The Inevitable 

It’s 1.35 in the morning. I fell asleep on the lounge around 9.30 last night, waking up an hour ago. I’m now in bed but can’t sleep. I’m reflecting on my week. 

Last night I realized that the inevitable had happened. I have emotionally connected with and become attached to a group of adults and kids at another school. And, I’m okay with it. 

I’ve also realized that whilst I can come across as very arrogant, and at times, behave arrogantly, it’s mostly because I am really good at what I do. Not perfect but really good. And not acknowledged by those in charge, in a very broad sense, for it. I think the arrogance, if that is what it even is, stems from that quest for someone to acknowledge it. A result of damage and trauma no doubt. 

I had a success at work. It made my heart melt. I smiled inside all afternoon. I felt connection. 

There is a boy who struggles with change. The first few times I relieved for various teachers, he couldn’t even come into the room. On Monday he came into the room, and he stayed in the room even when he had the opportunity to leave. 

Yesterday he was reluctant to come into the room but did. And then he started to tease me and play with me. He smiled and he laughed and I just watched him blossom right in front of me into his potential as a happy person. It was so magickal. This transformation. Wow. He trusted me. 

It is such a gift to become the custodian of someone’s trust. As a teacher, it is our reward.

He completed no work but I have always maintained that to learn, we need to trust the teacher, and building that relationship takes time. Small steps. Being consistently in the unit is enabling and empowering me to build the relationships, with kids and with the staff. 

I think I’m feeling a return, from deep inside of my soul, to my passion for teaching, separate from the bullshit that can be the profession. A return to wanting to make a difference in people’s lives. To caring and to trust that caring is okay. 

And inevitably, this leads to an understanding of the extent to which last year has damaged me. I always trusted that my employers would look after me, and they didn’t. And this is why, even with renewed passion and yearning to make a difference, my days in the profession are restricted. 

Teachers need to feel empowered and inspired by the leaders in their organization, and that doesn’t happen. To ‘succeed’ you need to be a certain type of person, and that isn’t me, can’t be me, not interested in it being me. I have always created my own success in partnership with my kids. And that was enough for a very long time. 

But it isn’t anymore. I’ve lost respect for the institution. I don’t trust that the organization knows what is in the best interests of its ‘clients’, and that teachers are no longer empowered or supported to undertake their core duties. You need to look no further than NAPLAN reform and continual syllabi changes to see this. 

There needs to be fundamental change in every aspect of and at every level of the education machine in this country, and unfortunately, apart from the odd random twinge of politicalisation, I’m not interested in the fight. Maybe that spirit will return one day, but I don’t see it happening just now. 

Still too damaged. 

Awakening 

Surgery went well. I was exhausted by the end of yesterday, and only suffering discomfort and occasional pain in my nether regions. I’ll find out within two weeks if the material taken is cancerous or not. It will be fine regardless. 

Because surgery was unexpected, I had made big plans for yesterday, and there was no way I was missing either unless I was dead. 

My friends Kylie and Mel, and I, travelled to Berry for Alana Fairchild’s War Council of Love workshop. It was with Alana that I had completed the life transforming work in India last year. I’m sure you can understand why I was excited. 

Seventy women. I figured there would be many healers in that room and the energy would be healing for my battered body. I was correct. 

A massive day. A lot of introspection regarding our own healing needs before turning that towards healing the planet. The workshop culminated in group work. We listed the negative things we wanted vanquished from the world, designed a flag to wave for our cause and composed a war cry/chant. Ours was:

I am woman 

Hear me roar

We don’t want this shit

No more 

And then we roared. Truly liberating and powerful and hilarious. I think I’ve messed up the third line but you get the idea. The energy was palpable. 

Earlier in the day I had experienced a profound meditation. The first image was funny, literally a bird flying but a cut out photo of my face had been glued onto the bird’s face, but then it and I morphed into a most beautiful snow white owl. I was the owl, flying and staring intently into my eyes, letting me know that yesterday’s surgery was about cutting out my entire last 46 years so that the rest of my life would not be tainted by that trauma, pain, life. I was free to rebuild and transform, and the owl reminded me to never go backwards. 

Writing it now actually has enabled me to realize the magnitude and strength of the message of the meditation, more so than when I experienced it yesterday. 

Just, wow. 

I was then able to project healing strands of purple, white and silver ribbon from my heart into the room, around the people, and into the broader world. Empowering. 

