I remember being scared to do the wrong things growing up. I hated being told off. If you know me now, you will know I still hate being told what to do...that is why I am a yoga TEACHER haha so I can tell YOU what to do...JOKES!
I had both an older sister and an older brother who were both studious, coordinated (actually my sister was/is perhaps selectively coordinated #sorryIstillloveyou), fit (my whole family are/were runners....except me #outcast), driven, popular and...standard-setters. As in, if and when they got in trouble, I took a mental note to NEVER do that. I never wanted to be in my dad's bad books. He was pretty cruisy, both my parents were, but when you did something wrong, you knew about it.
My siblings were merely 2 years apart and thus had common friend groups and interests, and I was the 'annoying' little sister. (Nowadays, I am the normal one...if only you knew)
My best friend was a Jehovah witness and the naughtiest stuff we did was bush bash and have water fights in the half-built houses with the other boys from the neighbourhood.
My boyfriend was a Christian and I got seriously in trouble from Dad one night when he found out I went to youth group (basically an evening where all the christian kids hang out and do something fun - this particular night we played spotlight in the bush at Bandy Creek.). In this relationship I learned about saying 'Grace' at the dinner table and our after school 'dates' (if you could even call them that) consisted of either a beach walk or helping one another with our homework. I'd help him with Chemistry and he would help me with English (BOOM nailed it! (Thanks highschool loverboy) Here I am writing publicly!! #nojudgement).
I never toyed with the idea of drugs. Or alcohol for that matter. I wasn't interested in parties. I just wanted to get home from school so I could go for a walk on the beach or build another ramp with the bmx boys.
In highschool my part time job was teaching gymnastics (I also dabbled in a little cafe work as well as retail - mum worked in a clothing shop). I remembered dreaming of being an Olympic gymnastics coach one day...pretty happy with where that dream took me.
My weekend highlights were going 4WD-ing with my dad (and whoever else wanted to come) and catching fish and also enjoying picnic platters on the beach. I loved staying salty well beyond sun-down.
I was 16 when I had my first kiss. And it scared the heck out of me. Then we broke up...hopefully my kissing has improved since ;)
My first alcoholic drink was at my going away party about 2 weeks before I was to turn 18. I think I felt full after one midori and lemonade. I was leaving to go and live in Germany for a year....yes, German culture is full of alcohol and it was great fun having a host sister who wanted to drive me everywhere.
My Mum got diagnosed with a terminal illness, and though I came home briefly, I returned to Germany to live my life overseas and soak up the opportunity I had been given. Though we didn't know how long she had to live, and there were a few horrific scares along the way I did stay for my full year.
When my year ended, Mum was still ill, but fighting strong, so I moved to Margaret river with another best friend, lived in a tent and picked grapes.
A few years after Mum died, I was living in Perth studying Naturopathy - trying to understand why someone so healthy and fit could get so sick. I remember phoning Dad one afternoon to tell him I had just gotten dreddies, "It was only a matter of time" he replied. Mum however, would have possibly rolled over in her grave. Sorry Mum! She was always beautifully presented, my Mum. She wouldn't let me grow my hair as a kid, because I would never brush it. Fair call...When I cut my dreds off (and FYI while I had them I washed my hair more regularly than ever in my life. I even blow dried them! They were pretty loved!), Dad kept them and has sewn them onto a beanie. True story. It all is. My Dad is a legend.
Never surprised by my individuality, but never letting me get away with too much, Mum + Dad have always allowed me to dream my own dreams, create my own friendships and explore my own curiosities.
I am also glad for all the other standers-by that have gently nudged me certain ways along this path. It has been an interesting journey so far.
But I'm not done yet.
My greatest dream in this life is that I never fit into any one single box. And I hope I continue to wake up every day, confident that I have everything I need already inside of me.
And for you? I really hope you know the same. Or learn to know the same.
What is in me, is in you.
And what is in me has been enough to get me through some epic emotional torture and heartache. And what is in you, can do the same.
Whatever you are going through, (or maybe currently feel stuck in) whatever you are fighting, please know that there is a little part of you that is so bright and full of joy. Sometimes we need to just peel back a few layers...or maybe just one layer at a time. Be patient.