Searching for doors that are open…

First of all, thank you to everyone who read my blog post – especially anyone who shared/commented/messaged me. Writing is definitely easier with feedback, because you can only know if you’ve communicated something well or worth sharing if people communicate back. Definitely twitter, instagram and the rest have killed that key part of blogging community in the last decade.

I feel strongly about getting more disciplined in writing more and finding ways to improve my writing.

This past week marked an anniversary of the day I got offered two dream jobs in one day. You might think ‘lucky you!’ and you’d be right. I know exactly how lucky I am. There had been a lot of applying and rejection for many years before that. A lot of envy. A lot of friendships lost because it was no fun being friends with me.

The last year has had a lot of change. It’s been positive mostly, but any change requires adjusting your life accordingly. It wasn’t an easy ride. Worth it? Yes. Easy? No.

However, summer is here, I’m now able to focus on one job. For the first time in my life I’m working 9-5. I still go away or work the occasional weekend (ok, at the moment because it’s marathon and sponsored walk season…there’s a lot of weekend work!) but I’m no longer working lots of evenings.

It’s a new era in the life of brunette koala, and I’m trying to navigate how to use this time. It would be very easy to sign up to do lots of things I’m being asked to do by church and Girlguiding. Some of them I will do. Some of them I won’t.

Is it selfish or is it what God wants to also use this time to pursue things I’ve always wanted to do? Like creative writing, dancing, surfing, photography and learning languages?

Last year, a few days after I got the phone call to invite me for an interview with the organisation I now work for, I snapped the above picture in Pressmennan Woods. A door that said ‘Open Me’. I saw it and felt the need to capture it, hoping with all my being that the door I had knocked on that seemed to be opening a crack would open fully this time. Rather than slamming it back in my face as so many doors I’d knocked had in the previous 3 years.

There are many more doors out there.

And I feel now is the time to search for them…and open them to see what’s on the other side.

 

 

Every society tells stories, but I’m afraid to tell mine…

IMG_6687

I wanted to be two things when I was growing up. A dance teacher and an author. Both these dreams got shot down pretty quickly by family members because apparently those aren’t ‘proper jobs’. However, while I know deep down that becoming a dance teacher is out of the question now, being an author is never out of the question. But I get scared of being rubbish, scared of being rejected. Like I know incredible authors got a ton of rejection letters before they got published…but it doesn’t make me feel any less anxious about the whole thing. And it stops me from finishing the stories I have in my head.

More specifically I’ve wanted to write children’s books. I still love children’s books which my friends think is an amusing quirk – though they’ve given me credit on occasion for finding books that their kids/nephews/nieces love. ūüôā

1557701_10153704690115274_1314866787_n

Discovering some children’s books at a vintage fair.

But oh the fear! I went to an incredible conference at my university a couple of years ago which one of my Germany roommates invited me to (she was doing a Masters in Children’s Literature and Literacy). It was all about picturebooks, and it fuelled that fire even more. Through going to different conferences mainly aimed at children’s librarians (another job I would love, love, love…and another job that our government is cut, cut, cutting) I met the head of Children’s library services for our city, and he invited me to become a judge for this incredible writing competition we have each year for primary school children aged between 7-11 years old. It has become my favourite weekend of the year when I go to the central children’s library to pick up 100s of entries and take them home to read to whittle it down to 10 entries for the final judging panel. Their creativity (when teachers have allowed it) just makes my heart more full, and I often annoy the snot out of everyone around me by bursting in a room or calling on the phone exclaiming “oh my gosh, this is amazing!” before proceeding read them a poem or short story I’ve discovered that has made me smile or laugh.

10390427_10154135594275648_2926788453573323273_n

Distracted by books at a market stall in Paris. I’d found the French translation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

And stories are important. Not just the life stories, but the imagination stories. I do believe that fairy tales were often the ways in which morals and life lessons were taught to children by their families back in the day. A few friends continually tell me that I need to share my own story, but I worry that there’s no point because no one would want to read it.

But worst would be if the characters in my head never get to be loved and read. There are my reindeer and there are my superhero wannabe brother and sister duo, Mattie and Zander. I worry they’ll never make it from my imagination to paper. But somehow I worry more that they will and people will just go “Pffffftttt”.

Yep. I still haven’t been able to combat my fear of failure!! (Clearly).

Quote of the Week 24 – Do I have something to share?

IMGP2484

I’ve been having a lack of confidence issue since last summer. Constantly¬†being told you’re not quite good enough takes its toll. All the times you see an opportunity that sounds so much fun and you discover you’re not allowed to do it because you’re too old.

And then recently, I’ve been reminded of how we don’t know how much time we have. My friend and ex-work colleague keeps telling me I’m a writer. I’ve always wanted to write. I’ve wanted to write books for children, and I’ve wanted to write my own story. I was obnoxious enough to start writing my autobiography when I was 16.

Yes.

That’s right.

Sixteen.

Granted, a lot of things had happened to me by the time I was sixteen, there was a lot of awakenings between the age of 15-16 that made that year quite a poignant one. When I was standing over a river ready to jump into it when I was 15, I heard a voice that told me I had to live so I could help other people who have been through similar situations to me.

I walked home that day shaken and changed.

That was before I’d even learned the half of it.

I think when I was a teenager I just thought I had all the time in the world, but the other part of me just assumed that one day I’d be a grown up and have it all sorted.

I’m 31 now, and I have my life less sorted now than I did when I was a teenager!

That quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes scares the poop out of me.

Am I going to die with my music still in me?

And then the bigger question – what is it that I have to share?

Then the scary part Р does anyone want to hear it?

The fear that the answer to that last question is ‘not really’, is what stops me from sharing. But I think that’s probably wrong and silly. I think way too much about all the things that people might be thinking and I over-analyse way too much and it definitely stops me from putting myself out there.

And when I finally do and I get rejected, it makes it that little bit tougher to build up the courage to try again.

But I should.

I think.

Maybe.