I know I’m not the centre of the universe… honestly I do. I know I’m one of billions in this world, and that its really simple: my story began, I am living the middle, and one day it will end. This middle sure does have its ups and downs though, doesn’t it?
When I meet someone new, I give them this brief but detailed summary of who I am and what I am about:
I was born in Brisbane to my teenage parents. My dad joined the army when I was born so we moved around a lot when I was little. When I started high school my dad decided to stay put in the stability-promoting country town of Wodonga, Victoria. I am the oldest of five and bore a huge load of responsibility in my dysfunctional Army family. I moved out when I was a frustrated, know-it-all 17 year old, but became a teen parent myself soon after. This was the first time I met the Black Dog of depression. I married my kids’ dad because he was the exact opposite of my own, and this relationship produced my son and daughter, still the two greatest loves of my life. I divorced 6 years later and had my second encounter with a very anxious Black Dog. I moved to Wagga Wagga NSW and remarried a couple of years after that. With my new husband I started a business, went to uni, became a teacher and realised that I liked myself and I loved my life. I lost my voice after 4 years of teaching, and again met a Black Dog, but this one was overwhelmed with the seemingly impossible task of adjusting to a life without a voice. I got there in the end, we kept building our business, we moved to Melbourne, then my husband died unexpectedly. Thankfully, I have never seen that Black Dog again.
Like you, my early years set me up for life. The construction of my unique perspective started early as I picked up the usual skills of walking and talking, riding a bike, cleaning my room, and getting my homework done on time. My transition to adulthood was marked by more learning and more perspective building. As I navigated the standard processes of moving out, being married, having kids, getting divorced and remarried my outlook was being built … In fact, right through all of life’s twists and turns, how I see myself and the world has continued to evolve in response to my world. I can see that for most of my life’s chapters, my outlook was about my life. How I saw the world, and how I responded to it, resulted directly from its people, places and circumstances.
I’m different now. As I face the age of sage, I now realise that all of that learning was close to useless … it was little more than a big fat set up.
Now, I know I’m not the centre of universe, but I have learned that I am the master of mine… and all I want to do is tell you all …