I know you have heard it before too… “Oh, it is alright for her, she is just lucky”… “I couldn’t do it. But lucky for her she can.” Really?
People talk about luck… it is very easy to look across at somebody else’s life and go, “But it is OK for you, you are lucky you are strong, courageous, have family support…etc etc.”
Luck! Well I’m lucky for sure that I was born in this country, Australia, that I know for sure. I’m lucky that, particularly for those vital first five years of my life, I was so loved and nurtured, I was kept emotionally and physically safe and for that I am so very grateful…. and then I am also lucky because….
We shifted something like 14 times in the 16 years I was at home. My Dad was always the hired help and we moved where the work was. Stability wasn’t an option. Our house was wherever the money was. That wouldn’t be considered lucky these days. Kids would see that as a tragedy. But lucky for me I learnt that home wasn’t about the house or the address but where the family was, and that change won’t hurt you, and that started to build a foundation of resilience one needs to live a big life.
When Mum left Dad (he lived at the Pub a lot) I was in grade 9. We shifted into a friend’s Motel, stayed in one of the rooms while Mum cleaned rooms, until she could afford a flat for us. Lucky for us we had an example set that women can be strong even when faced with what seemed like impossible odds, and even when it might have been easier to stay.
My sister left to go and live with some friends in Brisbane to repeat grade 12. My brother went to live with my Grandparents. That left Mum and I. I was 16 I left school, got a hairdressing apprenticeship, and then Mum left me to go and live closer to my little brother, who really needed her more. Lucky that I had the opportunity to live on my own, on $90 a week and learn about budgeting… In that time I saved up for a trip to Day Dream Island with my friend. We were 17. I saved $20 a week for it… lucky me. This is great stuff for building true self esteem, the foundation of everything!
I then got a job in Brisbane, transferred in my apprenticeship to chase a guy, which was a totally dysfunctional relationship. Got to Brisbane, after a week in the job, my new boss told me I wasn’t good enough and that I should give up hairdressing as I would never be any good… Then my relationship then fell apart (lucky me!), I chose to believe this woman (my ex boss) for a while as I worked in a Newsagent for about 6 months… Then I woke up one day and remembered where I had been. That I had resilience and strength. I decided that I could do it. I went for a hairdressing job and was prepared to start from the bottom and do it all over again… and I did. I did a 6 year apprenticeship instead of a four year one ….but I sure did appreciate it and gave it more than I had to every day… lucky me, look where that got me! Do more than you are paid for then one day you will be paid for more than you do!
I was floundering in my personal life, looking for somebody to love me and have somewhere to belong. I met a Vietnamese guy at a Disco, moved in with him and about 5 other people, because that was what we could afford… But we did what we could, he worked and he was a good man… Splitting up with him had to be done, I knew that and in some ways it would have been easier to stay, but we were heading in different directions in life…. So you find some courage, make the hard decision, and hurt somebody you don’t want to hurt because you have to follow your dreams and your heart… lucky me.
My manager at my salon I was working at during my apprenticeship the second time around, introduced me to my first personal development book… I used the strategies in that book and went on to win ‘Hairdresser of the Year’, and won a trip O/S. Lucky me… I worked hard, saved more money, and booked a backpacking trip around the world. First stop Africa… no phones, no social media… just trust and a little bit of courage … an emotional muscle that had been exercised and gained strength through what I had already been through… I bawled my eyes out on the plane and went on to have the time of my life… lucky me.
Fast forward I meet my husband Flash… it was love pretty quickly although the road was rocky for a while… I had no long lists of expectations of what he should look like, the kind of car he should be driving, the label of suit he should be wearing… I went for kindness, strength, laughter, fun, conversation, common ground and somebody that just simply loved me back and wanted to make a life with me… oh and loved my laugh… lucky me.