There was a woman present yesterday. She was fundraising. For homeless women. Each week she gathers with them in a park in Sydney, providing lunch, for connection. It started many years ago as a small group and has grown. Our ability to impact the lives of others is profound; our actions do not have to be huge to be effective. I was very moved by her work. 

And I wonder what I can do to make a difference. 

Driving to Berry was magickal and driving home was magickal. The faerie folk are always present near Berry, their songs carried by the mist whilst their activities are protected. 


Oooh and a lyre bird ran out across the road in front of us on the way yesterday.  My belief in no coincidences lead me straight to Google. 


Similar words and sentiments were echoed throughout the workshop. It is always important to watch out for the messages we are given by the divine, whatever you might call that. 

I love Berry. It is beautiful. It possesses a beautiful energy, a rich indigenous energy, that eclipses time. It truly is a magickal place. 


And then, a very quick change of clothes, fresh makeup and I bolted to Campbelltown so that Margo and I would make it to The State Theatre in Sydney for Julia Morris. Almost a complete hour and a half of laughter for me. Laughter is great medicine for the soul. And I love it. 

And I love middle aged comediennes who subvert expectations of womanhood. Her language was foul: bold and empowered, and her humour was relatable, especially her anger at the world. And then, profound in its simple message. 

We all have choices. We choose how we will respond in any given situation. 

I sometimes choose anger to entertain, because my language is also foul and it makes others laugh, but also to release any pressure that may be building. Releasing it gradually ensures that I don’t blow and that I maintain some sort of equilibrium most of the time. 

I like the zen state. 

I like the peace. 

I like the knowledge that all will be okay, that all is as it should be, and that I will survive. 

It’s safe. 

Happy Mother’s Day. Commercial folly. It is Mother’s Day every day. 

?

I had my surgery today. I was okay with it all when I posted yesterday. Mostly okay. My wonderful gynaecologist confirmed the surgery after 9 last night. I had a moment. I had to be at Liverpool Private by 11 this morning. Earlier than originally anticipated. That required changes in plans. 

I cried. I felt so sorry for myself. So sorry for myself that I didn’t avail myself of any offers of help that had been offered by many different people. So sorry for myself I just wanted to feel like a victim and blame the world. It was emotionally just too hard and I didn’t understand and why so I reverted to my two year old self. 

I’m an idiot. 

By quarter to ten I had pulled my head in, spoken sense to myself, all too late. My tantrum disempowered myself, ironically when I wanted control. Common trend of behaviour for me when I feel powerless (but are we really ever powerless? No.) and behaviour that I do not respect in myself. 

It is so easy to play victim and become petulant and hate the world. It is harder for me to accept that it is okay to rely on other people sometimes. And this is a trust issue, stemming way back to my very early childhood. 

I’m 46 now. I’m no longer a child. And I dictate my life’s trajectory. Last night I forgot this. I’m shaking my head at my behaviour with a wry grin. Don’t panic. I am being kind to myself and cutting myself some slack. And I know that my surgery is laden with grief about my failed attempts to become a birth mum. 

Because I barely slept. And when I did, I processed. So I woke up feeling nervous but better about it. Contemplated texting my ff to ask if she could drive me but decided I was okay with the bus and train. I had to trust that I was okay even though I thought it might be nice to talk to someone. 

The universe will always conspire to provide what we need. 

First train was cancelled and an old friend happened to be catching the same train so we talked and talked and talked. Thank you, Anne. 

The walk was easy. I was calm. At peace. 

I was admitted. My blood pressure was good. My sugars were okay. I’d been through this before for my egg retrievals. And then I got it. 

The tantrum was the memory of all that came before. Three times I’ve been in hospital for procedures. Three times I woke to find a number written on my hand (eggs retrieved). Three times it came to naught ultimately. 

Once, it resulted in a miscarriage with lots of blood. That ultimately resulted in my last bout of long term bleeding. That time of my life hurt me a great deal. I still think of the child that would have been. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m in a good place with my childlessness. But I’m also conscious my life is different now because of that. 

I was lying in my bed outside of the theatre for over an hour. The anaesthetist had been caught up somewhere. I was completely at peace. I gave myself a reiki and focused on breathing and being present. I could hear the tinny sound the hands of the clock made and so I counted the seconds in lots of five. 

And I watched them tick over. 

Occasionally my mind moved to other thoughts, contemplating not terrorizing myself, about life. What if I died on the table. Had I lived a happy life. Would I be at peace. Resoundingly, yes. I have no will. I know my pets would be looked after. Would there be custody fights. I haven’t left a copy of all my passwords anywhere. No one knows who has keys. It was interesting. 

