked a similar IVF path to me. Funnily (or not – the universe is a little bit of a prankster), we went to the same primary and high schools, and her brother was in my classes most of our schooling life. We have crossed paths (or possibly in the corridors and playgrounds at school) without realising the significance that would later emerge. It’s a very small world.

I caught up with a small group of girls I adore, girls I met through teaching at Reddall. Again, lots of laughs and honesty, and genuine conversation. Shared experiences. Again, some talk of fertility and struggles that come. In that group of four, two of us have miscarried and two of us have struggled to fall pregnant.

These conversations show how important having people in your life to share your experiences with are. Our shared narratives enable healing. Not just in one, but in all.

I love women’s conversations. They enrich me. They connect us.

My closest female relationships today all felt the pressure of my IVF journey in some way or another. Those women, my sisters, share an unbreakable bond with me now though. I know that in my heart. They couldn’t get rid of me if they tried. I will always pop up in their lives. The path we walked and navigated during very dark times for me has strengthened all of those relationships in the long term. They are oak trees.

I think this is our strength. As women, when we are authentic and vulnerable, we see our similarities rather than our differences. Our shared narratives empower and enable deep conversation which yields deep healing.

I have another recently connected soul friend. We were friends in the heart before we met face to face. The reason I connected with her is because she has created a network of women to support one another in business, but mostly in life. She reaches out to women, prompting them to share with one another to push themselves further. I believe she comes from a pure heart and pure purpose. And I respect and love her for that. She wants women to find themselves and creates opportunities for just that.

I am surrounded by exceptionally strong and powerful women, and we share more similarities than differences. I am extremely grateful for my life and for the people in it. I am blessed by meeting more and more sisters and being able to share and learn from each other’s narratives.

Ultimately, we all want the same things: love, support and happiness. Together, we achieve them.

Them December Shivers

Summer Solstice today. Ascension, enlightenment, return to the divine. Also, not coincidentally I am sure, the anniversary of my friend, Natalie’s, passing from this physical world into another, five years ago.

Time moves quickly when you count it in years. Yet, some memories stay. On this day, five years ago, I did not care about Summer Solstice and whether it was today or yesterday or tomorrow. I was exhausted. Emotionally fatigued. I had visited Nat at the hospital, sat with her, chatted to her, apologised to her, said goodbye to her.

I had been carrying a lot of guilt for not having been around as much. I dropped out of contact after another failed pregnancy attempt. Within myself, I hadn’t been sure how to reconnect after grief and had hidden myself in a new friendship to try to find a way through, that also ultimately failed. Then, I was grieving that.

It is what it is. Life sometimes gets in the way and you just don’t expect your friends will die.

When I arrived home that afternoon, I just sat on my lounge, staring at the wall, absentmindedly patting my dog. I was waiting for the text from her husband or kids to let me know she had moved on. Waiting. Reflecting on how her passing would impact so many people, but more importantly, her husband, brother, parents and kids.

Abruptly, my dog jumped from the lounge and moved in front of the chair Nat had always sat in, tail wagging and barking. I felt her.

Then, shortly after, the message came.

Nat’s passing has taught me a lot. I always believed that there was more, that our soul lives did not end with our bodies. I had always believed that souls could still communicate with those on this earthly plane if we were open to it.

Nat and I have had many wonderful conversations since her passing. Sceptics might argue that it is the way I have processed my grief and my guilt, and not really real. But, I believe otherwise.

At first, obviously, I thought I was going crazy. It took me a while to realise that it wasn’t just me making stuff up, projecting my thoughts into an alternate reality. Her voice was real, her smile, her laugh, her being.

One of my friends during this time, a medium, contacted me one night with a message from Nat. It was undeniable that Nat was communicating because my friend had no way of knowing about the information she shared with me. In fact, only two people outside Nat and myself knew about it. It centred around a conversation Nat and I had had a couple of years earlier concerning her treatment.

The message that was delivered to me was so specific that it validated her reality beyond this earthly plane. It also validated my conversations with her. I felt like I had my friend back.

It is because of Nat that I gave IVF another go. She had always hoped I would conceive so that she could sneakily feed my child meat (spare your judgements here – not interested lol). We used to laugh, well, she did. Initially I was angry with Nat. I needed to blame something outside of myself and I patched into any tiny betrayal I perceived to emote outside of myself.

However, that miscarriage has fertilised a whole new way of life for me, albeit a childless one. My life is rich and blessed. I vowed when Nat passed that I would live fully. For the most part, I have succeeded in keeping this promise. It is funny what motivates us sometimes.

