This one. Me, 23, in Rockhampton in 1984.
A few months later my whole life was about to be turned upside down. I was having a heap of fun, had the best job ever. An art teacher at Rocky Girls Grammar. So good. Never really had any aspirations. Was just like a leaf floating along the river of life.
It was a surprise pregnancy that threw me. But after the shock, I finally felt like my life had meaning with this baby growing in my belly. I embraced this unborn child with my whole heart. Studied natural childbirth and was diligent in my preparation. But I had no idea what was to lay ahead. The shock of an undiagnosed breech birth, the terror at not knowing what to do once he was in my arms, alone in a ward without help. Tiredness that never really ended. I wasn’t a single parent and had people around me but it was a strain on relationships.
You see, this one, well she hardly had a footing in her own life, let alone caring for another’s. But I’m proud of her now. 36 years later and two nights ago, I landed in Rocky again to pick up pieces of her heart that I didn’t even know I’d left there. I’d left so suddenly and in a shroud of catholic shame and secrecy at being an unmarried mother.
As I write I’ve just realised it is almost 36 years ago to this very day, I addressed the whole assembly of girls to give an emotional goodbye. I couldn’t give the real reason why I was leaving but I can’t believe I had the courage to do that with the amount of emotion inside me. I left Sept school holidays. There are no mistakes in life. Or in this 2020.
So I’m here to forgive her for being brash and bold and in fact, I’m proud of her for that. I see her sweet innocence and blind courage and cherish her for that. It’s easy to blame life and circumstance for suffering. But forgiving oneself is like the soul weaving itself back together again.
And I’m happy to say, as I approach 60, I now have the best job I’ve ever had. Supporting women through the many stages, celebrations, and tribulations of womanhood, speaking about things that are still unspoken. I embrace it with my whole heart because when I look at this one now, I just wish she had older women to wrap their arms around her, pull her close to their hearts and just say, “My love, it’s all gonna be ok. It’s gonna be ok.” I know. Because I’m ok now. And you will be too.
The Womantime work opens up again in 2021. Womantime retreat is back in August 2021 - If you'd like to know more about the retreat please sign up here for the early release of dates, Earlybird pricing and first option to secure your place. I can't wait to start this transformation work again.