And then I’d come back and count again. 

Nurses came and went. I had to repeat answers to the same mundane questions. Changing nurses. Changing shifts. My lovely doctor laughed with me; I hadn’t eaten since last night and it was now well after one. Concern over my sugars but not re-tested because the new nurse didn’t listen to the previous nurse. Death could be a reality. New anaesthetist. Surgery done. 

Recovery. 

I love coming out from anaesthetic. Very sore vagina. Lots of blood. Discomfort. 

Panadeine forte. 

Winning. 

An old Asian man in recovery next to me. Beautiful soul and smile. Shift change. Relatives rung. Food provided. Time to get dressed. 

I walked past his chair. He said, “You can walk.”

I smiled, threw my hands in the air, and said, “It’s a miracle.” 

We laughed. 

He walked past me, arms in the air. He said, “I can walk.”

I laughed, “Another miracle!”

He namaste’d me. 

Gold. 

My fertility is done. I have a Mirena IUD. Five years. I’m waiting for the no period. I’ll bleed heavily for a few days, maybe a week. My results will be back within two weeks. Hopefully all will be good. Hopefully the mass wasn’t cancer. 

At any rate, I think I’m still a little high. 

I’m going to bed. 

Such is Life 

An interesting day, today. I had to have an ultrasound for my upcoming surgery to ensure all is okay with my gall bladder and then needed to go to the gynaecologist for a service. Appointments away from home and close enough together yet far enough apart to not bother coming home. 

As I am prone to do, I also arrived to both appointments early which interestingly resulted in me being seen earlier than my appointments; a rarity to be sure. First went smoothly. Picked up the images a little while ago. Second one threw me a curve ball. 

I had internal and external ultrasounds done a few weeks ago due to ongoing bleeding. My doctor wanted to rule out the cancers and horrible stuff. I took the images with me. My gynaecologist looked at them. 

No service required.

Hospital it is. As soon as possible before I travel to the United States in a couple of weeks. 

Trying a curette first. Inserting Mirena. If unsuccessful, lasering everything. If unsuccessful, hysterectomy. 

Day surgery. Fifteen minute procedure. An hour recovery. Home. 

She’s trying to book it for tomorrow afternoon. 

We both giggled at the irony of this IVF repeat failure reproductive system at forty six still being so fertile that even the gynaecologist said I was years and years away from menopause: life’s cruel ironies. After IVF I’m at higher risk of developing some type of cancer in my reproductive organs, especially endometrial cancer. 

Who knew. I think I vaguely recall reading that in my own research earlier on during that process. Meh. 

I always say, IVF is the gift that keeps giving. I just don’t wish it on anyone. 

As a result of those two appointments and having to wait around, I went to The Square to hang. Well, after my first appointment which I had to fast for, I really went there for breakfast, and just in the knock of time, my sugars were going out and I started to get the shakes. But, I also ran into a few ex students and friends, made through teaching. 

Man, if teaching isn’t the most powerful profession in reaching people I don’t know what is. And if ever I’m having a day questioning my own value and impact, I really need to just hang out at The Square. We raise compassionate and caring kids at my old school. They go on to become such beautiful people, trying hard to make life work and to give to others and become the best versions of themselves.

Us teachers are truly blessed. And if you’re a teacher who doesn’t work hard, doesn’t reach out to your kids, you won’t understand, but deserve to, so work harder. 

🙏🏻

Some clarity, only some 😛

This month is about building business and success, lessons being learned and trust. It’s very easy to not worry about money when you have a regular and reasonable pay cheque.

I am not receiving much casual teaching work – a couple of days each fortnight if. It is forcing me to adjust the way I live, the way I spend and the way I think. My savings are almost gone; they were meant to last the year and finance all of my travel plans. Very little casual teaching means that they have financed my rent, loan repayments and life. 

This morning, after talking sense to myself for days, I’ve woken up focusing on the gift of this time of a transforming life. How truly blessed I was to have savings that enabled and empowered me to say no to working full time this year in a job that had left my passion for life behind at some point. 

And, my business has grown significantly this term. If I had priced myself appropriately and structured my business slightly differently, lessons learned, I would be generating more income. 

Today, I woke after 7. I have been waking at 6 every day, phone on volume, anxious to hear the phone ring or a message tone, wanting work but not wanting to go to work. 

An interesting bind, and very much a first world, white, privileged problem. 

