Quite a few years ago, in my mid 20’s, I found myself the single mother of my son aged 18months and my daughter aged 9months. A few years earlier I had arrived in the big smoke from the outback and while I could shear a sheep and fix a windmill, I didn’t have that many transferrable skills. Yet here I was with a young family to feed and support and desperately needing a job. I survived for the first few years on the Single Parents Pension, but when my daughter started kindy I was ready to head out in the big wide world. One of the things I did to boost up my confidence was enrol in a Women’s Studies course at TAFE, and the first unit was an identifying your skills unit. Knowing that we had all come from violent situations and had little or no support network in our lives, the first thing the lecturer got us to do was to ask 3 people close to us to write a letter to her explaining what they liked and admired about us. It was her way of demonstrating to us that the way we see ourselves isn’t necessarily the way the world sees us, in fact there’s a darn good chance they think more highly of you than you know. Nearly 20 years later I still remember the day she read those letters out to us in the classroom.
That experience has been on my mind again recently, I still draw strength from what I learnt that day. My challenge to you is this: write a letter to someone you admire or are grateful for. In fact, not just one person, but one person a week from now until Easter. Mail it to them, email it to them, blog it to them, hell send a raven if you prefer. Tell them how they inspire you, what you enjoy about them and how grateful you are that they are in your world. Up for it? Ready, set…….GO
I just wanted to tell you that I find you to be an inspiration. We didn’t connect much during school, which as we know now was because we were both struggling with similar issues. However you were one of the people from that 12 months that stayed in my mind and I always hoped we would have the opportunity to reconnect at some point, gotta love Facebook for that one. Thank you for being courageous enough to reach out to me that day and creating the opportunity for us to catch up. I find your gentle spirit and determination a joy to be around.
I hope you are suitably proud of yourself for making the changes you needed to make in your life. I admire your commitment to yourself and your son, it takes great courage and wisdom to turn your life around and you have done that with astounding results. I feel in awe of the example you are setting for those that matter to you and most importantly to yourself. In overcoming your demons I see a woman with strong convictions, self- respect, empathy and a great capacity for love. Through your example I am able to remind myself to keep trying and I am so very grateful for that, thank you.
With much regard