The year that was 2013 – 2014

I found an old letter I sent to my friends in 2014. Looking back now it makes me feel both happy and sad! Happy to have come this far and get to 2019 in a healthier frame of mind. Sad because it was a tough time and in my letter I was trying so hard to be brave! And I was and I am brave. But it was a rough ride for a little while there, and I wanted to share for anyone who may be going through a rough time! Emotionally, mentally or physically…to have faith! You are stronger than you know and to back yourself. Trials are not forever. They come to test your heart and faith and you will grow from it.

October 17 2013 – October 17 2014 Letter to my friends


Whew, what a year. In 1 year, I have hopped on 11 planes, countless buses, taxis, trains and of course travelled by foot.

Workwise, I have:

  • Applied for over 200 jobs
  • Attended over 50 interviews
  • Learned how to roll a kebab at Zone Kebabs
  • Worked in telephone market research
  • Compared and sold electricity over the phone
  • Sold dental plans door-to-door
  • Worked in 2 advertising agencies
  • Been let go from an advertising job and then hired at another call centre job within 17 days (#winning)
  • Roasted one Thanksgiving chicken (not turkey)
  • Volunteered at an aged care facility and
  • Launched a non-profit organisation

Despite the false starts, the highs of new jobs, the lows of losing a job and all the emotions that go along with settling back into life at home after living abroad, accumulating debt, having zero dollars in the bank, handling depression with some kind of grace/dignity, living with family at 31 years of age after years of being “independent”, it has been a case of “eat some humble pie” and overall it has been an upward trajectory! And thank God for that!

You cannot enjoy the highs, without experiencing the lows right? Right! Haha…sooo here are my fabulous new skills from the past year:

  • Kebab rolling. I can tell you what to look for in a kebab and where to get the best kebab in Brisbane! (Also, that the kebab industry is actually declining as people choose healthier options!)
  • Market research. I can tell in your voice if you really do have an “appointment” to go to, or if you just don’t want to talk to me. Be kind to your telephone market researcher. They are most probably a poor university student, in-between jobs or studying marketing and want to gain hands on experience in market research.
  • Pizza brand launch. I learned about pizza advertising this year – and there are some serious pizza wars going on in the world!
  • I know about depression and anxiety – researched it, talked about it, felt it and recovered from it!
  • Door-to-door selling. They can be a bit sneaky with the tricks they use to get you to buy when they are standing on your door-step.
  • I am awesome at resume writing and cover letters. So good, I can probably do them with my eyes closed. Email me ANY resume/interview questions – I am all ears.
  • And of course – resilience.

I have met fabulous people along this journey, stayed in touch with good friends and reconnected with my family that provided me with a solid foundation as I muddled my way through the year that was!

My favourite story would be interviewing an 80 year old woman. As part of my market research, I had to ask the question ‘Do you have a disability?’. This particular woman said no. She had a stroke and spoke with a slur, at 80 years of age was considered a “mature aged” student, she studied across the country via distance education and was completing her 3rd degree. I found her really inspiring because despite the stroke, age and location, she saw herself as fit, competent and capable. Which indeed she was and is. She also showed a lot of tenacity and determination to complete her 3rd degree. My heart filled and I went on my merry way. If she can do it, then I too can overcome this mental illness and mental disability and get back to good.

Working in aged care has been a fantastic experience for me. Not for everyone, as it can be confronting to see how people with disabilities live. Working with 80/90 year olds also helps to give perspective. And the importance of not “sweating the small stuff”. Yes, it is important right now but keep things in perspective and be happy! Love your life and choose happiness.

And with that, I will leave you with my learnings from the past year. It has been a topsy turvy year, but things are looking up for me and it has been a great learning experience.

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