I love my business; I’ve met wonderful kids and wonderful parents. I enjoy the preparation for my sessions, even if it is psychological and mental preparation only at times. My house is always tidy. My pets are happy – I’m home during most days. I’m happy. I’m balanced. I have time for me. This lifestyle is an empathic introvert’s dream. I’m not suffocated by the conflicted social emotions of being around people all of the time; it’s refreshing. 

I need to let go of the money concerns that have been plaguing me. I have enough. I need to trust that I will be provided with everything I need as I need it. 

It really is as simple as that. I am meant to be where I am. This is all my path, exactly as it should be. And I’m happy. 

So today, it’s 820, I’m lying in bed, reflecting, I’ll get up soon, I’ll have breakfast, I’ll update my business account, I’ll complete an assignment, and I’ll possibly write. I have four chapters of my book to finalise and I have enough space around me to create and write. 

I need to be focusing on that blessing; or is this the real root of my fear? Yep, interesting psychological turn there. That whole fear of failure/fear of success thing. 

Glory Days

When I saw Lucy a month ago, she suggested that I was struggling to let go of the financial predictability of teaching, and she was right. As a result, I hadn’t liberated myself from that lifestyle and the chains that were shackling me. 

Something has shifted during April. Advertising for my business, Tina’s Tutoring, has been somewhat successful and I have seen a rapid increase in the volume of clients.

It has also given me something else. 

I have been missing my friends from work and the experience of being in the classroom. I have missed watching kids engage and advance. I have missed the building of rapport and that feeling of success. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss being in a school or my job. I have mised the practice and art of teaching. 

However, during the last week, working with last term’s clients and meeting new clients, the diversity of need and experience within my clientele, has enabled that yearning to be fulfilled. I love working with my clients. I love it. 

I love my business. I love its potential. I love being the owner and the process of creating something magical. 

I am so excited for its future. And I hope that my hard work continues and it continues to grow. I can see its potential for generating long term consistent income. 

Most of all, I can smell freedom from the politics of education, freedom from the daily grind, freedom from meaningless administrative tasks that do not achieve the results required to justify the workload, and freedom to live my life my way.  I am creating the life that I want. 

It is magical. 

I am happier. I am less tired. I can’t wait to go to work each day but also value every minute of my day spent doing things other than work. I am loving my life. 

And interestingly, I do not feel the need for travel or movement away from home. I am content. And I am resilient, manoeuvring my way around or through obstacles. Life is not perfect. There is more uncertainty than the predictability and security of teaching, but I am valued by the kids I tutor and their parents. 

And I really am a gifted teacher. Who’d have thunk it 😜

Jumping has always served me well. Iit is scary. But so worth it. 

Disappearing

It’s been a significant week for me. A lot of emotional and psychological processing about a lot of things; some important, some not. 

One of the first students I ever taught is the Principal of a primary school in a very socio-economically disadvantaged area, an area that we both grew up in. But the disadvantage almost stops the second that you walk through the doors of her school. 

And I had that privilege on Monday. 

No school is perfect, I know that. But some schools function differently to others and the atmosphere very much reflects the leadership. I have never before walked into a school that felt so liberated and so open. The people I encountered all seemed to genuinely and unreservedly be happy to be at work. They seemed to be enjoying working together; no games and no undertones of treachery or malice. 

I left in the afternoon questioning whether it was time to retrain, become a primary school teacher and work there. It is a beautiful thing to see others following their calling and making a huge difference in the lives of others. A truly beautiful thing. I became inspired to teach again. Thank you, Tammy. 

This week too, my clientele has grown substantially. I am servicing more children. And I love it. I feel that passion I once felt for teaching returning. I am enjoying the diversity of client and love going to work. 

This has created small psychological hurdles, which I am navigating. Over time, unbeknownst to me, I have allowed myself to become impacted by the negativity of others, to the extent that whilst I say I am amazing, and often believe it, when someone else tells me or I achieve success, I question my worthiness. This week I have been questioning when I will be found out and my success will come crashing down. 

I think we all see ourselves as fraudulent some times. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am an exceptional teacher, and that I possess a way of working with kids that empowers them to see, and to trust, their own value/brilliance/ability etc – I own that. I guess I have pigeon holed myself in a role and never envisaged my own potential or the potential for my life. I was always going to be a teacher because I had always wanted to be a teacher. And now that my life is opening up, I’m seeing a world that is different to what I’ve always known as mine. 

I am a small business owner. I am a teacher. And, I am so much more than all of these labels. Labels provide safety but they also restrict growth. My teacher label provided job and financial stability, but the same label has also hindered me fulfilling all of my own and my life’s potential. Until now. 

