Nearly twenty years later

In 1999 I turned 30. I was not happy about this at all. I had this preconceived idea of where my life should be and single, living with my parents was not it at at all. I’d had a career change, I had great friends and a healthy social life but I felt I wasn’t on track.

I decided to head to London alone. I landed a great job with London Transport working on culture change and communicating this change to the rank and file hard core union members. This was front page news and saw Tony Blair visiting my work. I would never have this kind of job in Brisbane.

I found a share place near Dulwich which was a great central location. I lived with four other busy people and rarely saw them. I loved that life. My work day started with me getting off my bus a couple of stops early. I never tired of walking on the Westminster Bridge crossing The Thames. Walking past Big Ben, Westminster and Westminster Abbey to my work directly opposite New Scotland Yard.

It was a scorching summer by English standards and I ate lunch everyday in St James’ Park. I came home from nearly six months living and working in London enjoying solo getaways and trips with a friend to Belgium.

On reflection, I look back at that time of my life in wonderment at this girl who made an international move with no job or place to live. I had self belief.

Fast forward 19 years. I’ve married, become a step Mother, had my own children, raised an autistic child, faced devastating mental health issues, supported my husband through prostate cancer, supported my son through traumatic bullying, lived with debilitating anxiety and I’m still A L I V E.

I’ve had incredible highs and dark despairing lows. I’ve learned that I can get through all of it. I’ve learned I can live with 58 cents in the bank because I had food in my pantry. Life is still and always will he hard, rewarding and fulfilling. Through losing friends and turning to my faithful ones, I count my blessings rather than my losses. Losing what all the money in the world won’t buy makes you appreciate what is important.

I am happy most of the time. That’s great. It’s a balanced life. Like night must turn into day I’ve learned you need sadness to experience happiness. Yin and yang so to speak.

Yesterday I received news that both terrified me and thrilled me at the same time. I’ve been invited to speak at a national conference hosted by Autism Spectrum Australia. Addressing academics, educators, therapists and parents. This is huge. They think what I have to say is worth hearing.

I’m waiting on further information from them which I will receive next week. I have begun to collect data. I’ve spoken to some people and I’ve lined up a practice run. Pretty good work in just 24 hours.

Tomorrow I’m sorting out some office space at home I need a quiet little corner with no distractions. Watch out world, here I come.

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