I still speak to Nat. She is still in my thoughts and part of my life. I know that she is around, checking in on all of us. We still chat and we sometimes argue. But, the love is constant.

We all learn how to keep moving forward after a loss, after a while, and it is important to assimilate the loss and move forward. It’s also okay that getting to this takes time, and can be a process of one step forward three hundred steps back. Grief is a funny (not so funny) thing. It can completely paralyse us, and it can stimulate and nurture rich new growth.

It really takes work, trust, patience and faith. Well, it has for me.

I still struggle. I like to keep today clear so that I don’t feel overwhelmed to be something I’m not feeling. It doesn’t always work. I try to navigate it and be kind to myself, trusting that if I make plans thinking I’ll be okay, and I’m not, I can cancel them.

You just never know. And, that is okay. We live for ourselves, not others, and we are not responsible for their perceptions.

Ahhhhh. It’s also okay to be enlightened and say, F this Shit.

Oh, and Nat was an amazing Mum. Knowing every day was precious, she mummed her way. She had faith that it worked for her and her boys were absolutely loved. She was not perfect (as she laughs and asks if I’m sure), but she gave it all she could. That’s all anyone can do.

It’s okay to make mistakes; come from a place of love, and all will be okay.

Trust – Yikes.

As a result of the way I processed the trauma from my childhood, I really struggle with trusting people to support me. I don’t expect that they will because, ultimately, I believed the narrative I wrote for myself as a child: I wasn’t deserving; I wasn’t worthy.

As a result, I have ALWAYS struggled to ask people for help. ALWAYS. And, when I say struggled, I generally haven’t been able to ask for help because I haven’t believed it would be there and then the narrative would be true.

As I grew up, as I moved through adulthood, until recently, I shut down in times of stress and pain, rather than be told I wasn’t worthy or important enough to receive help. It was never helped that when I did find courage to reach out, I either wasn’t clear enough in my request, or it was too hard for people to support me (not knowing how, not realising how desperate I was, etc).

All legitimately, and often because I failed to communicate my needs clearly through abject fear of rejection. However, in my traumatised brain, the ensuing refusal to support or failed realisation that I needed it, only reinforced my childhood narrative. It made me shrink further.

I have been working hard on improving and healing myself. I have worked to remove blocks to abundance and worked to remove obstacles that I imposed in friendships. I have worked hard to become the very best version of myself, and that has also meant sacrificing control.

As a traumatised child, I had no control. As a damaged adult, I have over compensated the control area of my life. Detrimentally.

For years, decades, I have tried to control everything. The investigation last year was a real and significant turning point for me in my healing journey. I had no control over anything except me. No control. Read, nightmare.

But, it forced me to start to trust myself. And I started to trust and utilise my Higher Self and my guides (those nagging voices we sometimes here; call it what you will). I heeded the call and went to India, and my life completely changed. A true transformation to become my best self.

Very recently, I have struggled with some minor obstacles (first world problems completely) and I have had to reach out twice for real support. I struggle with this still. But I have grown enough to realise that I need to clearly communicate what I need. I also accepted that support may not be possible through no fault of the others; I was asking a lot.

Both times, my request for support was very lovingly heard and acted upon. I spent more time agonising than was necessary. More time stressing and feeling awkward than was necessary.

I am so grateful. Grateful for the support I received lovingly. Grateful that I am growing. Grateful that I have created a life where second, third, fourth and tenth chances are offered. Grateful that I can trust other people to support me. Grateful that I realise it is on me.

It is easy to blame others and say, I am always there for others and no one is there for me. I hear this often. I used to say it. Often. But, it’s on us.

The universe is a big place; there is enough for all of us to have what we need and want.

However, we need to clearly communicate what we want and need. And, we need to understand that to achieve it, we need to trust those around us. We need to provide the opportunity for others to support us. We need to accept that not everyone will or can support us, and this is not a reflection of our worth and value.

Easier to say than do, I get that. I am a forty six year work in progress. But, it is getting easier. I am surrounding myself with people who have been through a lot with me, who have tolerated a lot, but also, in the last four or so years, I’ve also become discerning in who I give my heart and trust to, and that is making the difference.

I am a giving person. I am a loving person. And, I am surrounding myself with like minded souls who get me. I am grateful for this.

Trust will be an ongoing journey for me. I feel guilt when I accept help. This is ridiculous. I would do what I could for most people, whether they are in my inner circle or not. I should at least expect and accept the same for me.

