A question for the ages, I know, and I’m not even sure where to begin.
I was born in Melbourne, Australia, in the glorious decade that was the 1980s. My early years were full of tinsel wigs, glow worms, and Cindy Lauper. Vinyl was played loud, headphones were heavier than the human head, and the advent of the wireless remote was a revolution.
Werribee was much more the quiet country locale than the bustling metropolis it is now. So, when I wasn’t buried head-first in the latest BabySitter’s Club offering (thanks, Ann M. Martin), you could have found me riding my bike (poorly) around the Blackforest Road BMX track, playing Rendezvous with Rama on the family Commodore 64, or imagining that reading the encyclopaedia would fill me with everything I needed for a solid life.
Clearly, it worked.
By the time I skated through high school, I wanted to be a lawyer. Good hard or go home, right? Unfortunately (or fortunately), I tripped at the last hurdle and came up a few lonely points short of entry for a law degree. Lost in the abyss that was the early 00s, I found myself instead climbing the ranks of seniority in the retail sector. From junior burger to Big Mac, I kept the CD shelves of KMart Footscray stacked and loaded and LOVED updating the weekly charts. For my brain, putting things in order is delicious.
Retail gave way to the transport industry. The less said about my time there, the better for everyone. I can honestly say the only positive experience from my time in transport is the day I stood up and walked out of my job. I firmly believe everyone should walk out of a job/unsanitary situation at least once in their life.
Fast forward a few years and I’d settled back into my first love of writing. Along with my voracious fictional appetite, I found myself scribbling in the empty final pages of exercise books – just as I had done as a teenager. Now in the land of technology and computers, I madly typed up some of these stories until one in particular took over. That was to become my first book release, Red, in 2015.
Two more books followed very quickly (writing is addictive, y’all). Admittedly, these stories were amateurish and poorly thought out. Luckily, I was given the chance to go back and revisit these characters throughout my contract with HQDigital. Working with a publisher was an exceptional learning curve and, while it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, it gave me some of my greatest life experiences.
Publishing has shown me both how joyous and heartbreaking an author’s world can be. It’s also taught me to value my mental health. When that pesky pandemic hit and my mental health took a battering, so did my publishing contract. After too many panic attacks and months of crippling gastrointestinal problems, I started the long journey towards what would become an ADHD diagnosis.
It was an enormous relief to finally put a name to all the niggling things that had plagued me for years. Apparently ‘I don’t understand people’ isn’t that normal of a phrase to blurt out constantly, and it had more to do with me than with you. By mid-2022, I’d done enough reading to know that I was likely autistic, too. And, wouldn’t you know, a date or two with an amazing psychologist confirmed my suspicions.
I’m grateful that I have had the means and opportunity to pursue these avenues, because a lot of other people don’t, and it’s a hard thing to live with undiagnosed. The weight that has lifted from my shoulders since discovering these things about me has been unsurmountable. Just learning how my brain functions has made pivoting through projects, life, and thought processes much easier. And it has allowed me to take baby steps back into writing.
So, join me. 2023 for me will be all about sharing the love of writing and books, ADHD and autism in women and how to live in a world not built for me, and going full freak flag on my special interests, some of which include meditation, CE5, crystals, tarot and (speaking of reptilian overlords), the British Royal Family.