Yes, the investigation I was under last year resulted in burn out, but what a wonderful gift it provided me to force transformation and growth. And how blessed do I feel in my freedom. I set my own hours and I can work when I choose to. 

This week I have started feeling calmer. I have stopped watching every penny that has left my purse, bathed in financial anxiety. I have started to embrace my alternative working life, a flipped employment. I have taken control of my business recording and I am enjoying getting up every day. I feel happy, content, focused and driven. 

And my blood pressure is almost normal (140 over 85 – amen). 

It hasn’t been easy emotionally, and I dare say I will still struggle at times, but I feel the new dawn rising above the horizon, and the darkness is ending. 

And what better way to mark this than with a tattoo. Tonight, this part of my life narrative will be etched into my skin; this part of my journey memorialised. 

#livingacharmedlife #blessed #withbravewingssheflies #tattoogirl

My Birthday Wish 

Ah, 46. Four away from 50. When I was a girl, fifty seemed so old and sixty was positively ancient. But, not anymore. I feel no different to thirty, except that I know I’m wiser, and I like myself now. 

I live a truly blessed life. I am free and I was born in the most beautiful country in the world. I am surrounded in luxury and share my life with some amazing people. 

My wish this year is not wholly for myself, even though, if I’m honest, I hope my life stays blessed, including the challenges that steer me forward but hurt in the process. My wish this year is for the people around me, in the flesh as well as my friendships, started in the flesh, but maintained through Facebook. 

And my wish is this … 

that we all continue to embrace the challenges that confront us so that we are empowered to grow. That we feel the love coming to us, arms encircling us, especially in our darkest moments. That the loneliness we sometimes feel is fleeting, and ultimately, inspires us to hold those we love a little tighter. That we continue to turn towards one another for inspiration rather than away from one another in fear. That we really see the beauty in each day, the small things that inspire gratitude and the big things that make us smile. That we know that we are doing our very best, especially on the days that our strength is depleting, and that we remain kind to ourselves and forgiving of others. That we love wholly, ourselves, others, our pets, the animals, the environment and the majick folk. That we love our lives, and if we do not love our lives, the courage to dream big and manifest our dreams, one small step at a time. 

I wish for a roof over our heads, safety, food, warmth in winter and cool in summer, friends, family, connection, education, gratitude, happiness, peace (yes you, Trump, Putin, Kim Jong un, and all other dictators), but most of all, passion to be in every second of every day, and big steel capped Doc Martens to fight every battle that comes your way in style and with grace. 

I wish all of us, warriors on a shared path, success and strength and conviction; renewed energy on the hard days, and a good doona to cocoon ourselves in when we need to hide until that energy brews. I wish us all a sense of humour and the ability to discern when something isn’t our issue. I wish us love. And, chocolate. And, potato salad. 

I wish that we all remember that trouble is temporary and we are the engineers of our own lives. We will be treated as we allow people to treat us and our lives will be exactly what we choose for them to be. 

I wish you enough hope and faith that you are safe, living your best life. 

Happy next year ahead to 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 😉 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! 

Between Places 

A part of me is afraid to let go of teaching. It’s a weird place to be. It isn’t surprising though. 

I wanted to be a teacher and a writer synonymously. Becoming a teacher was easier I think, and I was going to use it to support my writing. I just didn’t manage both. I gave all to teaching: becoming better at it, the students, their families, the school. I left no real breathing space for myself.

I was talking with one of my best and closest friends on Monday. I told her that I didn’t know when my passion for teaching went, when I stopped loving going to work every day. She told me that she knew; it was the last time I took leave without pay. 2008. 

And I think she is right. 

I had a few years in there, finishing prior to being under investigation, in the Creative and Performing Arts faculty, where some passion came back. The staff I was working with, and the Reading to Learn and ALARM programs rejuvenated that passion. I felt alive again because I was fulfilling my creative potential I think. 

There was no real passion last year, love but not passion. 

On Monday, whilst out with my friend, we ran into a few of my students. Oh my. I loved seeing them. I miss the play with the kids, the symbiosis, the laughter. I miss regular contact with some of the staff. I don’t miss the politics, the gossip, the egos, the welfare, the long hours and the frustration. I do miss my classroom. 

I’ve been struggling to go back to one of my adolescent fiction novels about a teen who is raped at a party even though I’ve been writing it in my head. And I think it is because I am putting the writing first. Stepping onto that path and owning it has given me pause. 

I need to do what I usually do, acknowledge the fear and jump anyway. 

So, I leave you to pick up my laptop and to continue writing her story.