And, if this has resonated with you, so should you ๐Ÿ˜˜

๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿฆ‹

Abundance?

There is enough for everyone.

I think I might finally be starting to believe this. It has taken me a week to process my Hay House Writers Workshop experience. And it was reading a blog piece by someone I met last weekend that has allowed the final piece for now to sit comfortably.

Since the success of my India experiment (answering the call, trusting I will be fine, being true to the experience, letting go of redundant labels like shy), I head in to each new experience with an infinite sense of trust and calm. I didn't know what to expect from the Writers Workshop so I chose to expect nothing; I answered the call and that was what I was supposed to do. That was enough.

I pre-booked my parking. I never do this. But I answered that call too. I missed the entrance. The GPS said I had arrived and did not reroute. I took a deep breath, and with logic and faith, I made my way back to the parking station. I lined myself up for a spot and a zippy car sped into it. I did a u-turn a little further down and came to park in another spare spot.

I tell you this because this run of events is usually so inconsequential in our lives that we do not pay any mind to them. As I tried to navigate myself to the Convention Centre, a lady asked if I was going to the Workshop. I said yes.

We started walking together, we registered, we sat together, we ate together, we met up for breakfast the next day, sat together, ate together, met new people together, had our books signed together, had photos together, and not ready to leave this 'new' friendship, had a drink after the workshop, together.

The conversation flowed easily and went deep almost immediately. Another of my tribe.

I have opened space in my life by jumping this year. As a result, I have given permission to myself to explore new things, meet new people, and move more fully into who I am. My heart has opened, my mind has opened, and I'm living with more conscious purpose than I have in a long time. So, it follows, my life has opened.

And, the real beauty in this, is that my old life (the parts that served me – friends, working with kids, healing, writing) are staying with me whilst I build my new life (taking what serves and leaving behind what doesn't serve me any longer). I feel so liberated.

I am struggling to break old connections. Teaching in schools for money is the greatest obstacle I face; that routine and that connection have been my life for over twenty four years. I am still working on manifesting financial freedom, but I think I just need to relax into it rather than focus on whether I have enough money all of the time.

And trust in abundance; there is enough for all of us.

Dr Ali Walker spoke at the workshop. She resonated for me. She had set her intention to become a Hay House author, put symbols on the fridge, focused entirely on it, and when Hay House rejected her manuscript, her life as she knew it, ended. The intention had not manifested and she was emotionally broken. Knowing her message was important, she started over, more relaxed, and Hay House has published her message.

I need to relax. I've set my intentions. I need to now release them for manifestation, in whatever way they will serve me best. I trust in this.

After all, there is enough for all of us.

Breakthrough

So I was just sitting here, watching Dr Phil, my head pounding, and I thought, “I struggle with my Birthday because I don’t believe I’m worth celebrating.” 

I know how ridiculous that is, but it’s truly what came into my head. I know I am worth it but it’s like I don’t believe other people will think I am. Lower my expectation, minimize disappointment. How f’ed in the head is that?! 

And I stand by what I said the other day, this stems from the IVF journey; the journey that just keeps giving lol. And that stems from being single.

For the majority of my life, probably until I hit my late thirties and forties, I hadn’t believed I was worth what I now think is very obvious worth. IVF compounded this because even though I was surrounded by people, it is a very alone journey, not lonely but alone. There are aspects of it that only the woman could understand, even in the most loving relationship. 

The drugs, the injections, the emotional rollercoaster, the listening and feeling and questioning every single physical aspect, well, you do that alone. The continual failure takes its toll. And then miscarrying, and misvarrying entirely alone and isolated, well, that compounded it all too. 

And so I learned I would do my life myself. I would pull back from everything (except work) to protect myself. I think when I wanted people to just know what to do, and to just be who I needed and wanted them to be, and they weren’t, I internalized that by reverting to my childhood narrative. The one where I’m not pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough, worth enough. 

Then there was the workplace bullying, healing from the miscarriage and another failed IVF, and then the investigation, more ‘voices’ telling me I wasn’t good enough; to the extent that my support network was shut down by the institution through their installation of fear by threatening that I would lose my job. 

Oh wow. No wonder my head is abnormal ๐Ÿ˜‰ trying not to swear lol. 

And that’s why when my friend said we needed to do something for my birthday, and suggested something, and organized it, respecting my request to keep my birthday quiet, I was happy to say yes: best of both worlds, celebration without pressure. 

I’m looking forward to my birthday. A year wiser in a transformative year. A year where I am rebuilding my entire life, from the ground up. 