I am lucky that my boss at the Hairdressing Company I worked for told me that I was a terrible leader and that although my salons were smashing their budgets, the staff all hated me… After that conversation I cried a lot and then began my journey of taking responsibility for my own professional development. So I began attending many seminars which of course I paid for… I also read a Jim Rohn quote that said ‘your income will not exceed your personal development and that you should cultivate a great library’.. I also read the quote that said, ‘we are who we are but for the people we meet and the books we read’... so while other people my age were buying shoes and going to clubs, I was buying books and going to networking events… I have over 300 personal development, leadership and sales books now… slow learner perhaps? And I have read every one and challenge myself on applying the principles… although I still have much work to do…lucky me. Message me if you want one, happy to pay it forward…
I am lucky for sure that I had my beautiful boy Jack… and that Flash said go follow your dreams and I will support you… lucky I picked a man like that eh?? Lucky that I read the book called ‘Speak and Grow Rich’ and applied the principles of the book, followed my dream, bought a whiteboard, faced my fears and made some calls with no clue what I was doing!! Lucky I took the criticism when I needed to and didn’t let it break me when it could of. Lucky I stayed true to myself even though I cried myself to sleep some nights thinking I would ever be good enough… Lucky I had the life I had up ’till now which formed a foundation for me to keep trying. Lucky I stayed true to my style and wore sequins, even though I know they laughed behind my back!
Then Flash having a stroke… Lucky I got to see the strength of my man that fights back for five years retraining his brain to talk again and to use his arm again so that he could play with his kids… lucky me. Lucky I get invited to sit and meet the parts of me that I don’t like so much and have to deal with…
Then Flash passes away and … well this is a tough one eh… lucky me that I had love like that… maybe some people never do… Lucky me that he did have life insurance and that I would go on to make some really dumb, grief ridden decisions with it… Lucky me that I get to grow with that. But I do get to go to place within I have never been before and I try and use that place I have been now to help others and that feels good, lucky me… Lucky that because of my depths of despair I know the joy in its real and purest feeling and suck the living out of life… lucky me.
And welcome Autism… wow, lucky me that I get to visit more places in me that I have never been and didn’t want to go. Lucky me that through all of the smashed windows and kicked in walls and punching and screaming, screaming and spitting that I learn about what really matters. And it’s not the stuff and I learn first-hand about what it is really like to walk to the beat of your own drum… all the stuff I talk about … lucky me…
I have woken up every morning for the last 10 years (since Flash had his stroke), wondering how on earth I will get through the year. There have been times financially I have been against a wall and ready to just give up, sometimes because of bad management by me and sometimes because people owed me money…There have been times I have wanted to curl up in a ball and not get out of bed… There have been times I drank so much because I wanted to not remember… sleep came easily because it was an escape from my life… I have cried so hard and so often…. I have shared openly my pain as well as my triumphs…I have never asked for a cent from my parents since I left home at 16, or home left me… I still haven’t. I have had to swallow my pride and ask for help from friends with regards to helping with the boys so I could work… The support I get from my family… well believe me, some of that has been fought for too… lots of heart ache and difficult, emotional conversations… When life squeezes you it squeezes every relationship around you! But, because we had those difficult conversations and didn’t ignore them we have grown as a family and perhaps I have attracted the amazing people in my life also because of who I have become? And I do have some of the most incredible people in my life… here in social media, with real life friendships, in my professional life… so grateful. Lucky? I give and I receive.
I wake every day wanting to give a gift to the world and the people in it, I choose to believe the principles I teach and practice them the best I can… Often before I get up on stage I have gone through a whole lot of crap to get there… I have had to open my heart, admit my vulnerabilities, say sorry, accept my shortcoming and make friends with my shame… I have done a lot of what the books said… made vision boards, kept journals, said affirmations… I get up at 4am every morning mediate and exercise, I watch little TV… in fact I can’t now because Thomas smashed it… I still have holes in my walls and get sworn and kicked regularly… but Yep, I am lucky for sure…I cry regularly and laugh even more often… I see people doing great who had worse starts in life than me and I see people going through a whole lot worse than me today. I am lucky because I have life itself… any day that I feel like I can’t do it I say, “Julie, there are people in this world fighting just to hang on to life itself… you have that for sure now, get up and go and live it, and do it good… and leave a legacy while you are at it, so the world will know that you have been and made a difference!!”
And then I think about an issue that seems to affect so many people, I take a photo of me in a bikini on a Sunday afternoon… a stretched, $20 old black bikini, the photo is taken by my son whom I had to bribe and coerce to take it… I put some heartfelt words with the photo and have the courage (other peoples words not mine), to put myself out there for the cause and post the photo on Facebook… it goes viral… lucky me.. oh how dare she, who does she think she is… lucky me that I live the principles of my song and I give and I receive.
Lucky is being born here and being loved and then it’s over to you… and any hardship in your life helps you to appreciate the good times and everything that nobody would do for you gives YOU the opportunity to grow and do it yourself….
Yep, I reckon I am damn lucky! 🙂