As educators we encourage our students to always take risks and never be afraid to make mistakes, yet as adults we often find this so difficult ourselves. It challenges us. But why?
Generally as a society, we are creatures of habit – we like things to be predictable and constant in our lives. We like to park in the same car space at work every day and always eat at our favourite restaurants, as we know that we will always be guaranteed of a satisfying meal.
I seem to be the odd one out. I love and embrace change – in fact I thrive on it.
Nothing frustrates me more than people who complain or are miserable in their work place. I mean seriously – we spend so much time there – don’t you want to be happy?
I do understand that people have financial commitments and often need to retrain to be able to improve their employment conditions, but I also do think that the power of the mind has a significantly important role to play in this.
My employment history demonstrates that around the three year mark I start to get that insatiable urge to try something different, and create a new environment to explore. I know this is why I enjoy working with challenging children – every day is unique and nothing stays constant. I never know what is going to happen.
Nothing excites me more than getting lost whilst driving around the city trying to find a new park or place to visit. I thrive on meeting new people and having interesting conversations with them about their lives. I live by the motto that you can NEVER have enough friends, or people in your life.
Human contact and interaction is vital for survival. One of my all-time favourite movies “Into the Wild” demonstrates this as the main character “Alexander Supertramp” turns his back on society and decides that he will be happier going to live alone in the wilderness, with nobody to rely on but himself for survival. Along the way on his quest for isolation, he encounters some chance meetings with some amazing people, who open his eyes up to the importance of having love and friendship in your life.
I have seen that movie over 20 times and I still cry at the end every time. I just want to reach out and hug “Alexander Super tramp” and say “I am so glad you worked it out in the end!”
I try to live my life just being open to people. Every person that I meet has a story to tell or an experience to share. Just as I do.
Everything that happens to you in your life is guiding you and shaping you into the person you are. This is always evolving.
I have faced some pretty huge challenges in my life up to this point, and I am fairly sure given my track record, that there are some more yet to come. But that’s ok – I know that I will fight my way through them, learn from it and move on – just as I have done in the past.
So many people are surprised to hear about my violent childhood, and that I am survivor of physical and emotional abuse. Growing up was tough, but I haven’t let what happened to me as a child define my future. It is only one part of my story. It doesn’t have to be the main character.
My four year battle with infertility was by far more personally challenging than the abuse I encountered as a child. I think partly because of the beautiful soul; that gorgeous creature I married, was enduring the heartache with me.
The pain and sadness now is a distant memory, but the new relationships that I have formed along the way – the chance meetings – have only been possible because of the situations that I have endured.
At the ripe old age of forty, I found myself with a whole new circle of people in my life. Ones that I would not have met if I had not been led down a certain road in my life.
People like the beautiful couple who we met at the Adoption Victoria training days. We had an instant connection with them, and the more we chatted we realised that we had almost been through an identical situation in terms of our fertility battles. On the last day as we walked out, I took a risk and asked for their phone number. They have also since been blessed with the adoption of a beautiful little girl, and have become some of our closest friends. We have turned to each other for support, and are able to offer a genuine understanding of the challenges and frustrations we face as adoptive parents.
Fronting up to an already formed mothers group on my own was something I had to force myself to do. The whole way there I was telling myself – “It’s ok if you don’t like it, you never have to go back”. “You can do this Chrissie – what have you go to lose?”
Little did I know, that one of those mums would become one of the people that I would rely on the most when it came to my daughter in the first months of her life. We are both teachers and have endured IVF – so we already had so much in common. Our husbands are both number crunchers, and we have formed such a natural and loving connection with them both.
Last New Year we booked a house to stay in for a beach getaway with our family. It was a beautiful home, but within the first two days we noticed a smell coming from under the back deck and had to call in the owners to investigate.
We got chatting with the man who it turned out was the father of the lady who owned the property. He asked us if we would mind watering one of the large trees in the backyard as it was very special to the family. The tree was planted in loving memory of their little boy, who they had lost two years earlier to a mystery illness. He went on to tell us that the couple (his daughter and son in law) has just been through the inquest of his death, and had needed to get away for a while.
Of course we were very moved by this and to learn of the heart ache that this couple had endured. We lovingly watered and tended to their tree. On the last day of our holiday the weather was so horrendous, that the tree nearly uprooted itself from the huge pot that it was planted in. We desperately found ropes and used big boulders to keep it safely rooted in the soil.
Our beautiful daughter was sleeping upstairs in the cot that their son probably slept in. We were living in their house for a week, and the intense emotional connection that I felt toward them was indescribable.
Two weeks after we left their house I just couldn’t stop thinking about them. So I wrote them a letter and sent them a gift.
We have since been down to meet them and the instant connection we have formed with them, is indeed overwhelming. She too, is a teacher. He plays guitar – so does my husband. Like us, they love to travel and we shared stories of all the places we have been to. We have stayed in contact and although it is still early days, I have absolutely no doubt that this is one of those very special lifelong connections and friendships. It was just meant to be.
If I had not taken the risk and sent that letter –we would never have met them.
Who knows how many opportunities or amazing people, are out there waiting for us to meet? Grab hold of them with both hands.
Love Chrissie xx
“Empowering families to create the right mix of chaos & love”
Chaos to Calm Consultancy would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurung people of the Kulin Nation.We acknowledge the elders past, present and emerging - particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who walked before us supporting and connecting their children to the earth, water and community. Always was. Always will be.