I was offered my first job just after I completed my clinical placement at the agency. I was given permanency and after years of being a ‘struggling single mom’, I thought I would never leave the security. But, life had other plans for me.
I was tapped on the shoulder by another agency and offered a six month contract. Having bought a new car a month earlier, I was reluctant to give up my permanent status so I asked my manager if I could take six months leave. My request was denied on the grounds they did not think I would return. The new agency paid 20K pa more. The agency had a point. But I was furious. I wanted to extend my skills and saw the refusal as an obstruction to my career development. I went back the next day and resigned.
At the end of the six month period, there was a job freeze and I started to panic. I had a mortgage and a car loan! Plus two little children in tow. I did what I usually do in times like this, I placed my trust in a higher power. I started a very limited business, just to ensure there was some income coming in.
In my last week of my contract, I was offered three jobs. The path I took was not of my choosing. I worked in an environment where I had to deal with unpredictable people but the pay was excellent and I had more freedom with my hours of work. Although they were very young, my children recall those days of stress with dread. But I learnt so much about my profession, people and myself and I developed a degree of resilience I didn’t know I had.
I reduced my work in government over the years and focused on my business. I looked at templates and did a five year plan. In three months, my business expanded to cover the whole state of Western Australia. On reflection, the path I was given, is one I was meant to navigate.
As I come to the end of another financial year. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities the past year has given me. I’ve met amazing people, worked with great teams and seen so much more of this beautiful country I call home.
I’ve criss-crossed the Wheatbelt, a region of some 155,000 sq km. I’ve been further north east and further east of east, than before. The resilience of folks in farming communities is something that strikes me each time I visit. It must be difficult under circumstances where the pastures are green with rain and then 50 kilometres down the down, they are still waiting for it. People think in terms of community. What can they do, to make a difference. They are quick to minimize the role they play, often with a matter of fact, “Well! that’s what one does!”Then there was the Kimberley region. Beautiful Kimberley, an area that covers some 422,000 sq km of ruggedness. Broome, is a favourite town but there’s a special place in my heart for Kununurra, a place I want to visit again on holiday. I’ve experienced joy in this town in the company of birds and the excitement of spotting my first freshwater crocodile. There are gorges and ruggedness to explore, and when standing still, blue dragonflies to observe.I’ve visited the Midwest more frequently than I have ever done in previous years. It is larger area than the Kimberley at 472,000 plus square kilometers. The stunning landscape of the Coral Coast is memorable.The mining region of the Pilbara, in the heart of Western Australia cover over 500,000 square kilometers. It is harsh, hot, and humbling country. Oh! how I love that red dust! Driving across it in summer was a highlight for me.And who can forget the South West, nearly 24,000 sq km of beautiful food, wine, trails, forests and coastline.Last but not least, the Goldfields Esperance region, covers over 770,000 sq km. Esperance is where I spend three consecutive nights each month, so naturally, it is my home away from home.
Life on the road is rugged and unpredictable. I can stay in a 5 star hotel or, like in the Wheatbelt, in a tiny demountable where I tripped onto the bed as soon as I opened the door.
Someone famously coined the phrase, “Life was not meant to be easy”. Maybe so, but it can be fun and adventurous. To navigate, you just have to follow the compass in your heart.
Until next time
a dawn bird
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