What a blessing courage is. 

What a blessing freedom is. 

What a blessing this life is. 

Happy Birthday, Tina. You are becoming, you are, the woman you always wanted to be. I’m proud of you kiddo! 

Without …

Without India and without the trauma of the investigation, I would not be here. 

Without here, I would not have snorkelled. 

Without snorkelling, I would not have realised I fat shame myself and sometimes permit myself to live from fear. 

Without one thing, the other would not have existed. 

I am in a period of transformation. Not a period of change as such, but a period of deeper awareness of who I am and what I want. 

I need water. 

I need like minds. 

I need difference. 

I need happiness, more like bliss. 

I need movement. 

I need … all of this. 

I am about to fall asleep in one of the most beautiful places I have ever journeyed to. My soul is alive. 

Today I walked near the ocean. 

Today I walked in a forest. 

Today I loved. I swang. I chatted. I held a hand. I hugged different people. I felt. I soared. I sparked. 

Today … 

a single day. 

I am blessed beyond belief. This damaged girl from Campbelltown has empowered herself to really live, to discover what centuries of mystics have shared … life is to be lived. 

Life is not to be worked. 

Life is gratitude, blessings, sunsets, oceans, rivers, properties, like minds, lost goggles, lost childhoods, lost minds, a swing, new experiences, new friends, profound connection, hearty conversation. 

What a perfect day and perfect trip! 

Without the darkness, this light would not have come. 

The Times They Are A Changingย 

I think that it must be normal that your childhood heroes start to die as you age. They are that little bit older than you, and most have lived hard lives. It does leave me questioning though, who are the childhood heroes today? 

Wake Me Up Before You Go Go is my first choice funeral song because I imagine the people I love in tears, and then wryly laughing as the music kicks in. I’ve had an amazing life, and more often than not, feel blessed and grateful. I have experienced so many incredible things and known amazing people. 

Not that I intend dying today. 

Carrie Fisher has died today (US time). The trailblazers are passing this year, in droves. The people that inspired me to be real, to stand up, to fight for what I believe in, are dying in the year that shackled me. The irony is not lost. 

For a young girl growing up during the seventies and eighties, Princess Leia was a mainstream, socially acceptable, strong woman. Carrie Fisher embodied these qualities in her own life, maybe not always socially acceptable, but definitely authentic and real, fighting the good fight. A true role model, a true hero. 

Emma Watson is a positive role model for young girls. I think I’m struggling beyond her though. Maybe I’m just too old to appreciate what young women offer. 

I was also blessed to have had exposure to the life and work of Audrey Hepburn, an attitude that subconsciously pervaded my role as teacher. Especially relating to where I choose to teach. Her elegance and grace touched me, not necessarily with the language I choose to use. I’m more Carrie that way. Lol. 

I have been blessed to have been touched by female celebrity as much as by real women in and through my life. Strong women who never give up, even when they want to. 

My mother is there. Not always right, but always fighting to survive, to look after us girls, and to live her life. She has been hurt but has never given up. She is real. Her struggles have been real. She endures. My first role model. 

My second took the form of a friend’s mother, becoming my second mum. She struggled with mental health issues in a time when mental health issues were nowhere near as acceptable and understood as they are today. She was there for me, validating my experiences, my reactions, my existence, when all I felt was awkward and insecure. 

Most of my female friends are strong women, living their lives the best way they know how, battling and surviving their demons. 

My third role model is one of my closest friends. I often denounce her wisdom initially, so that I can process it before embracing it, but I acknowledge that that is what I’m doing. And acknowledge this to her. I’m a rebel at heart. Lol. 

Like me, she grew up in dysfunction. She is strong and she is a fighter. She is strong willed and strong minded, whilst being vulnerable in moments of, for want of a better word, defeat. She is unashamedly and unapologetically, her. And she has stood by me, even when I’ve pushed her away, consistently. 

She, too, has been fighting her employer, and through that fight, has confronted herself many times over, resolving little pieces of life struggle triggered by the present fight. Similarly to George Michael and Carrie Fisher, her heart has struggled with the enormity of her fight, but thankfully, her heart has not succumbed. 

I continue to be blessed. I surround myself with strong women who are real. I grew up in a time when it seemed more acceptable for women to not just be tits and arse. And I have been open to the power of love and the desire to survive. 

It is women like my mum, Anne and Donna, and Carrie, who have forged paths that empower and inspire others, that I am most grateful for. And it is important that all of us women who follow, forge our own paths so that we may become beacons for those that follow us.