I remember when I was a kid talking to my grandmother about what I wanted to be when I grow up… each week it changed, from artist to astronaut . Archeologist to hotel manager.
Always with the same level of encouragement with these words, “you can do anything you want as long as you work hard enough for it.” Those words tend to anger a lot of gen x and y as they think its all snappy buzz phase that their folks used to say. I think those folks genuinely believed that too, but the harsh reality is that now the competition is fierce and the world moves at an alarming pace. So only the best of the very best tend to get what they “think” they want.
Then who’s to say a particular career is the end of it all. They want more! like me…
I was naturally smart in school. I didn’t study much and always did assignments the day before they were due. I was ambitious but didn’t always apply myself. I had dreams of what I wanted to do but I think the problem was that I wanted it all NOW! There was too much choice and it was all at my feet. Rather than leap into an opportunity I waited for the right one to happen. In that time of “waiting” I worked a normal job, had myself a regular loyal boyfriend and hung out with friends. I hesitated at choosing Uni over work and before I knew it I was slipping into my 20’s with simply having a job and a boyfriend under my belt….. This was far from enough.
I took the leap and moved from the country town to the big city (which years ago intimidated me)I had decided I was going to be an artist and study while I waited to be discovered.
I found new friends and ditched the high school sweet heart. I explored my new stomping ground, shopped, studied networked and partied. I started to get recognition for my artwork, completed a course at college and decided to follow my new dream of becoming a screen printer, it was hard to get work and I had a lot of doors close in my face, as was the same for becoming an artist.
I put my dreams on hold while I earned money working a “regular” retail job, in that time I met someone who in the end was not a good influence nor supportive of “my ambitions.” Upon deciding that I wanted to leave I found out that I was pregnant. My dreams needed to be on hold for longer than expected. Time to be a mummy!
Thinking I needed to do what is expected of a young mother; I married my daughter’s father (big mistake!) Before too long I felt worn down by negativity and lack of support. I soon realized that this wasn’t for me. It was not enough for me and now not enough for my daughter.
Severing ties with her dad was tough. but I had ambition as my friend and my daughter who was 1 at the time as my motivation. I wanted to give her a loving home and I wanted her to see my passion for growing up and working for what you want. Which at that point was simply a loving home and creative life.
I was now working full time and painting. Sometimes painted together. I was providing a loving home… but still I wanted more.
After some time my normal retail job was tiring and the home we were living in was loosing its warmth. I was too tired to paint and lost my motivation. Meanwhile I had an ex husband dishing out custody threats and my car was about to fall apart. The novelty of being an independent mother, artist, worker was wearing off…. I needed more.
Time for a career change, time to start dating. I needed to plug back into life. I needed to exercise some ambition. I started to become more social, my friends helped find me dates and I plugged back into my art practices. This was merely a band aid. The dating scene was ordinary and work was scarce, Although I did get an acceptance letter to show my work in Canada. I was on track again! I worked my normal job through the day and painted through the night. After many months I packed up my work and shipped it off to Canada. I soon followed.
My daughter remained behind, staying with my parents for nearly 6 weeks. In that time I had my art show, opening night was slow but I didn’t care. I’d made it as an artist! I sold works, socialized, and travelled. This was all good…. but I wanted more.
I returned refreshed and refocused. I missed my little girl and felt I could continue to provide for her but needed to make myself happy in the meatime.
I gave up on dating and decided I liked my own company more. My daughter and I did lots of great things together, why spoil it with adding someone else to the equation? so I thought.
Melbourne cup time. My friend needs someone to go with. “Why not?” I say. Little did I realize I would meet my future husband (Matt) on that day. Before we met I’d made a mental list of what I REALLY wanted in a partner if I were ever going to find one. I’d made that list so hard that I was sure I wouldn’t find anyone who ticks all of the boxes…. but I did.
I was in disbelief and a little scared at first, because to me, if i met someone who ticked all the boxes, that meant I could see myself with him. As we got to know each other I grew to notice that he well surpassed this list.
- Great looking (through my eyes he’s the most handsome man I’ve ever seen… sorry Gerard Butler!)
- Great family
- Healthy and respectful relationship with mother
- Loves music
- Can show emotion
- Can stimulate me mentally and share in my laughter
- Wants to travel
- Is encouraging and as ambitious as me
- Thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the room (even when I’m clearly not)
- Loves my daughter as if she’s his own
- Is cool with my “situation” AKA the ex
- Has a professionIs creative or has an appreciation for creativity
- Is enthusiastic to try new things
- Is stable with work and savings
- Is respectful but can stand up for himself
- Is cultured and mature… but not old.
I soon fell in love… Did I want more than this? Not from this chapter. I accidently met all I could ever want in a life partner and father figure to my daughter. Now its about what WE want.
We seem to look good on paper:
- Are madly in love with each other (5 years and counting)
- Have now 2 wonderful healthy children together
- Live in a great house
- Own real estate
- Have great jobs and perks (I ditched my regular job and got a great job!)
- Get along famously with each others in-laws and friends
- Have the same vision for what we want to achieve in our lives
And yes… WE WANT MORE:
Not necessarily money or happiness but we want more out of life. I feel like I need 3 of me to do the things that I am enthusiastic about. I want to work more, study more, create more, have more family time, suddenly I feel like that girl who finished high school and is waiting for the right opportunity to find her, but I realize this time it won’t find me…. I have to find it!
I have a few things on the go right now. I create artworks and have a commercial art shop, run an online vintage store called Aunty Bett’s Attic, work full time as a retail stylist and co-ordinate a team of 5 within the company, am a wife to be and mother of two and I’m about to embark in a creative venture with Matt.
Are we mad? likely.
Are we tired? No. Our motivation keeps us in motion. And our perfect baby has always slept from 7pm to 7am from 4 months of age.
But what happened to the ex? Sadly he died from cancer in 2009. It was horrible for all around him. Especially my 5 year old daughter.
Are we lucky? I think so.
Here are my ventures in brief. I will be expanding on these mentioned below but keeping you all up to speed on what else we could possibly want or achieve in the future. I’d love to know any thoughts and happy to answer and questions if I can.
Time for me to plug in; enjoy watching the sparks fly!!!