It’s my birthday today. I’m 36. I feel more comfortable in my skin and confident about my ideas and values than I’ve ever been.
Thirty five was a big one indeed.
This week alone has seen me grace the front page of my hometown paper, and see a Beatle in concert!
Who would have thought so many amazing things would happen when I was 35?! TV work! A book deal! Radio work! Speaking agency representation. Interviewing and being interviewed by my fave singer! Posing in my undies! Quitting two jobs! Self-generated work! So many flights! Having wonderful friends! A pretty good run of health! Just saying yes to (almost) everything that would bring me joy, and no to the things that don’t. Let’s hope 36 is just as great.
At times I’ve felt it’s been work, work, work – not the hamster wheel of last year – but the majority of it has been enjoyable. I think that’s been because of active choices I’ve made to live a more fulfilled life.
There’s been a wonderful feeling of knowing so many people are cheering me on. The publishing process has definitely shown me this – from my wonderful agents at Jacinta Di Mase Management, Catherine at Harper Collins, Rare Birds – my new speaking agents – and all of my friends. Mum is my biggest fan – last week I witnessed her disappointment when a book I am in wasn’t in a prominent place in a bookstore!
This year hasn’t been without its challenges – the self doubt, tall poppy syndrome and friendships lost has been character building. Friends tell me I’ll look back on these hard times and see how they were lessons. Right now that’s hard to see. I’ve also been pretty sore these past few months – I put it down to a lack of rest, rather than stress. Overall though, my health has been excellent since I haven’t had the 9-5 plus freelance grind.
I also took some risks – quitting a part time job that wasn’t bringing me joy, and quitting my safe government job (which I was on leave without pay from) for real. Next year’s work will be self made – how exciting (and a bit scary!). I’ve said yes to most opportunities – because why not?! And when I’ve said no (or put boundaries in place), I haven’t felt guilty.
I’ve got some exciting ideas for next year – some of which involves developing pride and resilience in young people. I want young people with Ichthyosis to know how wonderful the future can be.
New friendships and working relationships have formed this year – particularly because of fashion. I’ve found lots of new friends in the Gorman and brooch communities – these have been a fun break from activism.
I hope this post doesn’t seem braggy, but it’s simply amazing to reflect on the year that’s been – and to know that my 30s have been my best years. I said to Adam earlier this week that I am so grateful for his support – and of course I’m thankful for my parents and friends too.
I’ve had a sleep in and opened my presents (some self-gifted) while listening to Darren Hayes. I’m off to wander in the city and meet a friend soon. Adam is taking me shopping later, and I have some parties on the weekend. Happy day indeed. Thirty six will be great, I just know it.